Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Seizing Children at the Border - The Poor People's Campaign

Thank you for being here today.  This is a critical day in our efforts.  At the Poor People's Campaign. 
Duane Campbell, photo by Leisa Faulkner

My Name is Duane Campbell.  I am a co-chair of the Immigrants’ Rights Committee of Democratic Socialists  of America.
Let us be clear. 
Seizing children from their parents at the border is immoral. 

This issue before us is  one of human decency.  Under the Trump Administration ICE has developed a new policy of deliberately separating families of immigrants and refugees.  They are separating parents from their children as a form of collective punishment.   They are violating both  due process and human rights.
 Many of us have seen the photos and the video.  We are here to disrupt the Immoral narrative  that terrorizes children for political gain. 
The United Nation says so.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops say so.
Most religious communities say so. 
 Trump, and Republicans in Congress have rejected a way to fix DACA and protect Dreamers. Now they are forcing a vote on two cruel bills that hold dreamers hostage to the Trump Administration’s deportation machine .
This is state  terrorism
This is not who we are as a country.
There have been other times and places where this policy was practiced. 
 The Nazis did this in Germany in the 1930’s.  One of their victims was a Protestant Minister. He survived Auschwitz.

Here is what he said after his survival.
Pastor Martin Niemöller  

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Germany  1947.

This time: First they came for the Migrants. We must stop Them !

When our government  rips babies from their parents arms, builds  prison camps for children we have to step up. 
This is a moral crisis and people like you and me must stand up to this.   This moral crisis, along with others, is the reason that the Poor People’s Campaign has been assembled.  We face this crisis together.
 Congressional Republicans are set to force a vote tomorrow on two terrible bills. One would hold Dreamers hostage for wall funding at the tune of 25 billion dollars, eliminates the Trafficking Victims Protection Act that protects children from being trafficked and it  allows extended jail time and faster deportations for children. The other would provide no path to citizenship for Dreamers, end family-based immigration, and would overnight classify the 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country as criminals.  Neither bill, will stop the current practice of ripping children from their parents.
Neither of these are acceptable. 
We are better than this.  We refuse to choose between DACA and Dreamers, while tearing children from their parents arms. 
Together, step by step, We will stop this atrocity. 

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