Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

10,000 Migrants Are Stuck in Squalor at the Border. Let Them All In!

A huge surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border has created a humanitarian nightmare for more than 10,000 people. The fingerprints of U.S. imperialism and the Biden administration are all over the crisis.

Scott Cooper

September 17, 2021
Facebook Twitter Share
Verónica G. Cárdenas

A huge humanitarian crisis has unfolded at the border crossing from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas. As of early last evening, there were about 10,500 migrants in a makeshift camp under the Del Rio International Bridge — an increase of 3,300 just over the course of the day. They are trying to survive in the shade under dangerous, squalid conditions, with hardly any food or water.

The New York Times describes “dense crowds sleeping on dirt or milling about in triple-digit heat amid conditions of deteriorating sanitation.” The Del Rio mayor called it a shantytown. Reuters describes “hundreds of migrants wading through the Rio Grande river back into Mexico to stock up on essentials they say they are not receiving on the American side.”

These migrants are overwhelmingly from Haiti, but also include some Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and others, all fleeing unbearable conditions in their home countries. The Haitians in particular have most recently had to endure natural disasters and the assassination of the country’s president, which has precipitated a new round of brutal violene in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

There is only one response: Let them all in! 

Restrictive immigration is a tool of capitalism. Each and every day, the murderous results of closed borders reveal that nothing is more important to a system based on exploitation than increasing the rate of that exploitation. That’s why capitalist states limit the free movement of the great majority of people — the working class — between countries. A demand to let all migrants in is a start to undoing divisions deliberately sown by our class enemy to serve the bosses.

Likewise, there is only one direction to point the finger of blame for the current conditions of these migrants: U.S. imperialism, today embodied in the Biden administration. Since Biden’s inauguration, the overcrowded concentration camps for migrants remain open and child detention continues. All of this — and the situation in Del Rio — could be resolved if Biden and the Democrats wanted it to be. The horror is on them.

As a candidate for president, Joe Biden promised to “secure our values as a nation of immigrants.” Reviewing a position paper released by the Biden–Harris campaign in the context of today’s crisis at the Del Rio port of entry reveals the emptiness of that promise. “It is a moral failing and a national shame when a father and his baby daughter drown seeking our shores,” the document begins. It proceeds to spell out a long list of things Biden would do in his first 100 days. But while the Biden administration has rolled back some of the most egregious programs of the Trump administration, the document was mostly lies. Biden and the Democratic majority in Congress has failed to take decisive steps to avoid these crises — just as the Democratic Party refused to do so when it last held both the executive and legislative branches of government during the Obama presidency.

U.S. imperialism’s responsibility goes back generations. Haitians have no recourse but to leave their own country because it has been beaten down into squalor over the centuries, under successive imperialisms, as punishment for a successful revolt by self-liberated enslaved people that began in 1791 and ended in 1804. That revolution established the first Black republic in the world. In the 20th century, U.S. imperialism became Haiti’s primary subjugator and repressor through direct intervention, propping up brutal dictatorships, and rapacious theft of the country’s natural resources.

The Del Rio situation promises only to worsen. “Both migrants and Mexican officials said many more people are expected in coming days,” writes Reuters, reporting that some told reporters “they had chosen to cross here because the river is shallow and they felt there was comparatively less cartel activity.”

On the Mexican side of the border, migrants are also terribly repressed by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Mexico’s president.

For those already in Del Rio, it is a daily existence spent largely jostling for shade under the bridge. Most have not been fed, despite the U.S. Border Patrol claiming in a statement that it has increased staffing to facilitate “safe, humane, and orderly” processing of the migrants and that it is providing “drinking water, towels, and portable toilets.” Social media reports show little evidence of these steps, which are far from enough.

Migrants at the U.S border are fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries, and we must show our active solidarity. It’s time for a new movement in defense of their rights, just like the one that erupted immediately after Trump’s “Muslim ban” went into effect — when people streamed to airports across the country to protest. Such a movement must be one we organize as a class, with no reliance on the Democratic Party politicians who consistently betray the very migrant rights for which they claim to stand.

A united front of working-class organizations, human rights organizations, unions, and the Left can be built around a straightforward demand: For Open Borders! Let Them All In!

Facebook Twitter Share

Scott Cooper

Scott is a writer, editor, and longtime socialist activist who lives in the Boston area.

United States

A NYPD officer arrests a masked pro-Palestine protestors wearing a kaffiyeh while other cops and masked protesters look on.

Attacks on the Pro-Palestine Movement Are Attacks on the Right to Protest

As the movement for Palestine against Israel’s brutal military invasion of Gaza and attacks on the West Bank continues at a lower intensity than last fall, the State is cracking down on the leaderships of the movement and rolling back gains made by the Black Lives Matter uprising of 2020. The movement must grow in order to fight back against repression and protect our democratic right to protest.

Carmin Maffea

February 10, 2024

When Columbia Students Are Under Attack, We Must Stand Up, Fight Back!

On January 19, two Columbia University students who are former Israeli Defense Forces soldiers attacked students with a chemical-based weapon called “skunk,” at a campus protest against the genocide of Palestinians. Students must unite with workers to defend our movement; from Palestine to Low, the attacks have got to go!

K.S. Mehta

February 2, 2024

Six Ideas to Advance the Movement for Palestine

Nearly four months into Israel’s genocide in Gaza, what will it take for the movement to continue forward and impose its demands?

Luigi Morris

January 28, 2024
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a primary election night party in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024.

New Hampshire Shows Trumpism Hasn’t Been Stopped as the Crisis that Created It Rages On

Donald Trump cruised to a victory in the New Hampshire primary. His strength in the primaries shows that Biden wasn’t able to resolve the crisis that gave birth to Trumpism.

Sybil Davis

January 28, 2024


With Rafah in the Crosshairs, the Working Class Can Stop the Genocide in Gaza

As Israel prepares an invasion of Rafah, workers’ organizations around the world must take action before it's too late.

James Dennis Hoff

February 21, 2024

“Antideutsche”: The Aberration of Germany’s Pro-Zionist Left

As Germany persists in its unwavering support of Israel and the total denial of its genocide, the German Left is conflicted over the issue. While leftists all over the world are showing solidarity with Palestine, a segment of the German Left is historically pro-Zionist. How did this movement, the so-called Antideutsche (Anti-Germans) come to be?

Seb Zürcher

February 21, 2024

Why German Media are Lying About the Palestine Solidarity Movement at the Free University of Berlin

A rally in front of the Free University of Berlin had as many journalists as demonstrators. This is yet another example of the international campaign to defame all protests against Israel's genocidal military campaign.

Nathaniel Flakin

February 16, 2024
CUNY workers at a demonstration hold a banner that reads "STRIKE TO SAVE CUNY."

CUNY Workers Launch New Strike Campaign

As Governor Hochul proposes another $528 million in cuts, workers at the City University of New York are fighting back.

Olivia Wood

February 12, 2024