Cecile Pineda | August 13, 2018
One of my readers recently remarked that, by addressing themes of immigration, and immigrant detention and deportation, this newsletter seemed to be wandering off topic.  I hereby remind readers that the issue continues and will always be personal to me: much of my childhood misery originates from my Mexican father’s undocumented status.  In the years before my birth, the U. S. suffered one of its periodic attacks of xenophobia, deporting up to 2,000,000 Mexicans. My father had every good reason to live in fear—despite his many advanced degrees, despite his exceptional linguistic abilities. But more centrally, the overarching topic is and always has been the total oppression which subsumes all other issues, and to which all other issues are related.
Late January, ICE amused themselves deporting Joel Colindres despite his valid marriage, his approved I-130 visa, no criminal record, the two children he leaves behind—and his still-pending case pleading for asylum in the 5th district court. And today Truthout reports that when undocumented families are detained, they are now being split up. Parents are being detained separately from their children, often miles away. The Daily Kos reported that fear of mass deportations is keeping families away from food distribution centers, and children from attending school with access to free school lunch programs. Hunger in America? The richest country in the world? 
Black humor has it that to fund the Pentagon giveaway, and the new tax scam, the government is expected to announce that ICE will start deporting seniors instead of people of color to lower social security and medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and won’t remember how to get back home.
Deportation news this week also includes the story of a young 19-year-old man, shot to death by San Francisco's finest at 21st and Capp Streets, San Francisco. His last cry was: “I don’t want to be deported.” No one does—that is, not until indefinite detention in immigration jail becomes so utterly dehumanizing and intolerable, people are reduced to begging for relief. What does intolerable consist in? Needing to urinate and defecate in plastic bags because no jailers are available to let a detainee out of his/her cell to use the one common bathroom.
How long would we tolerate such conditions without either crying “uncle” or going stark raving?
Reverend Deborah Lee at the Interfaith Movement for Human Dignity, who is organizing vigils outside the Richmond California West County Detention Center, had this to say: “We can’t just watch the immigration policy of this country play itself out and do nothing while ICE and the Border Patrol hunt people down and tear families apart. The administration talks about our efforts to protect people and fight this…system as though this was just a state or a city passing a law to defy their enforcement efforts….These laws exist because our community is making a moral commitment and acting on it….Sanctuary isn’t just a law: it’s our community defending people in danger.”
Main Immigrants NO BAN, NO WALL IV


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.