PPJPC Statement of solidarity in support of foreign-born workers

The Pikes Peak Peace and Justice Commission (PPJPC) condemns the US Immigration & Naturalization Service (ICE-INS) for its Dec. 12 raids at multiple US facilities of the Swift & Co. that racially targetted Hispanic workers for arrest at their place of work. Over 1250 Hispanic workers were rounded up as if they were cattle and not human beings with rights and feelings. Families have been torn asunder, US-born children are being forced to leave for countries they have never known, and an atmosphere of racial intolerance and hatred is being promoted within our communities. This is not the proper role for our government and governmental agencies to be playing.

This raid comes in the context of a president whose foreign and domestic policies are increasing coming under fire for illegally promoting warfare, torture, and military occupations of other countries. It comes also in the context of an increasingly hostile use of laws against other minority groups within the US, such as Arabs and Muslims of varying nationalities, that also has undermined the basis of having a national culture respectful of all of our residents, whether citizens or not.

We at the Colorado Springs PPJPC, are unalterably opposed to reducing certain cultural groups within the US to second class residents subject to abusive, selective, and descriminatory application of US laws. We object to citizens being denounced in block, by federal agencies who allege before trials or convictions, that residents of one ethnic background are guilty as a group of criminal activity, such as “ID theft.” We object to the policy of holding immigrants looking for work in our country subject to criminal prosecution for trying to support their families as best as they can. Most come from countries where the US government has for decades intervened in a hostile and destructive manner. In short, we object and condemn the US government for further persecuting poverty stricken workers looking for a better life in what is a nation of previous immigrants. We condemn the Swift & Co INS raids.

May it also be pointed out, that in the case of Hispanic workers, the overwhelming majority of them are of indigenous Native American background, no matter that they currently speak Spanish as first tongue. To those Anglo-american citizens who shout at these foreign workers that they are breaking the law, and that they should be thrown in jail and never set foot again on Anglo terrain, the PPJPC hopes that they can examine their consciences, examine their souls, and open their hearts to having a more charitable attitude towards others.

Those immigrants with Native American blood were here first before Anglo ancestors chose it upon themselves to ‘illegally’ immigrate to the US shores, often murdering Native Americans and stealing their land and properties. Much of the US territory where Hispanics are now being racially profiled, was land peviously stolen from Mexico by war. It is utter hypocrisy for one racial and language group to call the US borders ‘their’ territory, and theirs alone.

Further, the PPJPC rejects the increased militarization of the US Southern Border, most underlined by the efforts to build a giant impenetrable wall there. This construction runs counter to the desires of the people most effected, citizens of both nations living on both sides of this border. Further, we reject the US govenment support for abusive regimes throughout Latin America. We reject the US war against the people of Colombia, and we reject the US’s imposition of repressive governments across Central America. All these actions create conditions of misery, and a need for people to flee their native lands.

Most of all, we reject the US governmental support to the repressive Mexican government, military, and police. Mexico is the country from which most of the undocumented workers were fleeing when they were caught up in the Greeley Colorado raids of the Swift & Co meat processing facilities. The PPJPC calls on our American government to dismantle US military schools of torture that train members of the repressive Mexican military, stop supporting Mexican government repression in Oaxaca and esewhere in that country, and demand that the Mexican and US governments seek justice for those murdered, tortured, and disappeared in Oaxaca, and elsewhere within Mexico.

The PPJPC, too, is concerned about National Security. But attacking immigrants and foreign nationals on US terrirtory is not the way to make our country more secure.

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