In the News March 19
One Humanity, One Struggle!
Hypocrisy and Racism Underlie U.S., Canadian and European Union Policy on Refugees
The difference in how the U.S., Canada and the European Union treat today’s Ukrainian refugees compared with the migrant workers and their families already in the country fighting for permanent residence, and the tens of millions of other displaced people fleeing the devastation of U.S.-led wars and the economic plunder of their countries underscores the need to fight the increased racism and demand full and permanent immigration status for all.
Ukrainian refugees are being used as pawns in the U.S./NATO campaign to demonize Russia which they seek to crush while covering up their own aims in expanding NATO to surround and isolate Russia and enhance their access to the Asia-Pacific. Nothing puts the lie to their concern about refugees more than their own treatment of asylum seekers.
In the case of the U.S., we have only to look at how asylum seekers, most of them of Haitian origin, were treated last September at the border between Texas and Mexico. They were chased on horseback, whipped, rounded up, detained and deported in droves. Since the Biden administration has taken office, over 2 million people have been deported.
In Canada, the Trudeau government deprived many asylum seekers of the right to make a refugee claim, in complete violation of its international commitments as a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. After entering into an agreement with the U.S., it closed its irregular border crossings with that country between March 21, 2020 and November 21, 2021, under the pretext of protecting Canadians from the pandemic. Then, despite the pandemic, it proceeded to deport 11,229 people under inhumane circumstances because it deemed them to be “inadmissible persons.”
The Trudeau Liberal government has also provided financing to at least seven Southeast Asian countries for police training and surveillance equipment to intercept migrants via an Interpol operation, “Project Relay.” Canadian funds have also been used to buy surveillance equipment and communication technology for “strategic border points” in these countries.
In 2019, Canada took part in Operation Turquesa in South America, an operation intended to disrupt the primary routes used by migrants to make their way to the U.S. and Canada.
As for European countries involved in NATO, the death of 27 migrants in the English Channel on November 24, 2021 became an occasion to do anti-immigrant propaganda. Covering up inhumane and inadequate immigration policies, French President Emmanuel Macron declared: “France will not allow the English Channel to become a cemetery.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that Great Britain wants to “do more” with France to discourage “illegal crossings.” Earlier, upon the arrival of a record 1,185 migrants in England on November 11, the two countries vowed to strengthen their efforts to prevent migrants departing for Europe. They claimed they were fighting “human smuggling.”
In actual fact, they were covering up that it is U.S. wars and those of former colonial powers and NATO which cause these refugee crises in the first place and the ruling oligarchs do not want these migrants at their door.
The November 24, 2021 tragedy was followed by an action close to the port of some 50 people shouting to France’s Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin that he had blood on his hands. A November 25, 2021 news article reported that over a period of three months, attempts at crossing the English Channel had doubled.
Romania and Poland have also demonstrated their racist attitude towards refugees from Africa and the Middle East.
(Workers’ Forum, posted March 19, 2022. With files from TML Monthly, Government of Canada, Le Devoir, CBC News.)