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Currently (January, 2016) the news is full of raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) of places where people suspected of not having documents may be. The Obama administration and ICE have issued various statements as to the priorities for these raids. However, these priorities do not seem to be real, in practice.
The transcript of the Democracy Now program of January 8, 2016, gives excellent insight into who the people are who have come from the Central American countries, Guatemala in particular, and why they have come. Presenting an in-depth analysis of the reasons why 18 ex-military Guatemalan leaders have been arrested, and the horrors they were involved in committing against the Guatemalan people during the decades-long U.S.-backed dirty war against Guatemala’s indigenous people, the piece provides stark documentation of why people continue to flee.
Some six months ago the Guatemalan people rose up against their corrupt leaders and forced both the Vice-President and the President from office. However, holdovers from the former regime are still in place in the government of the current president, Jimmy Morales. Morales is continuing the slashing of minimum wage in maquiladora (manufacturing) areas, an action closely linked to the climate of terror that continues to exist. When there is terror, people flee, which is happening now. According to the segment,”If you go and burn down your neighbor’s house, don’t complain when, as they run from the flames, they come onto your lawn.”
We are seeing many of the people running from the flames, even as ICE is trying to drive them back into the fire.
Abstracted from a Democracy Now! program on January 8, 2016, with Amy Goodman and Allan Nairn, an investigative journalist who has worked on Guatemalan issues for decades.