Immigrant treatment and policy has become a major topic throughout the nation with the current administration of the United States. On October 11th the Democratic Society of America worked towards highlighting some issues around immigration by providing information on what’s happening globally regarding immigration and how big corporations are helping ICE. Freeni Aragones spoke with Louis (29 years old) an employee for the DSA immigrant justice working group, and one of the organizers Elisiah (26 years old) to get a better insight.
The Democratic Socialistic of America have been working together throughout the Unites States tackling multiple issues, recently they coordinated a protest at Bryant park to bring more awareness towards the nationwide camps made that hold immigrants and how ICE is putting them there.
DSA chapters are organizing all over the country through a mobilization primarily lead by coalition to close the concentration camps this weekend’s so organizations including lots of DSA chapters are organizing nationwide, that’s important because this is a federal agency we are fighting against. Then the other thing is fighting against ice on the local level, one of the biggest things we have been engaged in is ICE out of the courts campaign.
Yeah, we are trying to stop ICE from detaining immigrants at their court dates, it’s a big problem, they were being arrested going to court and inside. It was something that didn’t pass the way we wanted it to, but we are bringing it back for the next legislative session, and we hope to win. It’s also important to remember the camp are not just at the border, they are everywhere, ICE is in New York city, not just along the southern border. It’s a national mobilization, these mobilizations are happening globally like Elisiah was saying, and it’s just part of a much larger movement, and the DSA is just one organization.
The DSA is dealing with two issues at once and have to find a way to go about addressing both. On one side you have ICE who is imprisoning immigrants in camps separating numerous families, while on the other end you have large companies making substantial profits in aiding ICE towards their goals.
It needs to be two pronged because there is the government’s responsibility, that can be targeted through government actions, federal administrative action, but also through the corporate end, because these corporations have these contracts worth multi-million dollars, we should be doing things like public pressure, boycotts, and worker actions. Salesforce has had workers of salesforce try to get the company to end its contracts. All these things that you can do the end the corporate profiteering, but because we know the economic motivations are as strong as the politic will and we need to end both.
That’s an important point, economic motivations influence a lot of the decision’s companies make globally. They attempt to figure out what a consumer wants and shapes a product to that description. Ads online are ways companies target consumers and try to influence how we spend. However, if people begin to realize how much power they have as a consumer they can shape their own request by putting pressure to a company’s bottom line.
This was a simultaneous action between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We are trying to do things more in tandem. A lot of the chapters had been acting more autonomously, we are trying to do things more synchronized now. The idea is just to reach more people outside the organization, if people say for example, they would stop buying things from Amazon, the pressure would be enormous. These contracts are huge but the amount of money they make from the public in general dwarfs it, if we can get even a fractions of Amazons customers or salesforce contracts to either stop utilizing their service or threaten to, it can be hugely impactful.
The other thing is both Amazon and Saleforce , it’s about pointing out how all these companies are implicated and complicate in what ICE is doing, and highlighting that so that they can cut their contract and thus make more it difficult for ice and border patrol to do what they do.
Thank you for listening, from Baruch College to the world this is Freeni Aragones.