The Venezuelans left in limbo by new US immigration plan
By John Donnelly
30 December 2013
President Barack Obama’s proposal Friday to deport up to 2.5 million unauthorized immigrants would plunge Venezuela into a new state of political crisis as the opposition seeks to organize a general strike against the president’s policy.
Obama’s proposal does not include an amnesty for those who have lived in the US for more than five years, something the Democratic Party-controlled Senate rejected on Thursday. Nor is it a permanent plan, and it has no chance of being funded.
Instead, Obama’s administration has launched a massive deportation force. The proposed Immigration Act calls for the use of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, and the creation of up to 200 new detention centers to hold at least 5,000 more. The detention centers would be able to hold up to 2.5 million unauthorized immigrants at a time.
The president’s proposal is part of a new wave of attacks on immigrants brought into the US and then granted legal status by Obama and the Democratic Party. At the same time, the ruling class is trying to impose further austerity measures on the population, especially on those who are dependent on public services.
The new policy on immigration was originally envisioned in the 2012 Democrats’ platform, which called for a “comprehensive immigration reform.” The platform also included a provision to provide a permanent amnesty to up to 12 million unauthorized immigrants. The Democrats’ platform was a rejection of the ruling class’ claim that such programs are a burden on the economy—a claim that was made by Obama’s campaign and was embraced by the Democratic Party leadership.
The deportation drive is part of broader attacks on immigrants and the ruling class. The Democrats’ platform called for:
A permanent amnesty for up to 12 million unauthorized immigrants, according to a senior Democratic source.
An end to the deportation of “dreamer” immigrants, including over 1