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The Internationalist
January 2019

DSA Members of Congress Vote to Fund “Homeland Security” Cops

This is what DSA members of Congres voted to fund: DHS cops together with III Percenter militia member arrest anti-fascist protester after fascist thug (in background) attacked him, Portland, Oregon, 4 June 2017.
(Photo: Bryan M. Vance / Oregon Public Broadcasting / AFP)

JANUARY 10 – Together with the rest of the Democratic Party caucus, the two Democratic Socialists of America members in the House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, voted last Thursday, January 3, to maintain the funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which, of course, includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) police and the Border Patrol. How much teargas, how many ice-cold detention cells, how much anti-immigrant brutality and imperialist depradation will it pay for? Their votes, with those of the rest of the “progressive” Democrats, can be seen in the official government listing here.

The DSA as an organization, as a whole and in all of its constituent parts, is responsible for the actions of its representatives in Congress, whose election its National Political Committee called the “rebirth of the American socialist movement” (sic). Only a few months ago, they were calling to “abolish I.C.E.” (see our article “Smash the I.C.E. Gestapo with Workers Revolution!The Internationalist No. 53, September-October 2018). Now, as the capitalist Democratic Party politicians that they are, DSAers in Congress vote to fund the hated immigration cops (la migra) as well the DHS police (the Federal Protection Service) who with their heavy firepower are the front-line defenders of fascists, from Portland, Oregon to Washington, D.C.

Democratic Party politicians Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (of the Democratic Socialists of America) hug during swearing-in of members of Congress, January 3. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

The reformist left has met this vote for the DHS and I.C.E. with thunderous silence (while endlessly “debating” idiot rightists over a dance video by Ocasio-Cortez from 2010). In fact, almost all groups calling themselves socialist joined in to help associate the DSA Democrats with “socialism,” which can only discredit the word and vitiate its meaning. As we detailed in our article, “Midterm Elections:
No Win for Working People
” (The Internationalist No. 54, November-December 2018), these social democrats celebrated the ascension of DSAers to political stardom and high office, hoping to get a share of their present popularity.

Will the opportunists now admit to sharing political responsibility for what these new Members of Congress did on their very first day in office? No. Unlike historical figures they sometimes claim to admire (whether they be Marx, Lenin, Luxemburg, Debs, Trotsky...), such “leftists” disdain the mere idea of a class line or political principle. So yet again they will slough off any notion that they share responsibility for the actions of those they have helped promote and lionize. It is an old story (what they said and did regarding Syriza is just one example from the relatively recent past). New members are quickly taught to deride such things as the stuff of “sectarian polemics.”

Thousands of immigrant children are held in freezing cold I.C.E. dungeons with nothing but aluminum foil "blankets" to sleep under, as in this photo of a DHS detention center under the Democratic Obama administration.  

Yet the issues involved are as real as teargas shot over the the border and the freezing-cold cells in countless DHS detention centers.

Another vivid object lesson in what “social-imperialism” (socialism in words, imperialism in deeds) looks like.  ■