Breaking the Chains: A Socialist Perspective on Women’s Liberation is a publication of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. 

The past few weeks, we have witnessed the Trump administration’s most vicious attack against immigrants. The inhumane separation and detention of families, caging of children, and the failure of the government to reunite them all has rightly outraged masses of people across the country. As socialists and feminists, we add our voices to this outrage. In “Breaking the Chains,” we have shared the stories of women battling against racism, navigating all the hurdles of being an immigrant, and organizing for a new society.

The oppression of women and immigrants is rooted in the bankrupt capitalist system. This system fools the struggling U.S. citizen worker to envy and hate the easily abused migrant worker instead of the boss that exploits them both. The country you were born in and racist policies determine human worth and basic rights. Under capitalism, the dirty and violent tactics of imperialism are the natural way to do business and direct foreign policy. When the consequences of imperialist intervention and war arrive at the border, capitalism profits from the mass detention of asylum seekers and the resources stolen from their destabilized home countries.

When we voice the demand to “keep families together,” it can’t just mean jail them together. To stop there, would be to continue normalizing the abuse and criminalization of immigrants, rather than confront the system that victimizes them. Similarly, the calls to “abolish ICE” must mean the full abolition of the detention and deportation machine that terrorizes our communities. Reconstituting ICE under a different name with some reforms would be a non-achievement in the struggle for liberation.

So what is our alternative? We sharpen our demands and draw a clear vision of justice for immigrants and refugees, and the entire working class.

The thousands of people who have poured out into the streets to march against these separations are inspiring. So is the dedication of those who have put their bodies on the line to occupy ICE buildings. To let this latest surge of the immigrant rights movement be co-opted back into the Democratic Party, into the same system responsible for this mess, would be a missed opportunity. This is an opportunity to see more clearly the true nature of the system that puts kids in cages without hesitation. This is a system that destabilizes and exploits other countries, disregarding displaced people, all for the profits of a few corporations and owners.

The key is to organize.  We must fight capitalist imperialism that militarily and economically cripples other nations, dismantle all the agencies that play a role in criminalizing workers and their families for trying to escape the disasters the U.S. created, and overturn the system at the root of all this.

We fight for socialism, where the policies of invasion and plunder are replaced with peace and collaboration. Instead of spending billions of dollars on warfare, militarizing the border and caging families, the enormous wealth this country has should be used to guarantee the basic needs of a home, healthcare, food, and an education to every person, regardless of if they were born here or arrived across the border an hour ago. We fight to make our demands real. No more detentions, no more deportations, no war, and full rights for immigrants!