Month: October, 2015
Response to: Rand Paul makes more sense than the Democrats’ left champion
worker | October 31, 2015 | 9:58 pm | Analysis, Benghazi, Bernie Sanders, Economy, Immigrants' Rights, political struggle, Russia | Comments closed


By James Thompson


Glen Ford makes some excellent points in his article “Rand Paul makes more sense than the Democrats’ left champion.” It is true that Hillary Clinton’s conduct as Secretary of State is indefensible. She presided, along with Pres. Obama and the vile right wing demagogues in the Republican Party, over the destruction of a sovereign nation, Libya, and the assassination of its head of state, Moammar Gadhafi.


Some people, including the reprehensible Donald Trump, have argued correctly that Libya would be better off with Gadhafi in power rather than the chaos which is Libya today.


Although Bernie Sanders has a long history of opposing aggressive, imperialist US wars of intervention and occupation, Mr. Ford slams him for pledging to support the Democratic Party even if he does not achieve the nomination for president. Would Mr. Ford prefer for Sen. Sanders to support the Republican Party nominee? If so, which Republican nominee does Mr. Ford favor? Or perhaps Mr. Ford would prefer for Sen. Sanders to pledge his support to the Green party nominee. However, from the article it appears that even though Mr. Ford does not endorse Rand Paul for president, it appears possible he might prefer Sen. Sanders to pledge his support to Sen. Paul. Let’s examine these possibilities.


Although the world outside of the United States of Anarchy recognizes clearly that Donald Trump is an opportunistic demagogue, he is one of the front runners in the Republican Party race for the presidential nomination. On some foreign policy issues, his positions are pretty sound. He has said that he opposes the US involvement in the Middle East and calls for the US to be hands-off Russia and not to interfere with Russia’s attempt to stamp out the evil ISIL and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East. At the same time, Mr. Trump is virulently anti-immigrant and has proposed ridiculous schemes to build walls around the United States to keep immigrants out. Anyone with any memory left recalls that his abominable TV show made him famous for two words “you’re fired!”


Does Mr. Ford want Sen. Sanders to support this demagogue who is anti-worker and anti-immigrant and dances to the tunes that Adolf Hitler used to whistle?


Mr. Trump’s main rival is Ben Carson, an African-American neurosurgeon. Dr. Carson is a reprehensible racist who routinely attacks Islam. Does Mr. Ford think that Dr. Carson should be endorsed by Sen. Sanders? Does Mr. Ford think that Dr. Carson could bring peace to the Middle East?


Of course, the rest of the runner-up’s for the Republican nomination are all barbaric right-wingers who advocate war and hatred. Perhaps one of these cretins strike Mr. Ford’s fancy.


Perhaps Mr. Ford thinks that Sen. Sanders should endorse the Green party nominee, Dr. Jill Stein, for president if Mr. Sanders doesn’t get the Democratic Party nomination. Although she is a principled candidate, the Green party has ballot access in less than 50% of the states and therefore cannot win the 2016 presidential election under any circumstances. In my humble opinion, Karl Marx would make a very principled presidential candidate. However, unfortunately he cannot be elected since he is dead.


Now we must consider Mr. Ford’s favorite, Dr. Rand Paul. Dr. Paul, like Mr. Trump, has some laudable foreign policy positions. Although Mr. Ford speaks of former Secretary of State Clinton’s evil, he fails to tell the whole story of Dr. Paul. Dr. Rand Paul, like his father, Dr. Ron Paul, are both darlings of the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party is an organization of right-wing anarchists. Although they oppose US involvement in foreign wars, which is admirable, they have a few skeletons in their closet. They oppose the federal government in all its forms. That means that they are opposed to public education, healthcare, housing and any federal programs that might drain a few dollars from the oceans of money compiled by the bourgeoisie. They are opposed to any regulation of the excesses of corporations. Indeed, some sources indicate they are closet supporters of slavery. Does this mean that Mr. Ford thinks that an individual who is a closet supporter of slavery is better than Sen. Sanders whose campaign has championed the economic interests of the 99%?


Although the US political situation may be viewed as chaotic and anarchic at best, Mr. Ford’s commentary is not helpful to the interests of the working class and only serves to obfuscate the issues central to the class struggle.

Paul vs the Democrats
worker | October 31, 2015 | 8:57 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | Comments closed

Rand Paul Makes More Sense than the Democrats’ Left Champion

Black Agenda Report

June 3, 2015

Having pledged in advance to support Hillary, de facto Democrat Sanders cannot risk running a campaign that might reveal the sheer awesomeness of her evil.

The whole world knows that the United States and its closest allies created the ISIS-al Qaida juggernaut in Syria, Iraq, Libya and proliferating points elsewhere in the Muslim world. Russian President Vladimir Putin knows it, and has now begun to denounce the crime against civilization on the world stage.

Rand Paul knows it, and has made the fact central to his campaign for the U.S. presidency. Every world leader, whether a vassal of the Washington or part of the resistance to U.S. imperialism, is fully aware that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan gave birth to the international jihadist network in the mountains of Afghanistan, and have nurtured, financed, trained and armed the monster ever since.

The trajectory of the Wahhabist horror show was both planned and predictable. Back in 2012, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency said bluntly that “Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey” wanted an “Islamic state” to arise in eastern Syria, and foresaw that al Qaida would soon “return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi” in Iraq – all of which, and much more, has come to pass.

Muammar Gaddafi prophesized correctly that NATO’s transformation into a jihadist air force would turn Libya into “another Somalia” – a vortex of Salafist chaos that would destabilize the entire region. “We came, we saw, he died,” cackled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who yearns to bring the same ghoulish statecraft to the Oval Office in 2017. Does any decent person actually consider this banshee a “lesser evil”?

Bernie Sanders does. The Vermont senator promises to endorse Clinton as soon as he drops out of the presidential race – thus nullifying whatever “message” he plans to deliver during the Democratic primary process. But of course, having pledged in advance to support Hillary, de facto Democrat Sanders cannot risk running a campaign that might reveal the sheer awesomeness of her evil. Therefore, there will be no Democratic Party discussion of U.S. and allied sponsorship of the Islamic State and al Qaida, in the same way that serious criticism of Israel is off-limits for Sanders and all national Democrats.

“Sanders will not acknowledge that U.S. governments of both parties deploy jihadists as foot soldiers for U.S. imperialism.” The Party is a trap. Not that its strictures, alone, force Sanders to bite his tongue. He actually has nothing much to say about U.S. and allied sponsorship of jihadists. Instead, he buys into the lie that the Obama administration is eager to fight the Islamists – at least the Islamic State component – and puts his foot down at giving the president sweeping powers to do so. But, he will not acknowledge that U.S. governments of both parties deploy jihadists as foot soldiers for U.S. imperialism.

Rand Paul does. Just last week, the Tennessee Republican senator told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately. And most of those arms were snatched up by ISIS. These hawks also wanted to bomb [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad], which would have made ISIS’s job even easier.

“They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved — they loved [former Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

Democrats will not get the equivalent analysis from Sanders, or even from Dennis Kucinich, should he decide to re-enter the fray as a Democrat.

Paul speaks from a political space in the Republican Party that is deeply opposed to “internationalism,” which it equates with foreigners, people of color, socialists, and other folks that are anathema to “good white Americans.” Paul’s anti-interventionism strikes a chord with rightwing whites that oppose entanglements with people who don’t share their “values.” Their revulsion to the U.S. becoming polluted by foreign entanglements – a race-based reaction – moves them to oppose foreign wars.

“Paul’s anti-interventionism strikes a chord with right-wing whites that oppose entanglements with people who don’t share their ‘values.'” Sen. Paul has been consistent in indicting the United States for the scourge of the Islamic State. Last June he told CNN:

“We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda, fighting alongside ISIS. ISIS is now emboldened and in two countries. But here’s the anomaly. We’re with ISIS in Syria. We’re on the same side of the war. So, those who want to get involved to stop ISIS in Iraq are allied with ISIS in Syria. That is real contradiction to this whole policy.”

Bernie Sanders, representing largely rural, whiter-than-white Vermont, also makes a kind of “American values” appeal. In an appearance on CNN, in September of last year, he said:

“I’m sitting here wondering where Saudi Arabia is, where Kuwait is, where Qatar is. I’ll be damned if kids in the state of Vermont – or taxpayers in the state of Vermont – have to defend the royal Saudi family, which is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.”

Sanders frames the conflict as Saudi Arabia’s war, absolving the United States, the Saudi’s senior partner in promoting jihadist war for generations. Besides, says Sanders, the war costs Americans too much money, which could be better spent on creating jobs at home. “While we focus all of our attention on ISIS, the middle class in this country continues to collapse,” Sanders said.

Rand Paul’s position is far closer to Russian President Putin’s. Speaking to a meeting of the BRICS nations, Putin declared:

“We know what is going on in the Middle East and North Africa now. We see problems caused by a terrorist organization, which calls itself ‘The Islamic State.’ However, there was no terrorism in those states before the unacceptable interference from the outside took place without an approval of the UN Security Council. It is obvious that the consequences are tough. Everything that has happened in the international arena over the last couple of years needs to be re-adjusted.”

In the language of diplomacy – in which Putin is well versed, unlike the crude, cackling Hillary – these are very harsh words, reserved for times of crisis. Putin urged fellow BRICS leaders to take collective steps for their own security against the lawlessness that the U.S. and its allies have created.

The United States is embarked on a war against world order and civilization, itself, in which Salafist death cults are its frontline storm troopers. The fact that U.S. imperialism is now dependent on jihadists who must inevitably turn on their royal and western backers, is among the best evidence that the empire has arrived at a fatal stage.

The Democratic Party is no place or vehicle to engage such issues of planetary life and death. When a libertarian Republican is saner on international affairs than the Democratic Party’s “left” champion, it’s time to lower the curtain on that show.

P.S. Anyone that thinks this piece was an endorsement of Rand Paul or the Republicans – should not be reading BAR.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford

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Elizabeth Warren takes on Rand Paul
worker | October 31, 2015 | 8:40 pm | Health Care, political struggle | Comments closed

Wed Feb 11, 2015 at 08:00 AM PST

Elizabeth Warren takes on Rand Paul’s ‘profound mental disorders’

byLaura Clawson

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen (not pictured) during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing on Yellen's nomination to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, on Capitol Hill in Washingt

attribution: REUTERS

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not having any of your anti-vaxxer nonsense, or any of Sen. Rand Paul’s anti-vaxxer nonsense either. At a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on vaccinations, Warren had some questions for the director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC:

“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism?”“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause ‘profound mental disorders’?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines have contributed to the rise in allergies or auto-immune disorders among kids?”

“Are there additives or preservatives in vaccines that can be toxic to kids?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that giving kids their vaccines further apart or spacing them differently is healthier for kids?”

“Is there any scientific evidence that kids can develop immunity to these diseases on their own, simply by eating nutritious foods or being active?”

(Answer key: No, no, no, no, no, and no.)Important questions, but one stood out: “Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause ‘profound mental disorders’?”

Rand Paul last week: “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”

Game, set, and match go to the Massachusetts Democrat refusing to be drafted for president over the Kentucky Republican trying to rig the system to run for president without losing his Senate seat.

The People Stand With Bernie Sanders And Crush Billionaire Trump By Surpassing 750,000 Donors
worker | October 31, 2015 | 3:42 pm | Bernie Sanders, political struggle | Comments closed
Jason Easley
October 30th, 2015
Source: PoliticusUSA
Donald Trump has gotten a great deal of mainstream media attention for the number of donations to his campaign, but Bernie Sanders announced that he has surpassed 750,000 donors, which means that he is at minimum more than ten times bigger than Trump.
Jennifer Epstein of Bloomberg tweeted the announcement from Sen. Sanders (I-VT) that his campaign has surpassed 750,000 donors:
Here is what the Sanders campaign reported at the end of September:
The campaign closed the books at the end of the Sept. 30 reporting period with almost $27.1 million in the bank after spending about $11.3 million, according to a report filed on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.Since his White House bid was launched last April 30, Sanders has banked a total of about $41.4 million, according to the report.
Only 270 of Sanders’ 650,000 donors gave the maximum $2,700 allowed.
To put the staggering numbers of Sen. Sanders into context, Donald Trump has taken in 73,942 contributions. Bernie Sanders has 750,000 donors.
Bernie Sanders has gained 100,000 new donors in a month. His growth is all the more impressive because Hillary Clinton has been on a roll over the last few weeks. The Clinton campaign has taken back the momentum in the Democratic primary race and now leads in three of the first four contests. Clinton also leads nationally among Democrats.
What is happening in the Democratic primary is that the two candidates are running different tracks. Hillary Clinton is running a traditional Democratic primary campaign with one eye looking towards November of 2016.
Bernie Sanders is running a grassroots outsider campaign that is focused on building a national movement that will change American politics. Sen. Sanders wants and is trying to win the Democratic nomination, but also has the bigger goal of returning ownership of the American political process back to the people.
Sen. Sanders is building a movement that will go on even if he doesn’t win the Democratic nomination. The Sanders movement will return to the Senate with him, and the battle against the corporate and billionaires interests will continue.
The Sanders message is resonating to the point where three-quarters of a million Americans have opened their wallets and said enough is enough. Bernie Sanders is steadily building a movement that could change America.
US on road to third world
worker | October 31, 2015 | 3:35 pm | Action, Analysis, Economy, political struggle, USSR | Comments closed

People walk past a homeless man asking for money on 14th Street, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in New York

US On Road To Third World

© AP Photo/ Mary Altaffer
Paul Craig Roberts

In 2004 Senator Charles Schumer and I predicted that the consequence of jobs offshoring would be that the US would become a Third World country in 20 years and the US is well on course to meeting the forecast.

On January 6, 2004, Senator Charles Schumer and I challenged the erroneous idea that jobs offshoring was free trade in a New York Times op-ed. Our article so astounded economists that within a few days Schumer and I were summoned to a Brookings Institution conference in Washington, DC, to explain our heresy. In the nationally televised conference, I declared that the consequence of jobs offshoring would be that the US would be a Third World country in 20 years.

That was 11 years ago, and the US is on course to descend to Third World status before the remaining 9 years of my prediction have expired.

The evidence is everywhere.  In September the US Bureau of the Census released its report on US household income by quintile. Every quintile, as well as the top 5%, has experienced a decline in real household income since their peaks.  The bottom quintile (lower 20 percent) has had a 17.1% decline in real income from the 1999 peak (from $14,092 to $11,676).  The 4th quintine has had a 10.8% fall in real income since 2000 (from $34,863 to $31,087). The middle quintile has had a 6.9% decline in real income since 2000 (from $58,058 to $54,041). The 2nd quintile has had a 2.8% fall in real income since 2007 (from $90,331 to $87,834). The top quintile has had a decline in real income since 2006 of 1.7% (from $197,466 to $194,053).  The top 5% has experienced a 4.8% reduction in real income since 2006 (from $349,215 to $332,347).

Only the top One Percent or less (mainly the 0.1%) has experienced growth in income and wealth.

The Census Bureau uses official measures of inflation to arrive at real income. These measures are understated. If more accurate measures of inflation are used (such as those available from, the declines in real household income are larger and have been decling for a longer period. Some measures show real median annual household income below levels of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Note that these declines have occurred during an alleged six-year economic recovery from 2009 to the current time, and during a period when the labor force was shrinking due to a sustained decline in the labor force participation rate. On April 3, 2015 the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 93,175,000 Americans of working age are not in the work force, a historical record.  Normally, an economic recovery is marked by a rise in the labor force participation rate.  John Williams reports that when discouraged workers are included among the measure of the unemployed, the US unemployment rate is currently 23%, not the 5.2% reported figure.

In a recently released report, the Social Security Administration provides annual income data on an individual basis.  Are you ready for this?

In 2014 38% of all American workers made less than $20,000;  51% made less than $30,000; 63% made less than $40,000;  and 72% made less than $50,000.

The scarcity of jobs and the low pay are direct consequences of jobs offshoring.  Under pressure from “shareholder advocates” (Wall Street) and large retailers, US manufacturing companies moved their manufacturing abroad to countries where the rock bottom price of labor results in a rise in corporate profits, executive “performance bonuses,” and stock prices.

The departure of well-paid US manaufacturing jobs was soon followed by the departure of software engineering, IT, and other professional service jobs.

Incompetent economic studies by careless economists, such as Michael Porter at Harvard and Matthew Slaughter at Dartmouth, concluded that the gift of vast numbers of US high productivity, high value-added jobs to foreign countries was a great benefit to the US economy.In articles and books I challenged this absurd conclusion, and all of the economic evidence proves that I am correct.  The promised better jobs that the “New Economy” would create to replace the jobs gifted to foreigners have never appeared.  Instead, the economy creates lowly-paid part-time jobs, such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks, and ambulatory health care services, while full-time jobs with benefits continue to shrink as a percentage of total jobs.

These part-time jobs do not provide enough income to form a household.  Consequently, as a Federal Reserve study reports, “Nationally, nearly half of 25-year-olds lived with their parents in 2012-2013, up from just over 25% in 1999.”

When half of 25-year olds cannot form households, the market for houses and home furnishings collapses.

Finance is the only sector of the US economy that is growing.  The financial industry’s share of GDP has risen from less than 4% in 1960 to about 8% today.  As Michael Hudson has shown, finance is not a productive activity.  It is a looting activity (Killing The Host).

Moreover, extraordinary financial concentration and reckless risk and debt leverage have made the financial sector a grave threat to the economy.

The absence of growth in real consumer income means that there is no growth in aggregate demand to drive the economy.  Consumer indebtedness limits the ability of consumers to expand their spending with credit.  These spending limits on consumers mean that new investment has limited appeal to businesses.

The economy simply cannot go anywhere, except down as businesses continue to lower their costs by substituting part-time jobs for full-time jobs and by substituting foreign for domestic workers. Government at every level is over-indebted, and quantitative easing has over-supplied the US currency.

This is not the end of the story. When manufacturing jobs depart, research, development, design, and innovation follow.  An economy that doesn’t make things does not innovate. The entire economy is lost, not merely the supply chains.

The economic and social infrastructure is collapsing, including the family itself, the rule of law, and the accountability of government.

When college graduates can’t find employment because their jobs have been offshored or given to foreigners on work visas, the demand for college education declines.  To become indebted only to find employment that cannot service student loans becomes a bad economic decision.

We already have the situation where college and university administrations spend 75% of the university’s budget on themselves, hiring adjuncts to teach the classes for a few thousand dollars.  The demand for full time faculty with a career before them has collapsed.  When the consequences of putting short-term corporate profits before jobs for Americans fully hit, the demand for university education will collapse and with it American science and technology.The collapse of the Soviet Union was the worst thing that ever happened to the United States. The two main consequences of the Soviet collapse have been devastating.  One consequence was the rise of the neoconservative hubris of US world hegemony, which has resulted in 14 years of wars that have cost $6 trillion.  The other consequence was a change of mind in socialist India and communist China, large countries that responded to “the end of history” by opening their vast under-utilized labor forces to Western capital, which resulted in the American economic decline that this article describes, leaving a struggling economy to bear the enormous war debt.

No way like the American way

It is a reasonable conclusion that a social-political-economic system so incompetently run already is a Third World country.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Read more:

Bernie sees red!
worker | October 30, 2015 | 10:16 pm | Bernie Sanders, political struggle, USSR | Comments closed

Bernie Sanders sees red after criticism about ‘honeymoon’ in Soviet Union
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane O'Meara Sanders. © Lucy Nicholson
While a honeymoon in Vegas wouldn’t raise any eyebrows on the campaign trail, a newlywed trip to the USSR might get you branded a communist, as Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is learning the hard way.

Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, is accusing Republican candidate Lindsey Graham of red-baiting with a “nonsense” accusation of communism. That’s because Graham, a senator from North Carolina who is currently polling at 1 percent, mocked Sanders for being a self-identified socialist during the CNBC undercard Republican presidential debate on Wednesday evening.

“I’m tired of losing. Good God, look who we’re running against. The number two guy [running for the Democratic nomination] went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon, and I don’t think he ever came back,” Graham said before the audience exploded into applause.

Graham was referring to a 1988 trip that Sanders, then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, took to Yaroslavl in what was then the Soviet Union shortly after he married his wife Jane.

In a taped interview with the mayor of Yaroslavl, Sanders acknowledges that health care and housing appear to be “significantly better” in the US than in the socialist Soviet Union, according to National Review. “However,” he added, “the cost of both services is much, much higher in the United States.”

He later wrote in his 1997 book Outsider in the House that he went there as part of a 12-person delegation from Burlington to establish good relations with Yaroslavl.

“Burlington had a foreign policy, because, as progressives, we understood that we all live in one world,” he wrote.

The timing of the trip was unusual: Sanders and his wife only got married the day before the delegation left.

“Trust me, it was a very strange honeymoon,” he wrote in his book.

Bernie and Jane Sanders on the campaign trail in Burlington, Vermont © Brian Snyder

Sanders now contends, however, that Graham was just taking an easy shot at him, and that it wasn’t a honeymoon at all.

“I think that’s a little silly [and] absurd,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts.

“Do you think that Sen. Graham is trying to imply that you are some type of communist sympathizer?” Roberts asked him.

“Yes, that’s exactly what he’s trying to do,” Sanders replied. “The fact is that I went to establish a sister city program with Yaroslavl, then in the Soviet Union, now an important city in Russia, which is still in existence today.”

“Did it take place after my marriage? It did,” he added.

While Graham was questioned about his relatively liberal-leaning policy positions on immigration reform and climate change, he is known for being one of the most hawkish candidates in in the presidential race. He is struggling to find a way to appeal to voters, polling ahead of only Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki.

Sanders, on the other hand, has seen an explosion of grassroots support, putting him behind only the more mainstream candidate Hillary Clinton.

‘They treat us like dogs!’
worker | October 30, 2015 | 10:09 pm | Immigrants' Rights, political struggle | Comments closed

They treat us like dogs’: 27 women detained in Texas immigration center begin hunger strike
© Jorge Cabrera
Nearly 30 women at an immigration detention facility in Texas have begun a hunger strike. In their letters, made public by a civil rights group, they highlight “grave injustices,” detentions of up to 18 months, inedible food, and “little or no security.”

“There are grave injustices being committed, detentions spanning eight months, 10 months, a year, a year and a half, so in the end we are being told we have no rights and will be deported, with offensive words and gestures that make us feel worthless,” Magdrola, from Guatemala, wrote in her letter, published by Grassroots Leadership along with 16 letters from other detainees.

According to the rights group, at least 27 women are hunger striking at the T Don Hutto residential center in Taylor, near Austin, asking for immediate release.

“It gives me great pleasure to participate in this hunger strike. I can’t take any more of this punishment. I’m dying of desperation, from this injustice, from this cruelty,” Insis from Honduras wrote. “They treat us like dogs… When I feel bad, they say I’m lying…”

Some of the detainees say they will be in great danger if they are deported to Central America.


“I am a woman fleeing a country where women are given few rights, all of which are violated, and land in this place where the people of immigration condemn us to a process with little or no security, since this process will ultimately end with our deportation. With no objection to a lack of defense, condemning us to an assured death upon being deported back to our countries, then where are our rights?” one of the women wrote.

Thousands of women, some with children, flee their homes in Central America and Mexico each year to escape armed gangs and domestic violence. Nearly two-thirds say threats and attacks by armed criminal gangs, including rape, killings, forced recruitment of their children and extortion payments, were among the main reasons they left their home countries.
Over 66,000 children traveled with their families or alone from the Northern Triangle region of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala – which has the world’s highest murder rates – to the US in 2014 alone, the UNHCR said in a report published on Wednesday.

The UN Agency said it had recorded a nearly five-fold increase in asylum seekers arriving in the US from the Northern Triangle since 2008.

READ MORE: ‘Dehydrated & scared’: Illegal migrants rescued from sweltering truck in Texas (VIDEO)

Inadequate legal representation appears to be the most common concern.

“While fighting the case they leave us in here only to tell that it has been denied in the end, and after making us wait for a long time they send us back. The food they give us here is very bad, and gives us stomach problems. Please, enhance our rights,” Patricia, from El Salvador, wrote.

Elda, a Guatemalan, says she has been detained since last December and that she will be deported. Her case was eventually denied even though her two daughters were born in the US.

“They are so sad, they need me,” she wrote.

A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said in a statement, cited by the Guardian, that the agency is not aware of any strike: “ICE takes the health, safety, and welfare of those in our care very seriously and we continue to monitor the situation. Currently, no one at the T Don Hutto Detention Center was identified as being on a hunger strike or refusing to eat.”
In mid-October, over 50 South Asian detainees from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, kept at the El Paso facility in Texas, also went on hunger strike that lasted 7 days. They demanded an end to deportations and an investigation into allegations of mistreatment and medical neglect.