Capitalism is the enemy, not immigrants

by Ruth Vela

In the United States, immigration has become increasingly criminalized. It is not surprising. People tend to look for scapegoats as they become more insecure about their own economic livelihood and remain badly informed. The government takes advantage of the fears of the public and warns against dangers such as damage to the economy, increases in crime, abuse of public aid programs, the spreading of diseases, drug trafficking, and gang and/or terrorist activity. Then with the use of the media, they paint a racist, distorted picture of immigrants coming from poor countries with the goal of stealing jobs, and taking advantage of public services and higher wage levels.

Contrary to what the U.S. government would like the public to believe, most immigrants add more to the U.S. economy than they take out. In fact the average immigrant contributes $1,800 more in taxes annually than he or she receives in benefits and services provided by the U.S. government. But U.S. policymakers hide this information and take advantage of the fears of the public, by attempting to pass racist bills such as HR 4437.

This particular bill would permit the government to prosecute almost anyone who has regular contact with an undocumented person by broadening the definition of “alien smuggling” to include family members, employers, and immigrant advocates. This bill only serves to increase the super-exploitation of undocumented immigrants by driving them further underground.

However, the restriction of immigration to this country cannot really meet any of its alleged objectives. Most people do not want to leave their homes and migrate, but feel they have no other options because of the economic repression caused in their countries by the profit-hungry greed of foreign corporations. In the end, it is the international economic policies promoted by capitalism that inevitably lead to increased immigration, that imposes crim inal penalties on workers in order to decrease wages by taking advantage of undocumented workers who cannot risk demanding higher wages or protesting abusive or illegal working conditions.

The only solution to the continued abuses of workers is working-class unity! For it is not just the same suffering along with the same needs such as food, water, housing, education, and medical care that we share. We also have a common enemy: Capitalism! But we must remember “The people united will never be defeated!” For this is more than just a chant, more than just a fuzzy sentiment of unity. It is a battle cry meant to remind us that we must fight as one mighty fist for the rights of all workers and oppressed peoples, in order to be victorious against imperialism once and for all.

The writer is an organizer of the FIST-Fight Imperialism, Stand Together-youth group in San Diego.


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