The following statement was issued August 30 by Róger Calero and Maura DeLuca, Socialist Workers Party candidates for U.S. Senate and governor of New York, respectively.
Amnesty now! Unconditional, immediate residency for all undocumented immigrants! End the immigration sweeps and deportations!
We urge participation in the Labor Day and other mobilizations for the legalization of immigrantsespecially the September 7 march in Washingtonto advance these demands, which the labor movement and all working people need to champion.
Elvira Arellano gets support|
to fight deportation
Elvira Arellano, a former airplane cleaner at OHare airport, was arrested in a 2002 immigration raid. She is pictured August 20 at Chicagos Adalberto United Methodist Church, where she recently took sanctuary after defying deportation order. Click to see article.
The latest immigrant rights demonstrations build on the unprecedented mass mobilizations in the spring, when millions said, We are workers, not criminals! The May 1 actions involved 2 million workers, in what became the first nationwide general political strike in the United States. This working-class movement is setting an example for all workers: an example of solidarity, organization, and struggle. It is having an impact on many U.S.-born working people seeking a way
forward. Elvira Arellano, a former airplane cleaner in Chicago waging a public fight against deportation, is not a unique case. She exemplifies the many immigrant workers who have gained self-confidence, are taking a militant stand in face of government and employer attacks, and are winning broad support.
These developments confirm that the historic influx of immigration in recent decades has irreversibly strengthened the U.S. working class. Workers and farmers are driven to immigrate by grinding economic conditions in countries dominated by imperialism. But immigrants are not suffering victims. They are fellow workers who bring their class-struggle experiences, help broaden the horizons of their co-workers, and themselves shed prejudices about U.S.-born workers.
The battle for the legalization of all immigrants is crucial for the labor movement. Working people as a whole face an increasingly brutal employer offensive against their wages, job conditions, and rights. Key to this offensive is the effort to maintain a superexploited section of the working class with diminished rights, to divide workers and drive down the wages of all.
The use of undocumented labor today is an integral part of U.S. industry and agriculture. The migra police raids, deportations, and legal restrictions against the undocumented are designed not to expel most immigrants but rather to keep them as superexploited pariahs to fatten the profits of the already wealthy capitalists.
All current immigration reform bills should be opposed. Both the House and Senate measures would beef up the immigration police. All variants of the Senate bill would impose heavy restrictions, including workers dependence on bosses for gaining legal status. Instead, the workers movement should take an unambiguous stand: immediate amnesty and residency with no conditions!
Some Democratic Party friend of immigrant politicians warn against using militant methods that might cause a backlash. They insist, Dont be unrealistic. Go lobby the senators. Settle for whats possible to get from Congress now. And elect us in November. Such advice is detrimental. Supporting capitalist politicians or subordinating the struggle to who gets elected is a sure recipe for failure. The only effective course, the only effective lobbying working people can do, is through mass mobilizations and uncompromising struggles like that by Arellano.
Capitalism, as its economic crisis worsens, is breeding sharper class polarization, including ultrarightist groups like the Minutemen and the Confederate flag-wavers who recently confronted immigrant workers and their supporters in Riverside, New Jersey. Such anti-working-class outfits must be taken on and defeated. This cant be done by relying on cops or capitalist politicians, nor on small, isolated confrontations. They can be defeated only by workers organizing countermobilizations and other large, public, and disciplined actions with unwavering demands.
Contingents from 17 states expected at Sept. 7 D.C. rally
Anti-immigrant ordinance defeated in Palm Bay, Florida
In tour of Boston, leader of struggle for immigrant rights campaigns for legalization
Chicago: Arellano wins support against deportation wins support
La migra arrests 326 immigrants in Houston raids