The following statement by Lea Sherman, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New Jersey General Assembly, was released July 17.
The New York Times July 13 ran an editorial — “All Presidents Are Deporters in Chief” — admitting what the Socialist Workers Party and the Militant newspaper have pointed out for decades: government attacks on undocumented immigrants are a bipartisan policy.
The SWP demands amnesty for the 11 million workers without papers in the U.S. This is the only road to unite the working class, organize and build the labor movement, and fight for the interests of all those who are exploited and oppressed.
Bill Clinton deported more immigrants than any president in U.S. history — 1.8 million during his last year in office. Barack Obama deported hundreds of thousands under the harsher form of deportation known as “removal,” which makes returning to the U.S. a felony. Donald Trump continues more of the same, while stepping up demagogic rhetoric scapegoating immigrants.
U.S. capitalists depend on undocumented workers to push down wages, to boost their profits, to compete against their rivals around the world. They want immigrants, but they want them to fear deportation. They hope that will keep them from joining unions, from demanding higher wages and better work conditions.
Working people need a road forward to unite to meet the effects of today’s crisis of capitalism placed on our backs. We need to reject the two-party shell game of the rulers’ Democrats and Republicans. The wealthy rulers press us to be “realistic” and back the “lesser evil.” But all this means is we’re condemned to continuing capitalist oppression.
It doesn’t matter which capitalist politician is in the White House. What matters is what we do to organize and fight in our own interests, including building an independent working-class political party to fight to take power into our own hands.
This is not an “immigrant question” — it’s a life and death question for the unions. Fighting for amnesty for undocumented immigrants is key to fighting together for better wages and working conditions for all. We can’t let the bosses divide us!
Our fellow workers and farmers in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and elsewhere in the region face the same crisis and challenges we do — building a working-class leadership capable of fighting to overthrow imperialist exploitation and capitalist rule. Workers in the U.S. can extend the hand of internationalist solidarity.
The revolution made by Cuban workers and farmers in 1959, led by Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement, a revolution that lives today, stands as an example for all to emulate.
To strengthen the fight of working people from Latin America to North America we say — Cancel the Third World debt! Organize the unorganized! Amnesty for immigrants now!