The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 70/No. 18           May 8, 2006  
Stop immigration raids, deportations
The labor movement should loudly protest the recent immigration raids at IFCO plants, and demand an end to cop roundups and deportations of immigrant workers.

Working people should also speak out against Sen. Hillary Clinton’s call to wall off the border with Mexico, modeled on Tel Aviv’s notorious separation wall.

And we need to oppose a proposal in Congress to give la migra access to lists of “no-match” Social Security numbers, as well as current immigration bills that would create a system for bosses to check employees’ identity and work eligibility through federal databases.

The high-profile arrest of nearly 1,200 workers and deportation of 275 coincided with the reopening of Senate debate on immigration “reform.” This action will be used by the White House and others who advocate regularizing the status of some immigrants to show critics on the right they are not “soft” on “law enforcement.”

President Bush said that “massive deportation of the people here is…not going to work.” He stated a fact. The goal of the U.S. rulers is not to deport most of the 12 million undocumented immigrants. On the contrary, the bosses need immigrant labor. The workings of the capitalist system keep drawing millions from around the globe into the U.S. No walls or laws will stop that.

The real purpose of all the bills under debate, fences, police raids, and deportations is to guarantee bosses a pool of superexploited labor by intimidating workers without papers into accepting second-class status and not fighting for their rights. This is used to push down the wages of all working people and to foster divisions by telling those with legal status that the undocumented are “stealing American jobs,” thus taking the blame off the real cause of unemployment—the capitalist market system and the bosses’ profit greed.

The government has enforced this setup, not by wholesale roundups but by beefing up the federal police in border regions and through selective raids. Bosses can and do warn those without papers that if they organize or speak out they will call the cops on them.

The U.S. rulers, however, also need to deal with the millions who live and work “in the shadows,” whose data don’t appear in government records. A majority of the ruling class wants to regularize the status of layers of the undocumented to keep a tighter check on them.

Democrats and Republicans are debating how to do that. Many, from Bush to senators McCain and Kennedy, advocate a “guest worker” program granting permanent residence after several years while chaining workers to their bosses. Senator Clinton, with a “law and order” position to the right of Bush, calls for building a hi-tech border wall now, and legal status for some people later. A House-approved bill calls for criminalizing all the undocumented. All these politicians agree on adding more immigration cops and tighter “border security.”

But the bosses and their twin parties must take into account the increased confidence of immigrant workers to organize and speak out. This mood, part of a broader pattern of resistance among working people, is registered not only in the huge immigrant rights rallies across the country but in the response to recent raids.

The ongoing mobilizations of immigrant workers and their allies are the key for labor. Working people should join the April 29-May 1 immigrant rights actions to demand: No to the use of Social Security no-match letters! Amnesty and unconditional permanent residency for all the undocumented now!
Related articles:
Immigration cops raid company, arrest 1,187 workers, deport 275
Bush: ‘No mass deportations’ Clinton: ‘Build wall along border’
Immigrant rights rallies persist in U.S.
U.S. immigration rises to new levels, shifts from Europe to Asia and Latin America
May Day originated in fight for eight-hour day in U.S.  
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