May Day: Immigrants’ Rights Affect All Workers’ Rights — From Tribuno del Pueblo

Arizona’s New Immigration Law —

An Injury to One

Is an Injury to All

April Tribuno del Pueblo Cover page: thousands demonstrated for immigrant reform in March

On March 21, 2010 over 200,000 people protested in Washington D.C. to push the Obama adminstration to start working on immigration reform.  Although many were illegal citizens and feared being deported, they still marched to show their strength in numbers and to demand action.

The people of this country have not taken Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s signing of the state’s new immigration law sitting down.

The ink wasn’t yet dry on Brewer’s signature when the howls of the fight to uphold human civil and constitutional rights could be heard in the streets, the churches, and the union halls of this country.

Many are calling the new law racial profiling of Latinos. Others see it as an attack on all workers. It is both.

What’s behind the new law, SB 1070?

Capital’s goal with SB 1070 is to control, not just Latino workers, but all workers, it creates a reign of terror among a sector of the working class — Latino workers and their families.

Big business’s ultimate goal is to divide the American working class, get both sides fighting each other, and drive down everybody’s wages and standard of living in the process.

Arizona’s new law is a milepost in making Latinos the sacrificial lambs in capital’s efforts to divide workers and break their potential unity. This potential unity of workers in America — both immigrant and native-born — is based on their having a common destiny.

Migrant workers the world over are people who have been uprooted by this class of capitalists as it remakes society in the age of high technology. They are an expression of the new class being created by electronics in just the same way that the millions of native-born Americans are being displaced from their jobs here in the United States.

Immigrant workers pushed off the land when they could not compete with high-tech U.S. corporate farming are facing the same enemy as American factory workers who are being thrown out of their jobs by high-tech, computerized robots. Both immigrant and non-immigrant are part of this new class of dispossessed.

What does capital gain?

First, it provides an opportunity for both sides of the false political divide created by capital to vent their rage on one another, instead of on capital itself, and deepens the rift between the two.

Second, this Gestapo law in Arizona sets the stage for a “compromise” immigration bill in Washington, which will give capital much of what it wants.

While the bill will offer immigrants now who lack papers a difficult and costly path to citizenship, it will also most likely provide for an influx of “guest” workers. And by establishing a new, high-tech national work card, the law will create an important part of capital’s new apparatus of control.

Third, the creation of this “guest-worker” peonage system will pull down what remains of the decent wages and standard of living of native-born American workers, while providing them with a scapegoat on which to direct their wrath.

How do we win?

Keep targeting the economic system that thrives on the migration of millions.

During the U.S. Civil War, for example, the North could not have been victorious if the farmers and workers who made up the Union Army had not come to realize that it was not the runaway slaves competing for jobs but the whole system of slavery that they had to destroy.

Today, that’s exactly what we need to do — turn the attack on immigrant workers around and go after the economic system that thrives from their plight.

Across the world, immigrant workers are the vanguard of a new class of permanently unemployed and underemployed workers. To defend them is to defend this new class, and to defend the future of every worker.

What drives immigration?