International capital crosses national borders invisibly, pursuing
profits for a global minority that inflict loss on the global majority. In historic
fashion but at electronic speed, it creates economic chaos, throwing peasants
off the land and forcing them to illegally emigrate as low paid, unskilled labor.
Barriers of language, culture and overcrowding bring with them social animosity
and help create a deadly serious global problem.
The American role in this international drama has seen millions fleeing
here after their homelands were invaded by our finance capital. This has energized
negative social forces, but also served to organize a maligned and misunderstood
sector of the working class.
While many see an invasion of foreigners that they liken to terrorist attacks,
others see entering the country illegally and bringing down wages as perfectly
reasonable. Self-righteous name-calling and simplistic individualism have taken
precedence over analysis of the economic forces at work, and why they should
If, as some believe, we are a nation of immigrants with doors open wide to
all who would enter, how many can we welcome before asking how much room we
have and how much work we can offer? There are billions of suffering souls in
the world, and many owe their misery to U.S. intervention in their nation's
political economy. Should we invite them all here? Even if they will only find
work by innocently serving commercial interest in lowering the wages of other
Americans? And where will they live?
How many communities that adamantly fight against congestion and the loss of
open space will gladly welcome much more of the first and much less of the second,
in order to accommodate more immigrants?
Ignorance of the real impacts of our foreign policy can only increase the animosity
much of the world feels towards the USA. Many find us a beacon of freedom and
democracy, but many more consider us a monster, bringing death and destruction
to countries like Iraq, and creating economic programs like NAFTA, which all
but force people to illegally migrate seeking the survival they were denied
by American corporados in league with their own corrupt governments.
Calling all critics of immigration racists is a labeling practice of equally
bigoted people. Some opponents of immigration are racists, but so are many immigration
supporters. It hardly takes a super sleuth to find racists in America. It's
about as difficult as finding sand in the Sahara.
A nation built by immigrant labor was earlier developed by slave labor, and
with many descendants of slavery still confined to shameful ghettos, it is galling
to hear claims of moral superiority from those with high regard for immigrants,
who are oblivious to the realities of their own citizens. This can only provoke
more divisions among us, when we desperately need unity.
Some well intentioned people think security for undocumented immigrants is
a simple matter of getting work and finding housing. Often the work is in their
own homes, but the housing is rarely in their own communities. A far more difficult
reality can be revealed by examining conditions in our penal colony. In these
concentration camps of mostly nonwhite prisoners, Latinos and blacks are often
at each others throats. Their sometimes mortal combat inside mirrors their socio-economic
combat outside, but is hardly noticed by many engaged in a debate that excludes
the Americans most directly affected by immigration.
Hostility between the heartlessly vindictive and mindlessly accepting extremes
does not call for a moderate middle ground, but a radically democratic base
from which to consider the very structure of the economic system that creates
and profits from this chaos.
We need to understand the market forces of global capital in order
to stop the damage it does to all nations when it exports skilled work, imports
unskilled labor, and creates inequality, pollution and debt such as has never
before existed in the developed world.
No less a labor hero than Caesar Chavez warned of the negative impact when
business was allowed to import cheap, undocumented labor. He knew this would
only hurt those he was trying to help. The farm workers organized the unorganized,
but they were all legal, not illegal workers. It is madness to think we can
allow selective forms of illegality in support of specific groups of immigrants,
while throwing many of the native born in jail for their illegal acts, which
are driven by the same economic issue: poverty.
It is equally madness to think we can improve things by building walls across
the border, or imprisoning people who came here illegally but to pursue an honest
living. It would make as much sense to build a fence around Wall Street and
jail those who employ day laborers and nannies.
We must stop enriching corporate capital -- and a minority that needs household
help -- by providing them with an army of desperate people who will work for
the lowest wages, in order to send money home to replace what was lost to invading
Our problem is not poor people crossing our borders seeking work, but
rich capital crossing their borders seeking profit. A global economic system
is conducting this assault on our national environment. Its inherent inequality
and injustice requires collective action to confront the real criminals and
not scapegoat their victims. If we stop international finance's invasive penetration
of other nation's borders, we won't have to worry about refugees illegally crossing
ours. Industrial capitalism of the 19th century threatened so many it provoked
a call for the workers of the world to unite. Global capitalism of the 21st
century is a much greater menace to humanity's future. It may be time to revive
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A Nation of Colonists and Race Laws
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