Border Controls

CEP iwp.ilo at ix.netcom.com
Sat Feb 3 10:09:38 MST 1996


    I think is an important thread.  Immigration has become a center
    point and springbboard of right wing politics.  Fascists has pushed
    the issue very hard in Europe and they achieved a movement of all
    bourgeois parties to deal with it.  In other words: Le Pen, the
    German skinheads, the National front in Britain et al maybe not
    a significant political force as yet.  But they achieved, through
    their attacks against immigrants that Conservatives, liberals and
    even social-democrats take the issue and started to push for more
    anti-immigrant legislation, etc

    In the US the situation is comparable.  The extreme right wing
    pushed for an agenda against immigrants.  Put 187 on the ballot.
    got passed.  Now every politician is pushing the issue (from
    Conservatives to Liberals, Democrats and Republicans).  There
    are presently over 100 bills against immigrants being considered
    at the Federal levels, and more than 600 at the state level (in
    California alone there are over 60 proposed new laws under
    consideration in the state legislature).

    A new version of Prop. 187 (known as SOS II) is about to qualify
    for ballot status in Californis.  Similar measures are being worked
    out (collecting signatures) in over 14 states (including Florida,
    Texas, Michigan, etc).  Contradictorily though, some people in the
    right seemed to start getting off the bandwagon.  Noticeable, Bush
    (the son of George Bush), now gobernor of Texas has distanced
    himself from the anti-immigrant right wing because he discovered
    that he can do good businesses with neighboring Mexico.  He even
    advised California's Pete Wilson to do the same.

    Liberals are not at the left on this.  Clinton attacked immigrants
    in his "State of the Union" address, had given 600 additional
    millions to the border patrol and is supporting some anti-immigrant
    legislation.  Dianne Feinstein, Senator from California is
    outrageously anti-immigrant and so on.

    But my point is: a) we are still at present between the parameters
    of "liberal" politics on Immigration: namely, more control but
    not an all out war against immigrants; b) The general tendency
    seems to be 1) make every immigrant transitory; 2) Make changes of
    status impossible (becoming documented) and 3) Keep undocumented
    workers out of the benefit's rosters.  This is different from the
    European policy, I think (maybe someone can clarify this further)
    where policies against immigrants tends to be harsher, more
    inclined to eliminate immigration rather than control it.

    What about South Africa and the ANC?  I read that Mandela's
    government has reacted to the pressure of immigrants from the
    frontline states by continuing the policy of the apartheid regime:
    electrified fences, deportations and strict controls of the border
    adjusted to needs of the labor market.  What it would be a good
    policy for a self-proclaimed left-leaning government on
    immigration?

    On the other hand, I have another question.  When the
    free-marketeers from the bourgeois side battled for hegemony
    on economic-political issues, they included the "free trade
    pf labor" across the borders as one of their premises.  Now, there
    are free-marketeers bourgeois theoreticians saying that's no
    longer the case and some others saying that "without free trade in
    labor, there is no free trade at all".  Which I found an
    interesting discussion.  Any thoughts?

    The speculations raised in this list about the future of borders
    and immigrants are also veryinteresting.  I will give them some
    thought.

    Keep it up, I like to follow the discussion.

    Comradely,
    Carlos



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