Border Controls

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at
Sat Feb 3 11:27:58 MST 1996

THis is an excellent question.  And I think one way to attack it is to, 
as earlier posts have mentioned, emphasize that it is *transnational 
capital*, not workers, that are crossing (and imposing) borders and 
messing with local economies.  

Bryan Alexander					Department of English
email: bnalexan at			University of Michigan
phone: (313) 764-0418				Ann Arbor, MI  USA    48103
fax: (313) 763-3128

On Sat, 3 Feb 1996, CEP wrote:

>     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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