Communist Internationalist Position on Immigration and Travel

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Fri Aug 4 16:59:18 MDT 2000

I must admit to a feeling of despair, when I see some comrades debating
immigration as if it was only a question of defending workers of one
country or another, from having their wages decline or not.      Despite
these comrades being perhaps a minority on some of our lists, it is easy
to ascertain that this angle of judging immigration questions is
widespread amongst the international left as a whole.     How can we
protect our native working class and help them defend their current wage
scale, or even better it?      Is this all we should think about?

So, to bring a note of reality to the discussion, I think it opportune
to mention another aspect of immigration than just the effect on wages
or culture that has been mentioned previously.     And that aspect
is....... the effect on health that immigration has.

There has always been that aspect, as the effects of illegal immigration
on the health of native populations to The Americas from Europe is
widely known.     But it is obviously something that comrades like the
general population as a whole, pay little attention to,  in the current
debate about whether to close borders or not.    One can never really
close borders to the migration of infectious disease,  no matter what
measures are taken.

Building a wall around Europe and the United States, Canada, Australia,
NZ, and Japan, will not protect workers from 'the coming plague'.
Far from that, it will help make the plague arrive with even more deadly
force, and even more deadly effect.

 A Left not having a pro-immigrant, internationalist communist position,
actually endangers the health of all workers, everywhere.     How can
the struggle against disease be carried out in an effective manner, when
we support locking out people from more healthy environments, into
horrid, disease supporting cesspools elsewhere?     All in the name of
defending wage levels in the industrialized world.

We know about the AIDS situation in Africa.      Does it seem so remote
to Leftists because there is a body of water blocking Europe and The
Americas from its approach?     Well, AIDS and disease is aproaching
from other angles as well.

The weekly Mexican paper, PROCESO, has an article this week, about how
Mexican immigration traffic to the US has brought AIDS back to the rural
areas of Mexico.      But US authorities now see AIDS as entering the US
from Mexico!      Is militarizing the US/ Mexico Border part of
Clinton's overall 'health care' proposals?

Something similar is going on right now between Eastern and Western
Europe.     Western European Leftists are not going to be a help for
their working classes, by supporting barriers to movement of people that
actually assist more in increasing the movement of infectious disease.

The article in PROCESO illustrates how rapidly AIDS is spreading to
campesinos in rural parts of Mexico, when nothing is done to either
decrease their exposure to unsanitary conditions within the US, nor
within Mexico itself when they return.

And the problem is more than just the problem of AIDS.      It is a
problem of tuberculosis, cholera, dyssentery, and many another
infectious diseases promoted by poverty, lack of sanitaion, and no
public health system functioning properly.

The only real communist position on immigration and travel has to be to
support an emergency program of economic assisstance to the Third World,
while promoting the free right to travel and work anywhere for anyone,
all across the globe.

Tony Abdo

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