[Marxism] Re: Immigration

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Mon Aug 1 13:00:44 MDT 2005

I was an illegal immigrant living in California for five years up to last  
Xmas. I was able to rent an apartment, take bona fide employment, pay taxes,  
drive a car and even claim unemployment. As a British citizen (from Scotland), I 
 went to California for no other reason than a desire to live in a nice 
climate  and sample the life. At no time was my immigration status seriously 
questioned  by employers or anyone else until very late on in my time there. In 
fact, I was  able to live completely unmolested and without fear of getting caught 
for almost  the entire length of my stay. 
I've got white skin, that's why.
In the state of California the second largest immigrant group after Mexican  
is British. There are hundreds of thousands of Brits living and working all 
over  California, and you can bet that around half of them are illegal or were 
illegal  at some point. Not once in my time over there did I ever hear anyone - 
whether  politicians or immigration officials - complain about the number if 
illegal  British immigrants; not once.
My point is that the issue isn't really immigration, the issue is race, or  
rather the racist nature of the US ruling class, who unfortunately have  
succeeded in distracting the white working class (most of whom, as I found,  don't 
even identify themselves as working class or workers but rather as middle  
class) from their real enemy - namely them.
That US workers are increasingly forced to accept 'Chinese wages' has less  
to do with immigration than with globalisation, with the removal - lock,  stock 
and barrel - of manufacturing jobs overseas to take advantage of the  
impoverished economies of the developing world. The Mexican economy is in  tatters as 
a result of generations of US exploitation and perfidy in its  relationship 
with Mexico - beginning with the Mexican-American War right up to  that rotten 
piece of legislation brought into being by Clinton, FTAA.
The drain on the economies of both the US and the UK (where immigration is  
also used as a wedge issue by the ruling class) is down to the transfer of  
wealth from poor to rich that in the US began under Reagan and in the UK under  
Thatcher. In Britain, for example, social housing has decreased by sixty 
percent  since the 1970's. I'm not sure of the comparable figure in the US but I'm  
guessing that it won't be far off that. It has nothing to do with demand and  
everything to do with supply - or lack thereof. At the core of Reaganism and  
Thatcherism was the institutionalisation of poverty, which in real terms meant 
 the contraction of welfare programs along with a campaign to spread the lie 
that  people are poor because they are lazy and shiftless. This is a policy 
that has  been cynically and successfully used against minorities in order to  
split the working class, the better to destroy the power of the trade union or  
labor movement.
By far the biggest recipients of welfare in the US and the Uk are the  
super-rich - the corporations with their subsidies, the big investors with their  
tax shelters, and so on. This is indisputable and it is where our energy should  
be directed. 
Finally, on a human level, after the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes by  
British undercover police in London recently, sections of the right wing press  
began a disgusting attempt to excuse the police's actions by claiming that the 
 victim had overstayed his visa and that's why he ran as he did when the 
police  allegedly ordered him to stop. How repugnant.
No human being on this earth is illegal under any circumstances. Open  
borders and complete freedom of movement is a core tenet of the socialism that I  
adhere to. If the rich with their wealth, stolen from the labour of  workers, 
are allowed to move freely then so are we.
Nothing less will do.  

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