[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
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
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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