U.S. Imperialism and Attacks on Immigrants
February 14, 2017
With the rise of U.S. imperialism in the 20th century, the superexploitation of immigrant labor in the U.S. became a corollary of U.S. colonial oppression of other nations.
U.S. imperialism plundered the economies first of Latin America and then of other regions such as the Middle East, depriving millions of workers in these countries of any means of a livelihood. Forced by economic necessity and ruthless U.S. capitalists to leave, after arriving here, the working people again face the merciless exploitation of U.S. capitalism which deliberately passes laws to keep immigrants in an illegal status.
The point is to deprive them of their basic rights. Except of course the “right” to have their labor power superexploited by the capitalists who bombed or otherwise forced them out of their homes in the first place.
The attacks on immigrants are part of the general offensive of the capitalist government against the democratic rights and civil liberties of the American people.
They also prove, for the millionth time, how alien the chauvinism and militarism of the capitalist class is to the great democratic traditions of the American people.
From the very beginning, the American people fought to create this country as a land of refuge for all the oppressed and exploited. The U.S. working class is made up of workers who have come here from the four ends of the earth, bringing with them the inspiration and experience of the revolutionary struggles in their homelands.
Just as the American people have always opposed the aggressive, imperialist wars of our “own government,” the U.S. workers have always sympathized with and supported the liberation struggles of the peoples everywhere.
The liberation movements of the colonial peoples and the workers’ movements are also linked together by common goals. Both movements arise from the oppressed and exploited – from the masses of the poeple. And both movements aim at winning freedom and emancipation.
With the working class movement and the national liberation movement at the center, the peoples have given rise to a broad international movement against war and imperialism. The international movement for peace has brought millions of people into struggle against the militarization of the globe by U.S. and world imperialism, into struggles against imperialist aggression.
The international peace movement is expressed in the peoples’ demand for decolonialization and support for the right of the oppressed nations to rise in struggle against imperialism.
It is expressed in the international struggles against the U.S. blockade of Cuba, against the partition of Korea, in support of the Palestinian liberation movement, in opposition to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc. As a cornerstone of international law and the struggle against imperialist aggression, the international peace movement recognizes the sovereign equality of every country and affirms the right of every nation to determine its affairs and social system for itself.
The struggle for a Democratic Foreign Policy – for the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces stationed abroad, for an end to all aggressive military alliances and pacts, for an end to U.S. interference and intervention against other countries and people – as well as the entire fight against attacks on the most vulnerable sections of the population shows the need for the workers and people of our country to take the initiative into their hands by coming out as an independent political force on the basis of their own aims and agenda.
In the first place we must speak out against the viciously anti-social aims and agenda of capital implemented by the two parties. Police-state measures against immigrants and anti-immigrant stereotyping are designed to separate immigrants from the rest of the American people, so as to ghettoize and terrorize them. The government wants to keep immigrants from countries exploited and oppressed by U.S. imperialism isolated in their own communities in order to attack them more easily and to keep other Americans from hearing their voices and supporting their struggles.
The deepest aspirations of the American people – to build a truly democratic polity which recognizes the equal rights of all human beings – condemns the discrimination and repression of the government.
The objective contradictions and the aspirations of the people are demanding fundamental social change. It is only the subjective conditions – that is the consciousness and organization – that are lagging behind.
What is needed is not only to mobilize the opposition, but to politicize people in the true sense – pointing to the commonality of their interests – and putting forward a program of solutions.
For starters, not only must we demand that every member of society be assured equal economic, political and social rights but these rights cannot be left to exist only on paper while they are ignored or violated in practice. The economic and political system must provide real guarantees so that everyone can enjoy the right to a job or livelihood, to free medical care, to full participation in political affairs and all the other inalienable rights of the people.
Moreover, equal rights and duties means equal rights and duties for all – regardless of race, national origin, sex, etc. This includes the right for all nationalities to develop their own culture, language, etc. Most importantly, equality means that everyone has the right to participate fully in the political process and governance, to take part as decision-makers in exercising control of their lives.
For quite some time now, the government has been systematically pushing our country backwards, has been waging a coordinated war against the people’s rights.
That is why the workers and people must respond in a generalized way. The capitalists very much rely on the tactic of singling out and marginalizing various sections of the people. But this can only serve to graphically remind us that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
We must continually work to bring the widest sections of people into the struggle. What is more, we must not confine ourselves to reactive struggles which only resist particular attacks. We must organize ourselves for a counter-offensive by strengthening the independent political movement which brings the pro-social agenda of the people to center stage.