Are You Hip To Shimmy?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Are you hip to the shimmy?

I see the immigration issue as an economic issue. It's not that I don't see the civil rights and human rights aspect of it, it's just that my mind tends to view things from a class perspective. One thing that I've heard said is that the Left who want open borders and the corporate right who want cheap labor to exploit are in perfect harmony on this issue. But nothing could be further from the truth; let me explain.

First of all, think of who benefits from legislation that would turn law-abiding workers into felons simply based on a lack of proper papers. Who benefits? You don't think these laws are dreamt up with some notion of justice do you? Corporations and employers who exploit immigrant labor benefit.

Think about it. How much bargaining power do you think you have if your employer can simply turn you in at the drop of a hat to the authorities? Do you think you'd have much leverage to ask for more pay? Safer work conditions? Better hours? Anything?

By demanding full amnesty for these people, they would no longer have to hide in the shadows and refrain from demanding that they be treated like people. I understand the popular myth is that undocumented workers just run around using up all our social benefits, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. The fear of deportation is real, and when so many people in their home country are often depending on them for subsitence, that reality is not taken lightly.

There fear of reprisal and deportation is used against them. It's used to undermine efforts to organize labor. And it's used to intimidate any of them who might try and fight for a better deal.

By offering undocumented workers full amnesty we help put them on solid ground to join with other workers in this country to fight the economic injustices carried out against the working class for the past half century.

It's not the undocumented worker who lowers wages in this country; it's the corporate elite who use their legal status to exploit them for lower and lower wages. Join us on May 1 and demand full amnesty for all undocumented workers.

Published in: on April 19, 2006 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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