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Equality for Undocumented Immigrants

by Fight Back! Editors |
April 6, 2006
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When the forces of reaction and racism decided to push their vicious anti-immigrant agenda, they lifted a rock, only to drop it on their own feet. Across the country, one of the most powerful waves of demonstrations in U.S. history is now unfolding. In Chicago on March 10 it became apparent something really big was in the offing; a sea change was under way. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and Latinos, along with other immigrants and their supporters, filled the streets. A general strike shut down hundreds of factories and businesses. This was followed by major demonstrations; some accompanied by work stoppages - that rocked Denver, Colorado; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Georgia and Phoenix, Arizona. Then on March 25, one million people took to the streets of Los Angeles.

This is a great thing. Bush, the Republican Party, their soul mates among the Democrats and those who make a profession out of whipping up anti-immigrant hysteria have been thrown into disorder. Bush, along with his backers in big business, favor a ‘guest worker’ program that would lock immigrant workers into poverty. An important section of the coalition that elected Bush essentially favors a ‘whites only’ U.S. They advocate wholesale deportations and measures that criminalize the undocumented, like House Resolution 4437. In the context of the power demonstrated by the immigrants’ rights movement, these contradictions among our enemies will make it harder for them to follow through with their racist attacks.

The United States is all about oppression and racist discrimination. It is a built-in feature of the system we live under. The cold reality is that entire nationalities - African- Americans, Chicanos and Latinos, Asian Americans and Native peoples - are bound by the chains of inequality. The movement of the undocumented, of Mexicans in the U.S. and other oppressed nationalities who have immigrated from other counties, including Latino immigrants from Central and Latin America, is a movement for constant democracy and equality that challenges this system of racist national oppression. And this movement creates an improved set of conditions to build the fight for African American and Chicano liberation.

This movement to resist the attacks on those without legal documents deserves the support of all progressive, working and oppressed peoples. Big business and its bought and paid for politicians have created a situation where the undocumented are among the most oppressed and exploited. In this context, anti-immigrant bigots have tried to pose as defenders of the working class. Nothing could be further from reality or any sense of justice and fair play. Truth be told, equal rights for the undocumented - which include amnesty and legalization - will increase the capacity of the immigrants to resist those determined to hold them down. Every advance by those at the bottom improves the condition of working people as a whole.

This is a critical point in time. There is a real possibility that the attacks in Congress can be defeated. Every effort should be made to build the movement to defend immigrant rights and every possible force that can be mobilized should be; our unions, community, civil and human rights groups. The masses of people are the makers of history and the movement under way is nothing short of historic. Insist on equality and democratic rights for the undocumented and an end to the policy of criminalization. Seize the hour, seize the day, seize the time!