Feb 24, 2019
Congress, with great fanfare, declared that they had reached a budget deal that avoided another government shutdown. President Trump, having been backed down, unable to get the money for his wall from Congress, signed an emergency declaration designed to get his money anyway.
Democrats in Congress are crying foul, insisting that Trump has made an end-run around the constitutional separation of powers. They promise a boatload of lawsuits, which will almost certainly tie Trump’s “emergency” up in legal limbo for months and months. And both sides are perfectly happy with this: Democrats and Republicans in Congress got to pass a budget deal, and Trump can say he is building his wall – whether it gets built or not. Both sides show they intend to use this “conflict” as fodder in the 2020 campaigns.
But in the end, what has really changed? What has passed, in this budget that both Democrats and Republicans are so happy about? Certainly nothing that helps working people. The huge corporate tax breaks were already passed long ago, and they will continue, as do the huge military budget and the cuts in public services we all need. In the end, under the smokescreen of this wall “conflict,” it’s business as usual.
Trump said there’s a “crisis,” an “emergency.” But then he just as much as admitted that his emergency is completely made up, when he said at his news conference, “I didn’t need to do this.”
Nancy Pelosi called the wall “an immorality.” But what does she mean? She and Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ Senate leader, insisted that the “Democrats are committed to border security.” In other words, Democrats want to “secure the border” just as much as Republicans and Trump do. They helped pass money to do it. They just disagree on how to do it, while they agree on fundamentals.
So why do both parties agree to secure the border? Because they both act to secure for the U.S. capitalist class what it wants. And that capitalist class wants a labor force it can exploit, on both sides of the border. That is the real “immorality.”
For decades, U.S. capitalism has dominated the countries of Central and South America. For big capital, nationalism has little meaning when it comes to production for profit or trade and speculation. For decades, U.S. manufacturing and finance magnates have considered these countries their backyard – theirs to play in, theirs to exploit, and in many cases, theirs to devastate and impoverish.
Mexican and South and Central American workers are a part of the giant network of labor that U.S. capitalism depends on, on both sides of the southern U.S. border. For decades, U.S. capitalism has been recruiting workers to labor in U.S. industries, fields and homes. For decades, U.S. capitalism has been controlling the economies of Central and South America and Mexico.
In the most recent period, there has been an increased number of immigrants coming from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua; primarily families who are seeking protection from a violent degeneration of conditions in their home countries. This degeneration of the economies and living conditions, war and terrorism on the part of the state apparatuses and on the part of gangs competing for influence, and sheer poverty, has been perpetrated by the U.S. government and U.S. policies of exploitation. This is the real crisis.
Not only are the Democrats just as culpable in creating this crisis as are the Republicans. They both work to divide workers on this side of the border from workers on that side of the border. They try to divide workers inside this country from each other.
Working people have a different interest. We do not benefit from being divided, “legal” from “illegal,” U.S.-born from “foreign”-born. This only benefits the bosses who try to use one group of workers against another – to attack us all.
Our fight is together, against ALL our enemies.