The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Political Games and Migrants’ Lives

Sep 26, 2022

Republican Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida have continued to ship hundreds of migrants to Democrat-controlled cities, most of whom have legally applied for asylum in this country. Abbott even sent two buses of asylum-seekers to Vice President Kamala Harris’ house. To outdo him, DeSantis flew two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a vacation island for the wealthy in Massachusetts.

When busloads of migrants were dumped in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot promised to "welcome them with open arms," saying the city would supply its “new neighbors” with food, fresh clothes, and a place to take a shower. This has increasingly become the Democrats’ strategy: to appear welcoming and humane, to draw a contrast with the cruelty displayed by the Republicans, and to trumpet the few migrant “success stories” they can find.

As Democrats point out, Republicans Abbott and DeSantis are doubling down on Trump’s anti-immigrant showmanship, competing to make cruel political spectacle.

Their Democratic opponents may not be as openly cruel—but they may be even more hypocritical. Biden’s immigration policies have so far been essentially the same as Trump’s, denying almost all asylum applications. So, for all the welcome Democrats offer these migrants while the news media is present, most will soon join the ranks of the undocumented. And as soon as the cameras are off, help goes away.

There are already over 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. No one is giving them food or showers. Even though they pay all kinds of taxes, just like everyone else, they cannot apply for most government benefits. They are forced to accept the lowest-wage jobs and the most dangerous working conditions. And the actual situation of the undocumented is not very different in states run by Democrats than it is in states run by Republicans.

While they carry out fundamentally similar immigration policies, the political games both parties play help turn workers’ attention away from our real enemies: the capitalist class. All while this class profits by super-exploiting the undocumented, and by using their desperation against the rest of the working class to drive down everyone’s wages and working conditions.

The only way workers will be able to address our problems is to gather our forces and fight the capitalist class and its political lackeys in our own class interests, first of all for higher wages and better working conditions. When we do, the working class answer to immigration will be simple: every worker here needs the same rights. As the old slogan goes, an injury to one is an injury to all. And when we fight, these migrants could be a source of strength. After all, just to get here required a great deal of courage and determination, qualities we will need in our struggles.