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

Immigrants Made into Scapegoats by Both Parties

Nov 7, 2022

Republicans have been shouting to the hills that crime and fentanyl are pouring into the country across the U.S. border with Mexico, and that Biden’s policies are to blame.

This rhetoric is filled with lies. Every statistic shows that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S., and fentanyl is mostly brought into this country by U.S. citizens.

The Republicans are also lying about Biden’s immigration policies. After criticizing it on the campaign trail, the Biden Administration has extensively used Title 42, a legal loophole, giving the excuse of the pandemic to block people from entering the country, even to apply for refugee protection. In the face of a potential surge of refugees from Haiti, the Biden administration proposed sending people to a “third country”, like Mexico, or even detaining them at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The director of refugee protection at the non-profit Human Rights First summed up the current immigration policy: “The Biden administration is embracing the Trump playbook.”

On the campaign trail, Democrats try to play both sides. Some try to win immigrants’ votes by claiming to stand for, perhaps, some kind of immigration “reform”, maybe, someday. But Democrats are also embracing anti-immigrant rhetoric, with some Democratic candidates calling for more border enforcement, and even for “physical barriers where they make sense.”

None of this can stop the flow of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border, even if it was really intended to. The surge of refugees is being driven by the deteriorating living conditions for people across a whole swath of the world. This deterioration is in large part a consequence of U.S. policies: support for coups and dictatorial regimes in Central America and the Caribbean, sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, and underneath it all, the vast sucking of wealth out of the poor countries of the world by the big corporations and banks based in the United States.

Neither party has an answer for any of this because both serve those corporations and banks, which profit by superexploiting workers in the poor countries as well as immigrants in this country.

That doesn’t mean immigration policy can never change. At a small forum in Chicago, Chuy Garcia, an Illinois Democrat in the U.S. House, let slip that maybe immigration reform could become a reality if “the labor shortage” gets bad enough. In other words, for these two parties, immigration policy has nothing to do with protecting migrants’ human rights, or with protecting workers here from crime. It is instead driven by the demand of the corporations for workers they can exploit.

Workers have a different interest. Workers are one class, in this country and around the world. Workers everywhere are exploited by the same bosses and banks. Workers are all victims of the same deterioration of capitalist society, even if it is today more extreme in the poor countries than here.

Workers are stronger when they unite across the lines that divide them—whether those be borders or immigration status. And workers have no interest in falling for the anti-immigrant rhetoric increasingly put out by both parties.