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

Blame the Capitalists for Low Wages, Not Immigrant Workers

Jun 17, 2024

Joe Biden has issued an executive order to close the southern border. It was almost exactly the same as the order that Donald Trump issued in 2018. Biden and Trump are clearly trying to outdo each other in their attacks on immigrants as they run for president.

But Biden and Trump are just the front men for a much bigger campaign where the media and politicians pretend that immigrants are responsible for everything that is going wrong. The media highlight every crime committed by an immigrant, even though the rate of crimes committed by immigrants is LOWER than that of people who were born here. They spread the lie that immigrants are getting aid and money that other people need, even though immigrants pay more money in taxes than what they get back. They actively work to get us to blame immigrants for the problems workers face.

Yes, there are real problems for workers here. The only jobs available are part-time and low-wage. People can’t afford to buy or rent a place to live. A new car is out of reach. The capitalist bosses are the ones driving down our standard of living—and they dare to blame immigrants? What a crock!

Yes, most immigrants work for very low wages, and that impacts everyone’s wages. When any boss can get away with paying their workers less, it makes it easier for other bosses to pressure their own workers to work for less. It’s just like when UAW autoworkers gave up concessions—it helped other bosses push down the wages of their own workers. So now the whole working class has been pushed backward.

But let’s put the blame where it should be, because Biden and Trump won’t. The real problem of low wages is not caused by the immigrants who come here looking for work. Immigrants don’t come here wanting to work for low wages that can barely feed their families. They don’t come here wanting to work in unsafe conditions in construction where they get killed on the job. Young immigrants don’t come here to lose their hands cleaning machinery, working for bosses who violate child labor laws.

Immigrants who come here looking for work want the same exact thing that all workers want—a job with decent pay and safe working conditions. But immigrants are forced to work for less money and under worse conditions for one reason—they are kept in an illegal status, meaning that the bosses who employ them can threaten them with deportation if they ask for more money. The capitalist bosses who exploit immigrant workers are the same capitalists who exploit us by underpaying us and overworking us. These billionaire capitalists are responsible for driving down the standard of living of all workers. They get rich off of our labor and get even richer off the labor of immigrant workers.

Biden and Trump, the Democratic and Republican party—they all support this system of keeping immigrant workers in an “illegal” status. Why? Because it benefits the profits of the corporations and the Wall Street owners that these politicians work for.

The capitalists benefit in another way. By keeping immigrant workers in an “illegal” status, the capitalists and their politicians keep the working class divided against itself. Just like the capitalists always try to use racism to divide white workers from black workers and they want the workers here whose families were immigrants two or three generations ago to blame the newest immigrants who come here looking for work.

But that only works if we are foolish enough to fall for their tricks and their lies. It only works if we allow ourselves to be divided. If we do, then all workers will lose, no matter where we were born.

Biden and Trump lie to us, doing the dirty work for the capitalist bosses. The capitalists try to divide us because they are afraid of the power that the working class has when we stand together.