Immigrants

"The World Can’t Wait organizes people living in the United States to repudiate and stop the fascist direction initiated by the Bush Regime, including: the murderous, unjust and illegitimate occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan; the global “war of terror” of torture, rendition and spying; and the culture of bigotry, intolerance and greed."

-from World Can't Wait's mission statement adopted 2009

Included within the fascist direction that we work to reverse is the "culture of bigotry, intolerance and greed." Here we answer some frequently asked questions on our support for immigrant rights:

Doesn't "illegal" mean illegal?

No human being can be illegal. Laws change and can be just or unjust, and we are not bound by whatever is "on the books" at any given moment. Torture has been legalized, but we will not stop protesting and resisting this crime against humanity until torture stops being carried out in our names. Would the invasion of Iraq be any more acceptable if it was technically legal? While slavery is now illegal, it was once the law of the land. It is unethical to silence our opposition to discrimination against immigrants, documented or undocumented, because of whatever laws are instituted.

Why are you opposed to Arizona's new law, SB1070?

This law is a serious step in a fascist direction, and differs from all other state laws. It states that law enforcement must ask for proof of citizenship or residency from anyone they "suspect" is illegal. This means racial profiling on a massive scale, as anyone brown-skinned can expect to be questioned and potentially detained any time they leave the house. This law discriminates against all Latinos; but even worse, further isolates and marginalizes undocumented immigrants who live in fear of being suddenly separated from their families, imprisoned, and deported. For more read Arizona's anti-Immigrant Law is Inhumane & Illegitimate. However, Arizona is not the only problem. For an idea of the suffering imposed on immigrants detained in other parts of the US by the federal government, see Letters from an Immigrant Detainee.

But don't illegal immigrants drive down wages, drain the economy and social services?

These are the main talking points which have snookered people. However, they are factually untrue. In fact, there is no correlation between wages going down and immigrants. In addition, immigrants have contributed  billions of dollars in Social Security and Medicare, without ever hoping to draw these benefits themselves. Their input has even been factored into government budgets - budgets which, by design, require their input without benefit in order to work! See the New York Times: Illegal Immigrants Are Bolstering Social Security With Billions
and Cost of Illegal Immigration May Be Less Than Meets the Eye

But if that's not true, why do I hear it so often? How could so many people be wrong?

Well, have you ever heard the term "scapegoating?" There's no denying the global economy is seriously unsteady and people are being affected by it in the US. But that is what you have to look at: the global economy. Recent immigration from Mexico, for instance, cannot be separated from the effect that NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) has had on Mexico's industry and agriculture (Download Oxfam report). Markets flooded with US-subsidized corn imports have driven many Mexican farmers out of business and off their land, while factories once set up by US corporations have closed down in search of even cheaper labor in China or other places in Asia. The economic forces affecting people's livelihoods, whether here or in other parts of the world, are guided by profitability and greed, not by immigrants seeking a better life for themselves or their families through low-paying jobs here.

"If the immigrant pickers did not come north across the border, the strawberries would."

-from the New York Times

You have to look deeper to discover what is really at work here. Protesters marching in Arizona recently carried a banner that said: “There is no problem with immigration; there is a problem with capitalism."


 

Fascist Anti-Immigrant Law Upheld

from Revolution

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Arizona’s anti-immigration law Senate Bill 1070, unanimously upholding the reactionary centerpiece of the law, “the one critics have called its ‘show me your papers’ provision” (New York Times, June 25, 2012, “Blocking Parts of Arizona Law, Justices Allow Its Centerpiece”).

The Court also ruled by a 5-3 vote that the remainder of the law was unconstitutional because its provisions gave a state (Arizona) the authority to interfere with federal immigration policy and enforcement. But to be clear, the essence of this ruling or this law is a huge attack on the masses of Latino immigrants in Arizona, the masses of Latino people, and ultimately the people as a whole—with implications for the whole country, and it is a further continuation of the repression and oppression that sets the terms and conditions for the lives of immigrants in this country.

Read more...

Behind the Federal Court Ruling: Vicious Attack on Immigrants Continues

This article originally in Revolution newspaper

On July 28, federal judge Susan Bolton issued a ruling that "enjoined"—temporarily prevented—Arizona from enacting four major sections of a vicious anti-immigrant law SB 1070. Nine other provisions became state law on July 29.

Read more...

Arizona, Tea Parties, and White Citizenship

by Margaret Kimberley

 
After all is said and done, what much of the so-called Tea Party wants is a return to America as a White Man’s Country. There are a few obstacles in their way, including the U.S. Constitution, but that’s not insurmountable.
 
“On a daily basis pundits and politicians rear their ugly heads to say that the children born of undocumented persons should no longer be given American citizenship.”
 

Read more...

Lady Gaga in Phoenix: “We Must Actively Protest 1070”

From Puente Arizona 

 
Note – numerous musicians and artists have been boycotting Arizona in protest of its anti-immigrant law SB1070.
 
Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes said recently in defense of his participation in the boycott  “The only thing, clearly, that these people (behind 1070) care about is Money and Power, that and the creation and preservation of an Anglo-Centric Police State where every Immigrant and Non-White citizen is considered subhuman.  They want them stripped of their basic human rights and reduced to slaves for Corporate America and the White Race.  They are engaged in blatant class warfare.  It is evil, pure and simple.”
 
Lady Gaga recently decided to hold her Phoenix concert – but on at least two occasions called on people in the audience to continue protesting this unjust law. She also wrote “Stop SB 1070” on her arm during her performance.

Read more...

Facing Off in the Desert: Intense Week of Protest vs. Fascist SB1070 in Arizona

Initial Report from Arizona Freedom Summer

 
We've been in the middle of a very intense battle here in Arizona. Folks have been shutting down the jail, protesting at the Sheriff's compound where Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio keeps his notorious "tent city", taking to the streets, confronting Minutemen and Nazis, and disrupting Russell Pearce's fascist pep rally Saturday.
 
All of this is very good and needs to continue, injunction or not.

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Letters from an Immigrant Detainee

These letters were received by the World Can't Wait office from a citizen of a Central American country who had been in the U.S. for many years, and recently put into ICE detention.

We are sharing them to show that Arizona is not unusual in its treatment of people from other countries.  This is business as usual across the country - even in liberal northeastern states.

March 28, 2010
 
Dear _____,
 
As you can see, I am in a federal prison. It’s a huge maximum-security prison. Not even the state of New Jersey has these high tech torture chambers. You walk through a long hallway. At the end, like a cave, is a block where you go into a cell, get isolated, away from every official who runs this prison. You never know who is who and what is what. I can’t imagine what being in Guantánamo is like, poor souls. 

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Letters from a Detainee

These letters were received by the World Can't Wait office from a citizen of a Central American country who had been in the U.S. for many years, and recently put into ICE detention.

We are sharing them to show that Arizona is not unusual in its treatment of people from other countries.  This is business as usual in even liberal northeastern states.

Read more...

Main Immigrants