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."


 

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...

Immigrants Prepare for Enforcement of Arizona Law

"I did not make an immoral decision to come here at six years old and I think it's immoral to try to make me leave."

By Jessica Hopper

Francisco has been in Phoenix, Arizona without papers for 14 years, but he says he's now afraid to walk the streets.

"I got my family, my kids born here," Francisco said tearfully. "And now I have come back to Mexico."

Francisco and his family are joining a growing exodus of illegal immigrants. They say they are driven by fear. They leave behind vacant apartments, empty shops and desks at school.

Read more...

No Human Being is Illegal - Protest Arizona's New Law this Week

Arizona We Will Not ComplyOn Thursday, July 29, the unjust Arizona law SB 1070 targeting immigrants is set to go into effect.  The law requires that police demand proof of legal residency from anyone they "stop, detain or arrest" if police suspect that person is an undocumented immigrant.  11 other states are considering such legislation.

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Protest Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law - Set to Go into Effect July 29

On Thursday, July 29, the unjust Arizona law SB 1070 targeting immigrants is set to go into effect.  The law requires that police demand proof of legal residency from anyone they "stop, detain or arrest" if police suspect that person is an undocumented immigrant.  11 other states are considering such legislation including Pennsylvania.
 
This week, two Utah state workers were fired for leaking a list of 1300 names, with addresses, of people they said were illegal immigrants receiving social services.  Deseret News reported, "Leaders of Hispanic groups said at a Thursday press conference that 'the list' has made many Utah Latinos feel like Jews in Nazi Germany."

Read more...

Needed: Mass Opposition to Attacks on Immigrants

This article originally appeared on the website of Revolution newspaper

 
July 29 is the day that Arizona's controversial anti-immigration law, SB 1070, is set to go into effect. The law makes it a crime to willfully be in Arizona without proof of legal status. Once the police have stopped someone, whatever the legal justification, it requires them to demand papers if they even suspect the person could be an undocumented immigrant.
 
In effect, it legalizes racial profiling, exposing anyone and everyone to police interrogation and brutality if they "fit the description"—meaning they speak with an accent, have dark skin, dress in a certain way, or are found in the "immigrant" part of town.

Read more...

The Trouble with Arizona, and Obama: A Confederacy of Oppression

 by Margaret Kimberley 

 
"I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, do issue this, my proclamation, declaring said ‘Act to organize the Territory of Arizona’ to be in full force and operation, and that I have proceeded to appoint the officers therein provided to be appointed in and for said Territory." – February 14, 1862.
 
The history of the state of Arizona is as much stained by the Confederacy as by the usual Old West pathologies, having once been claimed as a territory of the breakaway Slave Republic. Reconstruction never reached Arizona, which has enacted what might be called “Brown Codes” to shackle its Latino residents. “What Governor [Jan] Brewer and her anxious citizens really fear is too many brown faces.”

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El Paso/Juarez: Border Patrol Shoots and Kills 14-Year-Old Boy

 From the Web Site economic refugee 

 
MSNBC reported that the U.S. Border Patrol border patrol shot and killed a 14-year-old boy.
 
The boy’s sister, Rosario Hernandez, told Associated Press Television News that her brother was playing with several friends and did not plan to cross the border.
 
“They say that they started firing from over there and suddenly hit him in the head,” she said Monday.

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"Undocumented UNAFRAID"

This article originally appeared on the site of Revolution newspaper

 
On May 29 tens of thousands from across the country poured into the streets of Phoenix for a national day of action against SB 1070, the Jim-Crow-like Arizona law that requires police to demand papers from anyone they suspect is undocumented.
 
Busloads and carloads came from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, from Tucson and Chicago, Mississippi and Maryland. Some people came all the way from Australia, joining the many thousands from Phoenix.

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Tens of Thousands Protest Fascist Anti-Immigrant Law at Phoenix March

 By Dylan Smith 

 
Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Arizona's State Capitol in Phoenix Saturday as they demonstrated against the state's controversial immigration law, SB 1070.
 
A pro-1070 rally was held Saturday evening at Tempe Diablo Stadium. An estimated 5 - 7,000 turned out to support the law, which requires police to determine the immigration status of those they suspect of being in the country illegally.

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Arizona Law Targets Ethnic Studies

 From Revolution newspaper 

 
Arizona has passed another reactionary bill, signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer on May 11, that aims to eliminate Mexican-American Studies and all ethnic studies programs in Arizona public schools. House Bill 2281 declares that a school district or charter school in the state cannot include in its program of instruction any course or classes that include any of the following:
  1. Promote the overthrow of the United States government;
  2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people;
  3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group;
  4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.
And the new law has teeth; any violations of its provisions will be punished by having 10% of their state funds withheld from the school district or charter school.

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Main Immigrants

About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.