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."


 

Gross Violations of Immigrants’ Rights: Obama Administration Continues Harsh Attacks

By Larry Jones

The infamous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio last week made a shocking spectacle by marching 120 undocumented immigrants in striped prison suites and chains through the streets of Maricopa County.

“Not only was this inhumane, but violated international human rights principles — not to mention altAmerican values — that require us to treat people who are incarcerated with dignity and respect,” said the ACLU.  “But Sheriff Arpaio has absolute contempt for the dignity of the people in his custody and demonstrates this by treating people like circus animals.”

ICE Duplicity

Several years ago the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency  (ICE) told Congress that it was going to concentrate on rounding up the most dangerous undocumented immigrants – those who were criminals or terrorism suspects.  But on February 4, the NY Times reported that newly available reports revealed that the agency had changed the rules in the middle of the game and had begun going after easier targets.  A vast majority of those arrested had no criminal record, and many had no deportation orders against them, either,” wrote Nina Bernstein of the Times.

Read more...

Anti-Immigrant Program in Obama's Stimulus Plan

By Larry Jones

 Thanks to my weekly e-mail from “Truth In Immigration” (TII), I just learned that the present version of Obama’s economic stimulus package contains expanded funding for the “E-Verify” program. “E-Verify” is an online program operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration. This is a program that requires employers to electronically check prospective employees’ legal status. As DHS states, “employers can check the work status of new hires online by comparing information from an employee's I-9 form against SSA and Department of Homeland Security databases. The overriding purpose of this program is to subject all prospective and existing employees – particularly immigrants -- to an unprecedented degree of government screening and monitoring, under the guise of determining “eligibility” for employment. It is also calculated to be a key part of whipping up an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust towards immigrants. And finally, as TII points out, it is a program which often contains harmful errors (see: http://www.truthinimmigration.org/Home.aspx).
 

 

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U.S. HAS PLAN FOR MILITARY SURGE AT BORDER

By Larry Jones

Outgoing homeland security director Michael Chertoff told the New York Times on January 7 that plans have been made for a massive U.S. military surge at the U.S.-Mexico border and he informed his putative successor Janet Napolitano that he “put helping Mexico get control of its borders” at the top of his list of national security concerns.
“We completed a contingency plan for border violence, so if we did get a significant spillover, we have a surge — if I may use that word — capability to bring in not only our own assets but even to work with” the Defense Department, Chertoff said in a telephone interview.
 

The “spillover” Chertoff refers to is a possible overflow of the violent Mexican drug wars. But while the horrors of the Mexican drug wars are a dangerous reality, such a military force could also be easily used against Mexicans and others seeking to enter the U.S. to find a job to support their families. 

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Cheney, Gonzalez Indicted in South Texas

By Frank Harper
 
Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez have been indicted by a state grand jury in WillacyAerial View of Raymondville Prison for Immigrants County, Texas, on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity. The indictment also charges Cheney with "profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty". The charges stem from the involvement of Cheney and Gonzalez in a firm called the Vanguard Group, which has invested heavily in the "growth industry" of private prisons, and in particular in a prison for immigrants run privately on behalf of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) near Raymondville Texas. The indictments have yet to be signed by a presiding judge, and no action can be taken against either Cheney or Gonzalez until that happens.

 

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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.