Peace and Freedom Party

California's Feminist Socialist Political Party

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Home Articles The Partisan Partisan Number 25 To defend workers’ rights, defend immigrants

To defend workers’ rights, defend immigrants

Enemies of working people have been whipping up a frenzy of hatred against immigrant workers, focusing on undocumented immigrants. Using false economic arguments, racism, and all kinds of baiting and lies, they try to paint Guatemalan construction workers as possible terrorists, or to pretend that Mexican farmworkers are plotting to return the Southwest to Mexico. While the leaders of this reactionary movement never support any laws that would promote workers' rights on or off the job, they spread claims that foreign workers are "taking away jobs" from workers born in the United States, and pretend that concern for US workers motivates their attacks on foreign-born workers. Sadly, some workers are fooled into supporting anti-immigrant measures.

The increased number of foreign-born workers in the United States is a fact, but it is not a problem. No immigration crisis exists, except the crisis that the reactionaries and racists are trying to create for political gain. Over the last three centuries, the number of foreign-born workers has gone up and down many times in response to economic conditions, and sometimes in response to foreign wars or disasters. The net effect on our economy has never been negative. More than 90% of our population is descended, at least in part, from refugees and voluntary economic immigrants.

The key to progress for workers in wages, working conditions and defence of our rights is not to divide workers between immigrants and "natives," or between races, or between sexes, or between languages, or between "legal" and "illegal." The key is unity. When workers stick together, they can win anything. That is because workers produce all wealth, including all the wealth of the billionaires and their corporations.

The Peace and Freedom Party opposes all efforts to divide and defeat workers. We take strong stands for labor rights. We would like to see the minimum wage doubled as a first step, and work for useful jobs at union pay levels for everyone who can work (with a guaranteed dignified income for those who cannot work). We defend workers' rights to organize, boycott and strike - - and we want to outlaw scabbing (striker replacement). {The Democrats have promised this to labor several times, but when the Democrats had control of the Presidency and both houses of Congress it never actually happened. They didn't mean it. We do.] Instead of the Republican- Democratic bipartisan support for anti-worker international agreements like NAFTA, we propose ensuring that international agreements guarantee the protection of workers and democratic rights in all participating countries. This would help keep workers at home, and prevent the heartbreak of economic exile for so many young people.

In the Peace and Freedom Party Platform we say "Immigrant workers are hounded by government authorities, worked and housed in substandard conditions by unscrupulous bosses, and blamed by Republican and Democratic demagogues for society's problems." We call for ending deportations of immigrants. We demand full political, social and economic rights for resident non-citizens. As our goal, we call for open borders. This is not a dream, it is a reality across much of Europe today. Various US politicians have declared it their goal, but for short-term political gain they have gone along with divisive schemes that push back the reality. When working people rule in the three largest North American countries, and possibly even before, we will be able to work and travel between Canada, Mexico and the United States as easily as people now do between Italy, France and Germany. One practical step you can take to bring that day closer is to register and vote Peace and Freedom Party.

This is the text of a leaflet distributed by some Peace and Freedom locals, first used by Kevin Akin in a 2006 congressional campaign.
 
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