Stop the War on Immigrants and Stop the Wars Abroad

The United States launched an all-out war to control areas in the Middle East that was deemed of strategic importance. The tragic event of September 11, 2001 gave the Bush Administration the green light to move thousands of U.S. military forces across the world and attack first Afghanistan and later Iraq. Congress has continued to allocate billions of dollars to finance this war with no end in sight. The extent of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq are of enormous proportions. There is a legal body in place that has shamelessly allowed violations of human rights that affect all aspects of our lives. Two fundamental elements are used to continue this unfortunate state of affairs: the Patriot Act and Homeland Security.

The war abroad is being waged under the premise of a “war on terrorism”. Many of the excuses to justify this war given to the public have already proven false, such as the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and capturing the leadership of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The war at home has intensified against "illegal" immigrants, in fact, Homeland Security has created the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE to police and carry out this war. They utilize the same basic tactics used in the wars abroad to turn U.S. citizens against the designated "enemy", the immigrants. These tactics are being used to criminalize the undocumented immigrants who are predominantly migrant workers. However, this “enemy”, an estimated 12 million people, in one way or another contribute their labor and taxes to the U.S. capitalist economy. Ironically, their wages contribute to the economies of the countries of origin and destination.

The declared objective of the war on undocumented immigrants has a target and has a codename, "Operation Endgame". The target is to remove 12 million people by the year 2012. The Office of Detention and Removal Operations established this in a document titled "Strategic Plan, 2003-2012 Detention and Removal Strategy for a Secure Homeland." As we can see the title of the document clearly determines that this is part of the same war on terrorism. In order to win this war, Homeland Security is expected to forcefully remove at least 1.3 million undocumented immigrants per year at an estimated total cost of about 100 billion dollars.

It is clear to us that their removal objectives are impossible to carry out. Rather, they are using this declared objective to continue terrorizing and repressing immigrants. Nonetheless, Homeland Security has conducted raids in factories, supermarkets, schools, malls, apartment buildings and public places, in military styled operations, from south to north and east and west. The consecuences, like those of all wars, are painful and catastrophic. First there is fear and then there are entire families being destroyed by separation. In all cases there are human rights and labor rights violations, that affect not only the direct victims but their co-workers, their friends, their families.

The military and police force of the state have met, however, with civilian resistance, from protests, marches, and rallies, to the passing of resolutions by cities declaring themselves sanctuary for immigrants, to lawsuits against the abuses of I.C.E. police. While the state spends money in fortifying the border with Mexico, still tens of thousands of undocumented migrant workers continue to risk their lives in search of work to feed their families back home.

War, repression and human rights violations will not solve this transnational tragedy created in great part by the corporations themselves. At home, like abroad, war is not the answer. The answer lies in the application of humane policies aimed at satisfying human needs and not the greed of profit. Let's work with all our might for those humane policies and let's oppose the barbaric solution of war everywhere.


Boston May Day Coalition -- www.bostonmayday.org

October 27, 2007