CPUSA Statement in Response to Bush Immigration Speech

May 17, 2006

George W. Bushs speech to the nation on May 15, 2006 highlighting deployment of the National Guard to the Mexican border represents an aggressive policy of racist, anti-immigrant demonization and hysteria. It was a demagogic attempt to mobilize the conservative base and appeal to fear in the lead-up to the November Election, and impact the current Senate debate.

Bushs call for comprehensive immigration reform includes predominantly punitive, exploitative measures that belie the democratic traditions of our country. His proposals to maintain 6,000 National Guard troops at the border and increase facilities to imprison immigrants constitute the domestic side of a permanent war policy, which diverts funds from human needs and must be rejected.

Bushs feigned embrace of our country as a nation of immigrants cannot hide the vicious anti-immigrant, anti-worker substance of his proposals.

We join with all those who are speaking out against this blatant attempt to play to the right wing and distract attention from mobilizations to call upon the US Senate to amend the Hagel-Martinez-Specter compromise, S. 2611. As written, this bill would exclude the vast majority of undocumented immigrants now in the country from a path to legalization and citizenship. It would create a tiered and permanently unequal workforce that splits families.

This attack of Bush makes it necessary to redouble calls and messages to the Senate and the House to take out every punitive and restrictive measure from immigrant legislation. Senate Bill 2611 should be defeated if efforts to radically amend it in a progressive, pro-immigrant direction do not succeed.

Bushs proposals pander to extreme right-wing, racist efforts to drive immigrants out of the country, demonizing our sisters and brothers as terrorists, criminals, and invaders. His guest worker’ proposal makes workers dependent on their employer to maintain their status, institutionalizing their vulnerability and undermining the position of all workers. The identification system proposed for immigrants is a step toward an Orwellian national ID card that could be extended to all workers.

Undocumented immigration is a worldwide issue caused by the increasing differences of wealth among and within countries. The international trade polices of the US administration force millions in Mexico, Central America, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa to uproot themselves and seek work here. Employers, who violate immigrants most basic labor and civil rights with impunity, knowing that these workers have diminished leverage to defend themselves, are subjecting undocumented immigrants to super-exploitation. This is bad for all workers.

We join with labor, immigrant and community organizations in calling upon the US Senate to pass legislation for legalization of undocumented immigrants with a clear path to citizenship, full civil rights and due process, labor rights, family reunification, civic education and participation.

The Communist Party USA supports special measures to achieve immigrant rights:

Legislate a speedy path to permanent resident status with access to citizenship for all 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country.
Increase the number of permanent resident visas instead of guest worker programs.
Halt all raids and deportations until the immigration issue can be positively resolved.
End the practice of breaking up families through the deportation of breadwinners.
Defend the labor and civil rights of all workers and their families, at work and in the community.
End imperialist trade and foreign policies that exacerbate the poverty of countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Haiti, etc. and therefore make mass labor immigration inevitable.


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