Unfounded Fears Drive Anti-Immigrant Movement

The number of anti-immigrant organizations have exponentially grown in the past few weeks--beyond the myopic racism of the Minutemen (regardless of how many Black and Latinos they manage to recruit) into an alphabet soup of organizations, many of which don't even get along. Some groups are building their own walls on the US-Mexico border, many are rallying in various cities (around 200 average, often smaller), others are waging recall campaigns of candidate they feel are pro-immigrant rights (recently several city officials were kicked out of office by anti-immigrant candidates in a small town in Florida).

However, they are organizing in the midst of the greatest mobilization of people in the history of the United States--for example, on May 1 millions marched, rallied, got off work and school in support of amnesty for undocumented immigrants and fair and equitable immigration and border policies.

These millions also include many citizens and legal residents; the weight of their efforts is on the side of human rights for all people, including undocumented immigrants.

Not so the anti-immigrants. They want whatever pie the US economy consists of to be just for them (although, they'll find that they're being pushed out of the economy just the same, and not because of immigrants).

Yet, it's very likely the Senate will more or less heed the smaller number of Americans who want greater border enforcement and removing undocumented immigrants from US society. Although, I'm sure some Senators will pull away from the total absurdity of the House Sensebrenner Bill that got passed earlier this year (the bill included a 700-foot border wall to the tune of billions of dollar; the criminalization of undocumented immigrants and anybody who helps them; and other inane proposals).

Yet what most pro-immigrant rights groups have been fighting for will probably not see the light of day.

Guest worker programs, different tiers of amnesty approval, and other suggested policies are not good enough. They maintain a second-class population, to be exploited below the exploitation most American workers have to endure.

Our basic premise: If we lift the repression and remove the exploitative nature of being undocumented in this country, it will help all workers, whether they are citizens or not.

But the anti-immigrant groups are poised on fear. One woman called the large number of Mexicans in this country a "genocide" (presumably of white citizens). A recent editorial in the LA Daily News (and echoed on TV shows, including Lou Dobbs on CNN) continues to decry the Mexican flags at rallies (although this is mostly sparse, with millions more US flags in evidence), the spectre of Mecha as a pro-Aztlan takeover organization (Mecha is none of that; besides this movement, which most Mechas support, is much larger than Mecha), and the Spanish-version of the Star Spangled Banner (although there are now reports that George W. Bush sang the National Anthem in Spanish while campaigning in Texas; also, there is evidence the US government commissioned a Spanish version of the National Anthem in 1916).

The hyperbole is insane. What are they afraid of? It's clear Mexicans and other immigrants want to be part of the United States, are willing to work, pay taxes, and even fight in their wars (many have already been killed--I understand there are thousands of undocumented soldiers presently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan).

I don't personally agree we should buy into everything this country is about. But the fact is most Mexicans and other immigrants are very loyal, law abiding, and Christian (although there are many non-Christians among them).

These anti-immigrant people are undermining one of the most solid pro-American sectors in this country. Again, I'm for the end of all borders, for the end of nations to determine our future and destinies, and for the equitable and just distribution of our vast resources to benefit everyone. But, hey, that's just me.

The anti-immigrant groups, driven by unfounded fears and paranoias, are cutting their own throats--similar to what the Confederates did when they seceded in the 1800s and the segregationists did when they opposed Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

The world is changing. This country is becoming more like the world. This is not bad; it can be very good. But don't blame this just on immigrants--the corporations went global a long time ago. They have long participated in shifting the borders and our formally "sacred" delineations of country and culture.

However, while the corporations do this to enrich themselves, immigrants are here to make real whatever American Dream still exists. Most whites I've talked to support this. It's just a few old-guard whites (and, again, some Blacks and Latinos) who just can't adapt until they're forced to.

With the current pro-immigrant movement issues of race and class are coming to the fore. We don't need to divide around our shallow racial/social positions. We can find the essential goals we all need to unite around--and begin to create a country worthy of all of us, not just the few.

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