Where We Go From Here?

Today President Bush proposed deploying 6,000 National Guard Troops on the US-Mexico border to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants. This is nothing but pandering to the most conservative elements in Congress and in the country, including the vigilante anti-immigrant group, the Minutemen. Despite the fact the Minutemen have not had more than 200 people at any of their events (far less most of the time), they seem to matter more to Bush than the millions in 150 cities who boycotted, marched, demonstrated, and walked out on May 1 – probably the largest social mobilization in US history.

We know that the government will not do the right thing. Even their plans for guest worker programs are super exploitation programs. What the movement has been demanding is full and complete amnesty for close to 12 million undocumented people, and a fair & equitable immigration and border policy.

But it appears Bush and Congress will have nothing to do with this.

I think at present the movement has to expand its vision, its reach, its unity, and its organization. At the heart of this movement are the economic rights for all people to have decent lives, decent work, decent pay, decent healthcare, and decent housing. There are millions of American citizens, let alone immigrants, who don’t have these vital things. Let’s move into this Heart of America that the capitalist class, as well as their policy makers and apologists in the media, pretend don’t exist or don’t matter.

A unified, strong, ongoing movement of the poor by the poor and for the poor is the direction the present struggle for dignity and human rights for immigrants is going. Once engaged, the linkages across all borders in this hemisphere and other parts of the world can make this a truly world-wide, historically momentous movement, the possibilities of which are inherent in the recent mobilizations among labor, churches, and social organizations to change immigration policy in the US.

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