Revolution #93, June 24, 2007
The Rulers’ Push for an Immigration Bill—A Program of Increased Repression and Legalized Slavery
In our last issue, Revolution reported that the immigration bill that was being considered in the Senate hit a major roadblock when its backers failed to close off debate and move to a final vote. It was unclear at the time whether the bill had been stopped for good. (See “Senate Immigration Bill: The Clash in the Halls of Power…and the Real Interests of the People” in issue #92, online at revcom.us.)
Since then, George Bush and the Senate backers of the bill have been pushing hard to “revive” the bill. Immediately after coming back from his European trip (which included attending the G8 summit in Germany of top imperialist powers), Bush met with Republican senators to “lobby” for the bill. Two days later, Senate leaders announced that the bill would come up for consideration again soon.
The Bush White House and the bill’s backers announced a number of changes in the bill that make it even more clear, as we analyzed in our article last issue, that there is nothing good in this bill for the people. A key change is the promise of immediate authorization of $4.4 billion for “border security”—in other words, for increased militarization of the border with more walls, surveillance equipment, armed agents and troops, etc.
Bush said that the $4.4 billion would come out of the fines and back taxes that undocumented immigrants would have to pay in order to apply for a temporary visa that would give them legal permission to work in the U.S. This is yet another outrage among many in this bill: the immigrants themselves would be required to pay for more border militarization, which has already forced more and more immigrants to cross through dangerous desert and mountain areas, leading to the deaths of hundreds each year.
Whatever happens with this particular immigration bill, the rulers’ “immigration reforms” mean a big leap in repression against immigrants and others, and legalization of slave-like conditions for immigrant workers.
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