ILPS Extends its Solidarity with the People of the US Against the Criminalization of Immigrants and Intensification of the US War of Terror
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
April 3, 2006
The International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) extends its firm solidarity with the people of the US, especially the millions of immigrants and their supporters who have taken to the streets in order to oppose the “Border Protection, Homeland Security, and Illegal Immigration Act, also known as HR4437. We salute and congratulate you for your resounding success in mobilizing yourselves and standing up for human rights against the criminalization of immigrants and the intensification of the US war of terror against the oppressed nationalities of the Americas and in other parts of the world.
The massive rallies that surged up in the last few weeks in various US cities, signals the waking of the sleeping giant that is the immigrant communities and oppressed nationalities within the belly of the imperialist beast. It is a just cause to defend and fight for the human dignity and democratic rights of twelve million immigrants and their supporters against imperialist oppression, racism and the looming monster of fascism. Such a just cause enjoys abundant support throughout the world.
House Resolution HR4437 or the Sensenbrener Act, named after US Congressperson F. James Sensenbrenner would have made routine immigration violations “aggravated felonies” and having routine contact with an undocumented person a felony. The measure would have criminalized whole immigrant communities, as well as individuals or organizations that provide basic social services to the millions of undocumented individuals residing and working in the US. Immigrant advocates, lawyers, priests, service providers and employers would be subject to heavy fines and prison time if they refused or otherwise failed to report their client to the authorities.
While these provisions would have been totally unworkable given the millions of people it would criminalize, it would have no doubt led to intensifying immigrant scapegoating, racial profiling, and providing the license or legal device for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to go after critics, political opponents, and advocates of immigrant and civil rights. Congressman Sensenbrener, the author of this bill which passed the House of Representative in December 2005, is the same person who in June 2005, shut down the House Judiciary meeting on the Patriot Act when his congressional colleagues began to raise tough questions about the curtailment of civil rights in the US and the Bush administration policy on the use of torture.
Besides the egregious attacks against immigrants, the bill also includes billions of dollars for the construction of a wall between the US and Mexico border and billions more just to study the feasibility of building a wall on the border of the US and Canada. These provisions surely were pushed by US corporate interests that stand to benefit through billions of dollars worth of government contracts. These proposed walls promise to further isolate Americans from the rest of the world, and will burden generations of American taxpayers. Surely, this boondoggle will misdirect public funds away from the basic services that the American working people need.
The unprecedented mobilizations of the immigrants and their supporters during the last few weeks have definitely jolted members of the House Judiciary Committee into putting out a version of the bill with a few of the most punitive sections left out. The bill is still replete with provisions that are obnoxiously punitive, biased and discriminatory. Moreover, the bill being considered by the Senate is still fatally packed with extreme provisions that would effectively bar millions of people from the chance to earn legalization, take away the right to a fair hearing, legalize the indefinite detention of non-citizens, and allow domestic military bases to be used for immigration detention.
Since the major mobilizations in Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the million-person Gran Marcha in Los Angeles, there has been continuous mobilization of communities—from high school walk-outs to hunger strikes, and now the call for a 40 city national mobilization on April 10. These are promising signs for the further development of a sustained movement for democratic rights against imperialism, fascism and racism. While some are calling this the new civil rights movement, ILPS hopes that the rising consciousness, broad mobilization, and alliance building are revitalizers of a much-needed anti-imperialist movement in the heartland of the number one imperialist nation in the world.
This latest attack against immigrants in the US is an intensification of the US War of Terror on all oppressed nationalities. Your struggle is one with the struggle of people around the world against US imperialist aggression and outright disregard for human rights. We fully support you in refusing to be scapegoated and labeled as terrorists and criminals. The real terrorists in the world are the imperialists and their local reactionary accomplices that oppress and exploit the people and force an increasing number of them to emigrate, especially to the US, which has aggrandized itself with resource-grabbing and superprofits under the auspices of neoliberal globalization and the US permanent war of terror against the people of the world.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle looks forward to your ever greater success in organizing and mobilizing more millions of people on April 10 and in subsequent actions to further condemn and isolate the crisis-ridden and increasingly repressive US imperialism, particularly under the aggressive and rapacious Bush regime. We call on the ILPS participating organizations in the US to join in the forthcoming mass actions, as they have done since last month. We also call on the ILPS participating organizations all over the world to make manifest their fervent solidarity with and militant support for all the oppressed nationalities in the US and the millions of immigrants who have risen up to oppose the ever hateful anti-people policies of the US monopoly bourgeoisie.