Immigration Is a Peace and Justice Issue: There Is No Such Thing as an Illegal Person:
The MPJC approaches the issue of immigrant rights through a different lens from that of many supporters of immigrant rights-and, it goes without saying, all opponents of immigrant rights-in that we call attention to the fact that the majority of Latin American immigrants, documented or undocumented, are in fact refugees from wars started by, financed by, and in some cases fought by the United States and from the exploitative US economic domination established by these wars.
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the United States conducted imperialist wars of aggression in Latin America, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. In the twentieth century, especially the latter half, the US government, the military, and the CIA supported Latin American elites in coups, civil wars, and bloody repression against working people in the region. Continuing into the present century, US policies still support the wealthy minority-and, of course, US banking and business interests-at the expense of the poor majority, struggling for survival. The inhumanly unjust NAFTA treaty and other US-led economic incursions have devastated and re-devastated Latin American economies over and over. As a result workers are forced to cross the US border, with or without documents, in order to feed themselves and their families. Many immigrants from other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa where 150 years of British and French colonialism have had similar effects, have also essentially been refugees. We emphasize Latin America, however, because the current racist offensive on immigration is primarily directed against people from Latin America.
The MPJC sees the issue of immigration as an issue of human rights and justice. The restrictive laws now being proposed are in violation of the basic human rights of people now living in the United States. We believe that the problems associated with immigration are those of exploitation and discrimination. Only by challenging that which makes immigrants' lives poorer, more frightened, and more subject to injustice can there be real human rights in the United States.
We call for:
No one should lose their human rights when they cross the border.
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Other references of interest:
Illegal immigrants and Social Security, The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 10, 2005 http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050410/news_mz1e10ruben.html
Immigrant waiting for the White House, Congress, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 4, 2006 http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/archive/2006/May/04/local/stories/03local.htm