To effectively combat the anti-immigrant “law and order” rhetoric, the most essential point to popularize is that the American corporate elite have created a vicious cycle with their free-trade, imperialist policies against Latin America. Decades of military adventures, covert operations and systematic economic pressures have geared much of Latin America’s economy toward the profit needs of U.S.-based multinational corporations, no matter the impact to ordinary workers and farmers in those countries.
The result is millions of economic refugees forced to flee northward for better opportunities. If the right wing is so interested in stopping the flow of immigrant labor to the U.S., then they should be loudly calling for a repeal of imperialist trade agreements and other policies that undermine independent local economies in Latin America. Not surprisingly, however, they choose not to bite the hand that feeds them.
While we continue to fight for full immigrants’ rights under today’s conditions, we need to keep in mind that under capitalism, big business’ attempts to maintain immigrants as an oppressed second class of workers will continue, even if some form of legal status is awarded them. Even reforms won through struggle will not be secure without a socialist transformation of society where the drive for profit no longer guides political policy.
The ruling class will forever find it convenient to use the time-tested divide-and-rule tactic to assert their assumed right for limitless profit extraction from all workers. A socialist transformation that puts the world’s wealth under workers’ democratic control would create a society with no incentives to deny people their basic rights. Furthermore, an international democratic plan of production and distribution will guarantee people’s right to live wherever they wish, with access to a decent job, housing, health care, and education for all.