Undocumented and unafraid, revolution is the way!
Currently the fight for immigrant rights is the most progressive movement in this country, fighting for democratic rights of millions of “illegal” or “undocumented” people. In a country which boasts values of tolerance and democracy, 11 million undocumented immigrants are systematically excluded from access to higher wages, education, and democratic rights for lacking proper documentation to live, work or study in this country. We say that we are “Undocumented, Unafraid and Unapologetic” because undocumented people should not be apologetic for their status, instead we will struggle for citizenship and the democratic right to a college education.
The United States government is not a democracy for the masses of people but rather a dictatorship of the elites over the people. We see this play out among the oppressed and exploited people (including undocumented immigrants) all over the country fighting for naturalization or citizenship, affordable housing, access to college education through the DREAM Act and higher wages among many other issues. Undocumented people and other oppressed people do not share the same interests as the capitalist ruling class. The capitalists fight destructive wars to divide the world between themselves, wars that are paid for with the blood of working class and oppressed people. The capitalist class is the class of people who own the very companies many of us work for, putting them in a position of power over us while we get paid a measly wage that is just barely enough to survive. It is the capitalist class that wants 11 million people to remain undocumented so that they can continue to be super-exploited, and if they demand basic rights they are deported so that the exploitative capitalist system can continue to make profits off of the backs of hardworking people.
There are many ways in which the U.S. benefits from the cheap labor undocumented immigrants are forced into providing. Day laborers enrich the construction industry since the bosses can pay undocumented workers a fraction of what a unionized worker would receive (without even having to provide benefits!). Rich mothers hire immigrant women as babysitters and nannies, allowing those upper class mothers to pursue their careers, giving the capitalist class more time to find ways of profiting off the working class. Many of the fruits and vegetables sold at US markets are picked by the super-exploited and underpaid labor of farm workers who work around toxic pesticides and face sexual abuse, in order to keep food and vegetable prices low.
The U.S. government deports more than 400,00 immigrants every year, many times for petty infractions that land them in privately owned and federally funded detention centers where they can stay for months at a time without seeing a judge. ICE, aka “la migra” and local police collaborate to put immigrants in jail, allowing for these prisons to become a booming business. This instills fear in our communities, which makes them reluctant to seek basic services for fear of being deported. Undocumented immigrants are a super-exploited, oppressed community and in order to keep them from taking up revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle, the ruling class must terrorize them through methods such as breaking up families, locking them up in detention centers, coming into the workplace to arrest and deport them etc.
At the same time, US foreign policy toward Latin America, Africa and Asia has been geared towards taking over their natural resources, raw materials and using their people for cheap labor. Through imperialist exploitation (along with help from native ruling classes), the US oppresses the countries that many immigrants come from, leaving poverty and destitution in its path.
We must continue the fight for the DREAM Act in New York State and around the country in a new way, a revolutionary way. This means that we not only need to fight for the needs of undocumented students to gain a path towards citizenship, access to college through admissions policies and financial aid grants but to change the content of education so that will enhance the struggle of the exploited and oppressed people in this country. The education we currently receive is a capitalist education that serves the needs of the capitalists not the people, and we must fight to change this. Along with the DREAM Act we should fight for Black and Latino studies and learn from the struggles of our peoples who are oppressed by US imperialism here and abroad.
Ethnic studies opens up a whole new world that many of us do not get to learn about in high school, an education that seeks to liberate us from the racist and capitalist education that downplays our history. When we open up our history books we learn of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln but not the heroes our people identify with such as Emiliano Zapata and the Mirabal sisters. We are the gravediggers of capitalism, this is why we don’t receive education for liberation, and why the ruling class does not want Ethnic studies and the reason they are keeping undocumented students from not only gaining path to citizenship but from getting an education. This is why the struggle of undocumented students must merge with the revolutionary student movement: for the overthrow of capitalism!
Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee