Once again, Obama has put the interests of his party and corporate sponsors above those of the people. After promising an executive action on immigration by the end of the summer, he is now backing away deciding to delay it until after the elections in November. At the same time, thousands of families are separated due to the policies that Obama’s administration enforces.
Obama delaying action on immigration comes as no surprise to those who understand the U.S. state as a capitalist, imperialist, and white supremacist apparatus. Its interests are poised on maintaining the rule of the capitalist class, maintaining imperialist domination of the Third World, and enforcing white supremacist rule over oppressed nationalities within its borders. Criminalization and persecution of the immigrant community through immigration enforcement facilitates their supper exploitation at their work places: the factories/sweatshops, the farms, homes as domestic labor, construction trades, etc.
More often than not, so called ‘progressives’ tail Democratic politicians in hope that they will be able to represent their interests in the power structure of the U.S. capitalist state. But in reality, Democrats, like their Republican counterparts, only represent the interest of a section of the capitalist class which finances their political careers. Democrats were behind the defeat of the DREAM Act on 2010 when six Democratic senators voted against it. Despite the desires of immigrant rights organizations, Democrats gutted the more progressive demands of the immigration reform bill allowing for further enforcement and marginalization of immigrant communities. Democrats are the reason why the New York DREAM Act failed for they voted for it on an unscheduled roll call, ignoring the requests from activists who wanted to wait until they have enough votes.
Instead of serving the people, Obama and Democrats are only concerned with how best to further their political careers as figureheads of the capitalist state. Similarly some activists engage in political activism to fulfill their careerist goals and build their resume so that they can climb the ladder at the expense of the people. Even more progressive activists in the movement will water down their rhetoric, pull back their demands, and refrain from raising criticism of the liberal leadership so that the Democratic Party will continue financing their campaigns.
Immigrant communities deserve better leadership that is willing to advocate for their interests in an unafraid and unapologetic fashion. We need a leadership who will not compromise the interests of the people for the interests of their careers. We need a leadership that can take initiative in favor of the community that they serve, and not tail the Democrats.
Immigrant rights activists should focus on building their power base across the many sectors of the immigrant community, especially among the youth and the workers. Only with a powerful base that is organized, and united under a clear set of politics that not only aim to win mere reforms but to build the movement for further working class struggles, can can begin curtailing the power of the Democrats and the U.S. state in order to advance the struggle of undocumented communities for citizenship. To take up this democratic struggle of the people is to struggle against and expose the capitalist empire’s agenda, bringing the masses one step closer to revolution.