BAYAN Southern California
For Immediate Release
April 10, 2006
Immigration is Not the Problem, Imperialism is!
Imagine a day without immigrants: Trash will not be collected. Office buildings will not be cleaned. No taxi will be available. Restaurants are closed because the cooks, dish washers and servers can't go to work anymore. Practically all hospitals are closed because many nurses - immigrant Filipinos, Koreans, Africans and Russians - are gone.
Since 9/11, immigrants have been the prime targets of the Bush-led U.S. imperialist government in connection with the terrorist acts against the American people. And the attacks on immigrants have been relentless. The latest of these is the Sensenbrenner bill which aims to criminalize practically all immigrants and their families and friends, churches, professionals like nurses, doctors, lawyers and social service organizations that assist alleged undocumented immigrants.
If passed by the Senate, the anti-immigrant law will cause an unimaginable impact on oppressed and exploited countries like the Philippines, Mexico, Korea, Guatemala, etc. The families of immigrants working in the U.S. will be severely affected. This is a double-whammy because many workers as well as professionals are forced to migrate to the U.S. mainly due to high unemployment in their home countries. Unemployment and underemployment in the Philippines, for example, is over 40% of its workforce (Source: Ibon Facts & Figures). U.S. and other imperialist multinational corporations have been exploiting countries like the Philippines and Mexico for decades. Mega corporations like Shell, Texaco, GE, Pepsi Cola, Coca-cola, Nestle and Monsanto are just a few corporations that plunder the resources of underdeveloped countries and exploit the workers to the hilt for super-profits.
Many mega corporations in the U.S. have moved their factories to exploited countries like Mexico and the Philippines where labor is cheap but, in turn, this has caused cutbacks in good paying union jobs here. Gone are "the good old days" when Americans can be proud of U.S.-made goods. Today, you can hardly shop for U.S.-made products at large retailers. In Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart, for instance, many goods are made overseas using cheap labor. If made in the U.S., they are manufactured in sweatshops using cheap immigrant labor.
On the other hand, some governments that use labor for export in order to pay huge foreign debts and earn revenues that end up in the pockets of corrupt officials are silent on the immigrant bill. The government of illegitimate Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, for instance, won't last a day without huge remittances sent by overseas Filipino workers including those in the U.S. Yet, a U.S. puppet that she is, Arroyo has refused to move an inch to denounce the anti-immigrant bill.
HR4437 or the Sensenbrenner Bill has aroused the large immigrant community. Millions of immigrants have poured out to the streets to show their solidarity and condemn this anti-immigration bill. Hundreds of thousands of students have also stood up against the bill. The Immigration Reform Movement has now gained momentum and unprecedented strength.
BAYAN-USA supports and will mobilize the Filipino community in unity with other immigrants on May 1st to demand for: Legalization Now, No to Criminalization!