Defend the rights of immigrant workers! Unite the working class of North, Central and South America!
Resolution of the SEP (US) Third National Congress
14 August 2014
The Third National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party unanimously adopted this resolution on August 6. The Congress also passed the resolution,“Oppose the Israeli assault on Gaza!.”
* * *
1. The Socialist Equality Party unequivocally defends the rights of immigrant workers against both the super-exploitation of capitalist employers and the repression of police and immigration authorities.
2. We reject with contempt the efforts of both major parties and the corporate media to whip up anti-immigrant chauvinism with claims that the US confronts an “out of control” border and waves of undocumented immigrants. The reality is that over the past four years, more immigrants have gone back to Mexico and other Latin American countries than have entered the US, as their jobs, like those of their native-born counterparts, were wiped out by the financial crisis that began in 2008.
3. Nonetheless, the big business politicians and media relentlessly scapegoat immigrants, blaming this oppressed section of the working class for the surge in unemployment, decline in living standards and attacks on social conditions that are the result of the capitalist crisis and the attempt to place its full burden on the backs of the working class as a whole.
4. This type of agitation has a long and ugly history in the United States. It was employed against Irish and German workers in the 19th century and against Italian, Eastern European and Chinese workers in the early 20th century with the aim of dividing the working class and suppressing its most militant layers. These same tactics are being employed today throughout Europe, as well as in Australia, South Africa and elsewhere.
5. The Obama administration has carried out the most brutal anti-immigrant policy of any US administration, already deporting over two million immigrants—more than the number deported by George W. Bush in his entire eight years in office. Its proposed “comprehensive immigration reform” consists of the militarization of the US border—doubling the number of Border Patrol agents, erecting hundreds of miles of new fencing, and deploying National Guard troops and drones. The result is to push border crossers into desert areas where many die each year.
6. The recent arrival of tens of thousands of Central American children on the US border is the product of horrific conditions created by decades of US imperialist intervention. Washington backed a succession of bloodthirsty dictatorships and supported near genocidal counterinsurgency wars that claimed the lives of over 200,000 Guatemalans and 75,000 Salvadorans. More recently, in Honduras, the Obama administration fully backed the 2009 coup that overthrew the elected government of Manuel Zelaya.
7. The decimation of these societies by US military interventions and US-backed dictatorships and coups created the conditions for the ongoing eruption of unspeakable violence associated with the US “war on drugs,” which has driven many to flee north.
8. Rather than provide these youth with the refugee status mandated by international law, the Obama administration has sought to confine them in makeshift prisons and fast-track their deportation by depriving them of their right to due process.
9. The SEP upholds the right of workers from every corner of the globe to live and work in whatever country they choose with full citizenship rights, including the right to return to their home countries without the threat of being barred from re-entry to the US and being separated from their families. The SEP fights for the repeal of all anti-immigrant laws and the disbanding of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol.
Build the ICFI in Latin America!
10. The defense of immigrant workers is inseparably bound up with the fight to unite the workers of North, Central and South America in struggle against the common enemy—US imperialism and the capitalist system.
11. The Socialist Equality Party in the US must pay the closest attention to the struggles of workers south of the Rio Grande, fighting to provide a Marxist analysis of these events and aid in the construction of new revolutionary leaderships in Mexico and all of the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean.
12. The region remains one of the most socially polarized and politically explosive on the planet. It has also become an arena in the international struggle for hegemony waged by US imperialism. Washington has suffered a relative decline in a region it once regarded as its “own backyard,” having been increasingly supplanted by the European Union and China in terms of investment and trade.
13. Building a new revolutionary leadership in Latin America requires the assimilation of the bitter lessons of the 20th century, in which a wave of revolutionary struggles that swept the region was betrayed, ushering in decades of military dictatorship.
14. A critical role in this betrayal was played by Pabloite revisionism, including its Morenoite variant in Argentina. The Pabloites rejected the revolutionary role of the working class in favor of Castroism, petty-bourgeois nationalism and guerrillaism, with catastrophic results.
15. Today, these same forces continue their efforts to subordinate the working class to the national bourgeoisie, from the participation of Brazilian Pabloites in the Workers Party (PT) government in Brazil to the promotion of illusions in the bourgeois nationalist regime of Chavez-Maduro in Venezuela, as well as in bourgeois nationalist politicians like López Obrador in Mexico.
16. The decisive question in the preparation for the next wave of revolutionary upheavals in Latin America is the building of a socialist and internationalist leadership in the working class—that is, sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country, fighting for the common perspective of the Socialist United States of the Americas. The SEP in the US must lend all possible assistance in the political clarification that is required for the emergence of these new revolutionary parties.