International Worker’s Day – May Day – 2013 took on special meaning this year, as the drumbeat for immigration reform got louder and louder.
As part of an ongoing campaign, the Service Employees International Union and allied organizations – such as Mi Familia Vota, Community Center for Change and other labor unions and immigrants’ rights groups – celebrated May 1 with major actions in over 70 cities across the nation.
The current immigration bill proposed in the U.S. Senate has some positive provisions, but it falls short because it includes a guest worker program as well as an extensive further militarization of the border. The bill being drafted in the Republican-controlled House will probably be worse.
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) favors both the permanent extension of the DREAM Act and broader immigration reform legislation that would grant immediate permanent resident status to all undocumented workers and their children and would establish an expeditious and non-punitive road to citizenship for those workers and their families.
We also oppose all workplace discrimination based upon immigration status, and oppose any and all guest worker programs because they exploit the workers and undercut all workers’ rights to secure humane wages and working conditions, especially in the service and agricultural sectors.
DSA participates in the global struggle for equitable economic development and labor rights to reduce the forces that push desperate people to emigrate. We understand that massive migrations of workers, refugees and asylum seekers are a consequence of a global political and economic system that works for the benefit of transnational corporations at the expense of the vast majority of the peoples of the world. We also believe that low-wage workers of color, including immigrants, will be central to the “movement of movements” that is critical to the development of a “new new Left.”
See prior post: “A Working Class View of Immigration Reform,” by David Bacon. Get involved at http://www.dsausa.org/current_campaigns.
Duane Campbell is a professor emeritus of bilingual multicultural education at California State University Sacramento, a union activist for over 40 years, and the chair of Sacramento DSA. He blogs on politics, education and labor at www.choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com and www.talkingunion.wordpress.com.