DSA Immigrants’ Rights Working Group Statement on Refugee Crisis in Ukraine

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”

The Immigrants’ Rights Working Group reaffirms the statement made by the National Political Committee on 26 February condemning Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Likewise, we condemn the right wing authoritarian forces in the United States that have applauded the invasion, an indefensible violation of international law.

We condemn the bipartisan domestic forces scapegoating students from Russia and China during this time, xenophobia hearkening back to some of the darkest chapters of our history. 

We condemn the anti-Black forces we have seen turn away our Black/African sisters and brothers as they flee a war zone, mirroring what we are seeing in the U.S. with the forced deportation of 20,000 Haitian asylum seekers since last fall. 

The growing public solidarity with Ukrainian refugees should remind us of other peoples fleeing wars: Haitians, Palestinians, Hondurans, Yemenis. The reality of racism is endemic and political projects that do not include a substantive analysis of the migrant working class fail to understand both race and class in the U.S. and thus fail to address our fundamental political tasks. In the U.S., our task is to hold the line and stay out of the war, and now to prepare for helping our brothers and sisters fleeing this conflict, lifting whatever legal obstacle may obstruct such aid. 

To that end:

  • All people deserve safety from war. Refugees fleeing Ukraine who choose to enter the U.S. must be given immediate entry, with the ability to adjust their status to residency, whether through Humanitarian Parole, Temporary Protected Status, or some other legal mechanism. 
  • The growing public solidarity with Ukrainian refugees should remind us of other peoples fleeing imperial wars: Haitians, Palestinians, Hondurans, the list goes on. We support the full rights of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, whether the cause of their flight was a U.S. enemy, a U.S. ally, or the U.S. itself.
  • We recognize that U.S. immigration and refugee policies are based on U.S. foreign policy goals, not on merit or human need, and that who is let in and who is kept out is determined by what is most politically and economically beneficial to the United States government. 
  • We recognize that Black migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees are being barred from justice in ways that are morally repugnant and resulting in insecurity and death.
  • We reject the hypocrisy of building walls to keep Black and brown migrants in poverty, exploitability, and mortal danger, while our politicians spout rhetoric about welcoming Putin’s victims with open arms. 
  • We reject the instrumentalization of public solidarity with the victims of war to strengthen imperialism and war profiteering that only hurts the global working class.
  • We call for welcome and aid to those fleeing from violence, political and economic turmoil, imperialism, colonialism, and climate change, including but not limited to Ukrainian refugees.
  • We call for a just immigration system that offers human dignity to Ukrainians, Afghans, Central Americans, Cameroonians, Haitians, and all people seeking safety for themselves and their families.