President Obama has deported more people than any other president in United States history. The Obama Administration seeks to make its unprecedented level of deportations palatable by dismissing those deported as criminals. The day labourers convicted of trespassing, the mother who returns to the United States after deportation to reunite with her family, the person of colour convicted of a minor traffic offence – all are labelled "criminal aliens".
On 5 August, the Obama Administration announced that it would unilaterally impose its controversial deportation programme known as "secure communities" (also known as S-Comm) upon every city in the United States by 2013. S-Comm is a deportation programme that requires local police to run immigration background checks on every individual booked into custody, regardless of the charges and whether they are dropped or upheld. The effect is to make local police departments a primary gateway to deportation.
Obama continues to portray himself as a champion of immigration reform to Latino voters, while at the same time, his department of homeland security institutionalises policies that criminalise and divide immigrant (mostly Latino) families. In the case of children who came to the US at a very young age, not of their own choice, and may now be in college, are they 'illegals' who broke the law to be here? In the case of families where there are undocumented parents with US-born children, does upholding "American family values" mean breaking up those families by deporting the adults? In the US immigration system, the wait times for LEGAL immigration, whether family- or employment-based can run for years.
Immigration (illegal or otherwise) is the oil that lubricates the capitalist machine. In China over 200 million rural illegal immigrants reside and work in China's big cities at sweat-shop level wages, but are excluded from registering in the cities' the Hukou System (resident permits) which would give them access to education and other government services. The American economy depends on the illegal immigrant low wage workers and American businesses have encouraged and profited by immigration. In Georgia crops rotted in the fields because no one was around to pick it due to the state's new labour laws. Immigration and its effect upon "native" workers is of course not new. Corporations, farmers and business need for cheap labour, will make it unlikely we will see any real shut down in immigration. For politicians it's the case of sounding tough but doing little. Until, that is, when the economic times get hard lets target the immigrants. It is easier to scape-goat the disenfranchised rather than apportioning the blame on the venal politicans, the souless corporations who own then and the benighted bankers who fund them. .
20,700 agents, twice as many as in 2004, are guarding the U.S. border. Borders are lies, a "legal fiction". The World Socialist Movement call on all workers to recognise their class interests. The WSM recognises that race and nationality are very real issues but the only manner of solving the problem was by crushing the corporations and the system and let us stand together as one class – because divided we fall. The interest of all members of the international working class being identical, workers recognise no alien but the capitalist.