Why Corporate Democrats Do Not Support Immigrant Justice

Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema pose for photos with immigration reform activists after a discussion on immigration reform October 23, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. With the fate of DACA up in the air, Democrats have been relatively silent on the plight of nearly 10 million other undocumented immigrants in the country, further reinforcing the "good immigrant / bad immigrant" divide that undocumented youth have tirelessly repudiated. (Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images)Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema pose for photos with immigration reform activists after a discussion on immigration reform October 23, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. With the fate of DACA up in the air, Democrats have been relatively silent on the plight of nearly 10 million other undocumented immigrants. (Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

“Liberal academics are busy supporting the DREAM Act or whatever helps them avoid being called racist.”

This is how a member of Chicago’s Moratorium on Deportations Campaign expressed her frustration at the lack of critical analysis surrounding the “comprehensive immigration reform” bill that had just passed the Democratic-led Senate in June 2013.

It’s not hard to understand why: The legislation included $46 billion to further militarize the border with Mexico — already guarded by nearly 20,000 Border Patrol agents, dozens of drones and 700 miles of border walls. This bill included a version of the DREAM Act, as well as a permanently temporary legal status for 5 million other undocumented immigrants, masquerading as a so-called “pathway to citizenship.”

Today, President Trump’s knack for throwing around demeaning and racist epithets and bringing official US government discourse in line with its corporate-backed policy in countries such as Haiti and El Salvador has liberals across the country and blogosphere up in arms. Paul A. Kramer has rightfully exposed the short-sightedness of this hand-wringing. He underscores the racist undertones that have long subtended official US immigration policy, and prods us to ask some very important questions:

To what extent are the countries of the global north implicated in forces that prevent people in the global south from surviving and thriving where they are? In what ways do restrictive immigration policies heighten the exploitation of workers? How does the fear of deportation make migrant workers easier to discipline, hurt and rob? In what ways does mass…

Read more