Stop ICE rally San Francisco, 2018

What Would a World Without Borders Look Like?

On Tuesday, June 4, Democratic President Joe Biden announced a new crackdown at the US-Mexico border. His vicious attack is a cynical attempt to scapegoat immigrants ahead of the 2024 election. As Biden and his Republican opponent, Donald Trump, double down on nationalism and hatred, revolutionary communists are fighting for a world without borders. Below, we present a brief statement of the communist position originally published in issue 2 of The Communist.

By transforming entire regions into veritable hellscapes, imperialism has provoked some of the most devastating refugee crises humanity has ever seen. Entire economies are shackled with insuperable debt, their budgets and infrastructure strangled and slashed, entire populations impoverished and engulfed in barbarism.

For a chance to survive, millions are forced to leave behind the world they know—the homes, family, friends, food, culture, and language they grew up with. Risking everything, they embark on a life-threatening journey, sometimes hundreds of miles long. Many starve, freeze, drown, suffocate, or are kidnapped and murdered. Others reach the border—only to find other menacing threats.

Those who succeed in crossing the militarized border, far from enjoying the hospitable embrace of a land of comforts, must endure the worst American capitalism has to offer. They will work the most dangerous, grueling jobs, suffer the longest hours for miserable pay, all without rights or even a guarantee that the boss will pay at all.

These are the workers who suffer the most wage theft, who breathe fumes that shorten their lives, who die in industrial accidents—the most expendable segment of the workforce, in the eyes of the capitalists.

To top off these horrors, immigrant workers are the political punching bag of both ruling parties. Liberals and conservatives try to outdo each other in attacking and scapegoating them. From the subtle hypocrisy of the liberal New York Times to the crudely veiled race-baiting of right-wing cable news, the entire spectrum of bourgeois politics is engaged in the same revolting demagogy about “the border crisis.”

Demonstration by Hispanics and solidarity groups for immigrant rights, Houston 2006
We fight for an end to all borders, deportation centers, militarized patrols, full rights and amnesty for all undocumented workers and their families.  / Image: HUD Staff, public domain

Trump vows to seal the border and carry out mass deportations, while Biden boasts that he’s doubled the number of border agents, and that he, too, is tough on “illegals.” Trump’s “kids in cages,” tearfully denounced by outraged liberals, were merely a continuation of his predecessor’s policies. Never mind that the cages were built under Obama, or that their architect, Alejandro Mayorkas, is now Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security. There is no lesser evil, only greater hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, in the shadows of the world’s largest economy, millions of immigrant workers keep their heads down and toil. Their cheaply paid labor generates the capitalists’ fattest profits. In the kitchens behind the swankiest Manhattan restaurants, beyond earshot of the luxurious dining rooms, the faint sounds of lively Mexican banda or cumbia music provides the soundtrack to the tireless hustle of dishwashers and line cooks, paid a few dollars an hour to prepare hundred dollar dishes, and paid even less to wash them, all to bring in thousands of dollars a night for the owners.

Communists must respond to the anti-immigrant demagogy advanced by both ruling parties with proletarian internationalism: the workers have no country. The nation-state and accompanying borders are a function of the capitalist mode of production. The capitalists are the ones driving down wages, not immigrant workers, who share the same interests as the native-born working class. The bosses rub their hands together when they see workers turn on each other in hostility, their discontent diverted from its real source.

Communists have a duty to transmit a program of class militancy systematically into the labor movement: unionize all immigrant labor at the same high wages—band together to lift the wage floor at the bosses’ expense! It is in the interests of all workers, regardless of legal status or where they were born, to stop the capitalists from using these divisions to weaken our class.

We fight for an end to all borders, deportation centers, militarized patrols, full rights and amnesty for all undocumented workers and their families. This program can only be implemented by a proletarian revolution that brings the workers to power and ends imperialism altogether. We will create a world where people are free to travel and live wherever they want, not out of a desperate attempt to survive, but out of a desire to experience the beauty of the world we live in and the boundless cultural richness of the human species that populates it.

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