Revolutionary Worker #1206, July 6, 2003, posted at rwor.org
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, federal and many state and local authorities intensified their efforts to repress and control immigrants.
A series of walls from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, California, was key in turning the southern border into a militarized zone. As a result of these and other murderous measures, immigrants have been forced to cross through increasingly remote and dangerous areas of the border as they try to get to the U.S. in search of work or to return to their families and loved ones.
Thousands of people have died in border crossings--perishing from dehydration in the Arizona desert or drowning in rivers and canals. The U.S. Coast Guard patrolled the seas and arrested desperate, starving immigrants from Haiti, China, and other countries.
Measures such as California's infamous Proposition 187 sought to deny immigrants and their children access to public resources, such as health care and education, and helped whip up an atmosphere that perversely blamed immigrants for any and all problems in society. California and Texas, with enormous populations of immigrants, enacted laws that effectively prevented many of the undocumented from getting driver's licenses, thus forcing them into a permanent status of illegality.
Through these and other actions, the authorities intensified their efforts to repress and control immigrants--even as the economy of the U.S. became more and more dependent on immigrants working in all sorts of jobs and increasingly in every section of the country, and as the business districts of many cities and towns were invigorated by immigrants.
[Return to article]
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497