Draft Programme of the RCP, USA
Draft Programme Part 2
Ending Discrimination Against Immigrants
The world system of imperialism, with its crises and wars and its “normal workings,” uproots people from their homelands on a massive scale. It forces hundreds of millions to move from one end of the earth to the other in search of livelihood and survival.
In the U.S. today, there are millions of immigrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia/Pacific Islands, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and many other parts of the world. Their presence has greatly strengthened the internationalist character of the revolutionary movement in the U.S. The majority of immigrants are an integral part of the single multinational proletariat in the U.S., enriching the potential and forces for proletarian revolution in the belly of the beast.
In a country that is already highly stratified and segregated, whole groups of immigrants are shunted into caste-like conditions of employment, housing, etc. Immigrants are concentrated in low and unskilled jobs in manufacturing as well as in agriculture, and as janitors, busboys, servants, and so on. They are often herded and locked into menial jobs and the worst housing, and are denied decent health care, education, and other social services.
The bourgeoisie brags about its “great melting pot” as it lures immigrants into its cheap labor pools. At the same time it actively fans anti-immigrant and anti-foreign hysteria throughout society to degrade and isolate immigrants and keep them in subhuman and superexploited conditions.
Immigrants are a key and dynamic factor in the U.S. economy, making up about 12 percent of the U.S. workforce. In addition to the majority of immigrants who are proletarians, there are significant numbers of immigrants who fill the need of the U.S. capitalists for trained professionals, educated abroad, who can be employed at lower cost than their counterparts educated and trained in the U.S. itself. Some immigrants are small business people and investors.
The class composition of different immigrant groups is a direct result of selective immigration policies carried out by the U.S. imperialists.
There are substantial numbers of immigrants from countries such as Cuba and Vietnam, where revolutions have ousted regimes backed by the U.S. imperialists. To a large degree, these immigrants, especially those who were exploiters and oppressors in their “home countries,” have been welcomed into the U.S. by the ruling class. Many have been given special benefits and privileges and built up as reactionary forces, although there are also many Cubans and Vietnamese who are poor and part of the U.S. proletariat.
Throughout U.S. history, immigrants have been scapegoated and demonized to suit the changing economic and political needs of the U.S., domestically and in foreign policy, and this continues today. Japanese were put in concentrations camps during World War 2. Arabs are painted as “terrorist” suspects. Chinese are “model minorities” one day and “sneaky spies” the next. Haitians and Africans are cast into “America’s most wanted” along with the African-American population in this racist country. And Mexican workers are abused as “freeloaders” and “criminal aliens” for coming to El Norte to work.
The Stand and Policies of the Revolutionary Proletariat
The uncompromising stand of the proletariat and its vanguard Party is to build fierce resistance against all the attacks on immigrants—against attempts to dehumanize immigrants and deny them rights, and against racist attacks on non-European immigrants.
Upon seizing power, the proletariat will forcefully and immediately end the many abuses that immigrants had been subjected to under U.S. imperialism. No human being will be “illegal” or “alien.” No longer will anyone have to “live in the shadows” for fear that contact with any authority figure—from school and hospital personnel to the police—could result in being jailed or deported.
The military forces used to terrorize and brutalize immigrants—the immigration authorities and Border Patrol, anti-immigrant vigilantes, and the police, as well as the imperialist army, marines, and so on—will all be smashed. The U.S.-Mexico border will be totally transformed (see the appendix “Internationalism and International Relations”).
No one will be punished or humiliated for not speaking English or for speaking with an accent. No longer will the vibrant languages, cultures, and histories of immigrant peoples be suppressed and demeaned. Instead these diverse and rich histories, cultures and languages will be learned from and promoted as an exciting part of the flowering of a new socialist culture and education.
Feudal and other customs that oppress women will be the subject of mass education and struggle, relying on the masses themselves to throw off such burdens.
Among the roughly 30 million immigrants living in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century are millions from countries dominated and plundered by U.S. imperialism. The ruling class fears that these immigrants may weaken the internal cohesion and fabric of the U.S., and potentially undermine the power of U.S. imperialism as an international tyrant.
The proletariat welcomes these brothers and sisters and aims to mobilize and embrace their rich experiences of fighting Yankee domination in their native lands. To bring down U.S. imperialism and build socialism, the proletariat will fully tap this knowledge and experience, as one important part of the overall revolutionary potential of the various immigrant peoples.
The struggles of immigrants in this country have enriched many movements of resistance and inspired other people, including among the middle strata, to oppose injustices such as the crimes of U.S. imperialism in Central America. Despite vicious repression, immigrants have historically played key roles in many struggles, including battles that led to the establishment of International Women’s Day (March 8) and International Workers Day (May 1st), and more recently in the 1992 L.A. rebellion. The militant struggles of immigrant workers at the lower rungs of society strengthen the proletariat’s fighting capacity as a whole.
There are common forms of oppression, as well as resistance, shared by non-European immigrants and Black, Native American, Chicano, and other oppressed peoples in the U.S. The proletarian revolution will abolish the discrimination, racism, criminalization, repression, and police brutality of the old society.
The new socialist state will abolish all forms of exclusion of immigrants from decent housing, health care, education, and all other economic, social, and political institutions of society. There will be equal and complete access. Employment with dignity and respect will be available to everyone as part of helping to build socialism. No newcomers will face being segregated into neighborhoods of crumbling, overcrowded, and unsanitary housing. All forms of discrimination against immigrants will be outlawed.
The basic orientation of promoting respect for the languages and cultures of all peoples, and the principle that people will not be forced to speak English in order to participate fully in the life of society and the struggle to transform it, will be applied to immigrants. (See the appendix “Uprooting National Oppression and White Supremacy.”)
Immigrants will be invited to teach new generations of youth about the countless horrendous crimes that the U.S. and other imperialists have committed in their countries of origin. And the contributions of immigrants will be encouraged and cherished in all aspects of transforming society and working to advance the world revolution toward its final aim of communism.
In the communist future, the idea of borders that divide and rank people will be as absurd as the idea of “racial divisions,” and the word “immigrant” itself will lose its meaning.
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