Currently, the U.S. has immigration law on paper, but does not have a national immigration policy. In reality, immigration policy has been privatized. Private employers import, exploit and, in effect, deport immigrant workers at will with little or no regard for federal law or federal enforcement agencies.
Too often, it appears to workers that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a partner, intentionally or not, with employers in the exploitation of immigrant labor and the suppression of worker rights. USCIS seems to show up more often during an organizing campaign or a strike situation.
The fact is that immigration issues in the U.S. are part of a larger, global trend--the systematic and ruthless exploitation of labor. Corporations export jobs in search of the most exploitable labor pool--and, they import workers to create a domestic pool of exploitable labor.
On trade issues, labor standards must protect workers--regardless of what country they live in and work in--against exploitation at the hands of their employers. The failure of trade policy to include strong, enforceable labor standards has created a vast international labor pool that lives and works without rights or hope for the future. It is a pool of workers that can be recruited, imported, exploited and disposed of.
On immigration issues, we must demand standards that protect workers regardless of what country they came from or how they got here. Because the issue is the same: the exploitation of labor.
Thousands rallied in front of Congress in Washington, D.C., in March, 2006, to support immigration reform.