US imperialists have treated migrants from across the Mexico border as nothing less than slave labour over the past decades. Migrants from South America constitute about 7% of the US population now. People from various South American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as well as from Mexico and other countries gather at the border with hopes of entering the United States. Poverty, violence and a host of other problems in their own countries have been driving them to the US border.
These migrants play an important role in the US economy in various occupations such as sanitation, construction, and other essential services. But they are constantly kept under the threat of getting deported. With the constant propaganda by the US state that they are “taking away” the jobs of American workers, the migrants are subjected to virulent racist attacks and social subjugation. Living under the threat of deportation and struggling to get adjusted to a new environment, the immigrants are exploited to the bone by the capitalists. They are paid much lower wages than the official minimum wages and have no social security. They live in abysmal conditions with the hope that one day, in the distant future, they will be accepted as US citizens.
There is increased tension at the US-Mexico border at this time. On May 12, the law named ‘Title 42’ expired. This law passed in March 2020 allowed the US border authorities to turn back any person trying to enter the US from the Mexican border and seeking asylum, in the name of preventing the spread of Covid into the US. Even though the US government had declared the end of the Covid emergency more than a year ago, the law continued to be in place. It is widely known that the Trump government had promulgated the law in order to attack potential immigrants at the border. The Biden government continued with the law, with the same aim.
Now, the Biden government is putting into place even stricter laws to attack potential immigrants at the border. Those whose applications for asylum are rejected will not be able to apply again for a period of five years. Potential immigrants from countries other than Mexico will have to prove that they applied for asylum in some other country on the route to US, and were rejected. Otherwise, their application for asylum in the US would be rejected and they will be deported to their home countries.
Hoping that the withdrawal of Title 42 would make their passage across the border easier, tens of thousands of migrants gathered at the border. The vast majority have been forced to return. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has in recent days been holding up to 28,000 migrants at its facilities, far beyond its stated capacity. The migrants are forced to survive in these detention camps in the most inhuman conditions, without proper food, drinking water, health care and hygiene. They face an extremely uncertain future.
The US carries on incessant propaganda that people from various countries are desperate to leave their homes and families and migrate to the US, where they hope to enjoy a better life than in their home countries. It hides the role of the US in creating a situation wherein people are forced to do so. In many of the countries of Central and South America, US multinationals savagely exploit the land, labour and natural resources of the people of these countries in collusion with the reactionary bourgeoisie ruling these countries. They have driven the masses of people to poverty and ruin. The US has imposed inhuman sanctions on some countries because the governments of these countries refuse to agree to US domination. It has unleashed civil wars in various countries with the aim of bringing to power pro US regimes.
People have been forced to migrate out of their countries due to the havoc wrought by US imperialism, in the first place. The US must be condemned for its criminal attacks on the migrants seeking asylum.