MDC Statement

574584_10151905024666672_2098607764_nFor Immediate Release1374969_10151934091876672_1025255829_n
October 8, 2013

Statement from Moratorium On Deportations Campaign in response to the current mobilizations in support of the so-called “immigration reform.”

The Immigration Reform Movement is a Scam: How our Communities are Manipulated to promote Anti-Immigrant Legislation

On October 5, Mayor Rahm Emanuel paraded with major NGO’s like Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) to promote Comprehensive Immigration Reform. On October 12, ICIRR and several other major NGO’s are mobilizing a March for Immigration Reform with Dignity and Respect. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But these two actions are part of a much broader campaign of manipulation, falsely promising that Immigration Reform legislation will “keep families together”, “legalize 11 Million people” “make our immigration system more just” and “stop deportations”. It is a scam.

Living in Chicago has taught us a few hard lessons about “Reform”. We have learned that “Housing Reform” means closing public housing, displacing thousands of poor people in the interests of greedy developers. “Education Reform” means closing the schools in poor, immigrant and Black communities in order to open up the market for privatized schools. “Health Care Reform” means closing mental health clinics serving poor people to make way for gentrification projects, funneling those left without care into the prison system. And “Immigrant Detention Reform” means opening up more detention centers and detaining more people including children, in newly built “family-friendly” prisons. “Reform” is what the domestic war looks like, a war waged against immigrants, the poor, the unemployed, women and others who can be made socially vulnerable and disposable. “Reform” is the nice-sounding way to package racism in a “post-racial” America. Rahm Emanuel is the perfect spokesperson for Reform.

The Immigration Reform movement is the newest example of oppression, violence and exploitation sold to us as a “step in the right direction”. The Immigration Reform Movement is built around Bill S744 which passed in the Senate — an anti-immigrant bill which is now almost identically copied by House Democrats in their recent proposal. This Bill’s major provisions are:
make all immigration policy dependent on border militarization: over $46 billion will be funneled to military contractors, creating the most militarized space in US history and reinforcing xenophobic hysteria around immigration as a “national security threat”
increase the criminalization of immigrants and push more and more people into detention, all to benefit private prison companies
create a new version of the Bracero program that keeps immigrant workers exploitable, all to the benefit of large corporations and agribusiness;
create a false “path to citizenship”, by inventing a new “probation” status for immigrants. This status will penalize people who fall below the poverty line, who cannot prove continuous employment, who are targetted by police, who become injured or disabled or otherwise unable to work — in other words, the vast majority of immigrants without status will be pushed into deportation
increase surveillance and enforcement so that it becomes MUCH easier to find and deport people, increasing the efficiency of the deportation machine and Obama’s historic record as Deporter in Chief
destroy “family unification” as a principle for visa programs (which will make it much harder for poor immigrants to petition on behalf of family members such as siblings) and replace it with a “merit system” benefiting only a select few wealthy, professional and highly educated immigrants;
extend the violence against indigenous communities living along the border, and further violate the sovereignty of Indigenous Nations by militarizing their lands

The Immigration Reform Movement is a giant PR campaign, a way to make false promises to immigrants, while pushing legislation benefiting corporate interests that need cheap labor, disposable people and a steady supply of prisoners. These bills will do the opposite of what promoters would have us believe: they would increase deportations and detentions, push people into a permanent underclass making them more exploitable, and use immigrants as an excuse to increase domestic militarization and surveillance programs that will affect everyone.  But the Reform movement is not just pushed by politicians from both parties and by right-wing think tanks: major Immigrant Rights NGO’s like ICIRR stand to benefit financially and politically from Immigration Reform, and a key player in selling us anti-immigrant legislation as a good thing. Across the country immigrant rights NGO’s have been hard at work falsely advertising reform, deliberately misleading the public about the provisions of the bills. On October 12, ICIRR is once again calling people into the streets to support “Reform with Dignity and Justice”. This is incredibly cynical — there is no dignity in being exploited, no respect in being duped to cheer for your own oppression. The Immigration Reform Movement is anti-immigrant, anti-poor, anti-women and anti-family — all the while manipulating our communities in order to secure the immigrant vote.

More cynically, the Reform movement seeks to pacify us, to neutralize and crush grass-roots social movements. Politicians have learned that immigrant social movements are defiant and dangerous to the status quo, but the immigrant vote is a useful prize. Immigrant communities are being used as pawns in a political spectacle that seeks to convert the energy and power of social movements into political capital for politicians and the NGO’s who do their dirty work. “It is the best we can get” they say, “it is better than nothing”, and “a step forward”. Those of us who refer to the actual provisions of the legislation are accused of being divisive and unreasonable. Not once but twice, ICIRR have called the police on undocumented activists who tried to speak out against anti-immigrant policies. This has revealed to us the extent to which these organizations will collaborate with police, Homeland Security and politicians to control migrant justice activists and crush grassroots movements.

We denounce organizations like ICIRR that promote anti-immigrant legislation in order to promote their own financial and political ambitions. We remain committed to building grassroots social movements that can push back not only against the lunatic right wing, not only against the private prison contractors and corporations who profit from the lives and bodies of immigrants and the poor, but also — and more importantly — against the opportunist corporate NGO’s that are rising in power by selling us out. We can take some lessons from the social movements in Mexico: when faced with “reforms” it is not time to wave flags and cheer, it is time for resistance, time for barricades, occupations and strikes. 

In Solidarity,
Moratorium On Deportations Campaign,
No Name Collective,


May 22, 2013:
[Para español vea abajo]
Anti-Immigrant Bill Clears Senate Judiciary Committee
The following is a statement by the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign (MDC) on Senate Judiciary members overwhelmingly passing the anti-immigrant bill out of committee

On Tuesday May 21, the Anti-Immigrant bill (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013) cleared the first of several hurdles by a vote of 13-5 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. After long hours of debate over weeks on possible addition of amendments, the Senate Judiciary Committee has finally voted the bill out from committee and into to full senate’s floor.

The bill is an innovative and modernized approach to criminalizing immigrants and the poor, increasing border militarization and domestic spy programs, and is falsely advertised as a pathway to citizenship.

Since 9-11, and continuing with the economic crisis, immigrant communities have become scapegoats in a political farce. While the super-rich plunder the country, they distract public attention away from their crimes by using politicians to stir-up a national frenzy around so-called “illegal immigration.” The Anti-Immigrant bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday is the most recent attack against immigrant communities. This bill is an escalation of the politics of racist fear and violence, intended to keep immigrants locked into the status of an illegalized underclass while profiting on their labor and on the business of imprisoning them. Meanwhile, US-imposed economic policies abroad continue to displace people and deepen the crisis of forced migration.

Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Chuck Schumer

This Anti-Immigrant legislation would:

-Funnel 6.5 billion of taxpayer money to fund the genocide of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border, the increased punishment of people already forced to live in the US without status, and to expand the machinery of a domestic war.

-Intensify the state’s ability to track and spy on all people via the forced implementation of a national E-verify system, a high-tech racial profiling and surveillance program. Tribal governments will be forced to comply with this racist E-verify system.

-Push people who should be recognized as residents into a state of limbo, a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI). RPI promises small benefits, but does not guarantee rights and can be revoked at any time. While RPI is falsely advertised as a “pathway to citizenship,” its real effect will be to create an underclass of stateless people with papers. “Registered” means that some people will be pushed “out of the shadows” and into the sphere of state surveillance and control.

-RPI explicitly excludes poor people, setting minimum income levels for the amount of income someone must make in order to apply. All those who cannot qualify for this false non-status — which includes people with criminal records or those who cannot prove they have been continuously employed — will be exposed to harsher punishment and pushed into an expanding private-for-profit detention industry.

-Undermine efforts to unify families broken apart by enforcement policies against non-citizens. The bill is also an attack on the LGBTQ community, reinforcing definitions of “family” that specifically exclude same-sex couples.
-Provide increased funding to corrupt NGO’s that pretend to work in the interest of immigrant communities; in reality, these organizations would be paid to administer this anti-immigrant policy.

-Expand guest worker programs, which create the conditions for contemporary slave labor. Agricultural workers deserve rights, not a “blue Card” that makes them dependent on corrupt employers and vulnerable to exploitation.

-Increase a climate of racist fear against “brown” immigrants who are especially targeted for repression and enforcement. These are the same people that were displaced, often violently and traumatically, by US interventions in the Americas.

– it further violates the sovereignty of indigenous nations whose lands have been divided by the border.

senate-immigration_bill-169117147_620x350This bill continues the politics of violent exclusion that have long targeted indigenous and African American communities. It is also a pathway to an American Apartheid, as the government exerts increasing control over people of color in terms of residence, employment and daily life. It creates new mechanisms for stratifying and classifying immigrants on the basis of socioeconomic privilege and with clear racist connotations. It recreates the oppressive conditions that push people into forced migration in the first place.

We have seen this kind of misinformation orchestrated by politicians before. And once more we are not deceived by the hype around this Anti-Immigrant bill which is being framed as a positive legislation; we are not deceived by politicians who merely want to capitalize on the immigrant vote.

As we have done before, we make a call to all migrant and social justice organizations, activists and communities to mobilize and respond to this racist attack on our communities. We must not accept that politicians can play with the lives of 12 million people who they have purposely made into a vulnerable and terrorized population.

We insist on an immediate end to all deportations and on a total reorganization of immigration and economic policy around principles of justice and dignity for all people.


Para su difusión inmediata: 22 de mayo de 2013

Lo siguiente es una declaración pública del grupo Campaña a una Moratoria a las Deportaciones (MDC)

El martes 21 de Mayo, el Proyecto de ley anti-inmigrante (Acta de Seguridad Fronteriza, Oportunidad y Económica y Modernización de 2013) rebasó el primero de varios obstáculos con un voto a favor de 13 a 5 en la Comisión Jurídica del Senado. Luego de largas horas de debate por semanas discutiendo posibles adiciones de enmiendas, la Comisión Jurídica del Senado finalmente ha votado el proyecto fuera del comité y para discusión de todo el Senado.

El proyecto es un acercamiento innovador y moderno a la criminalización de los pobres y los inmigrantes, aumentando la seguridad fronteriza, y programas de espionaje domésticos y es falsamente promovido como una ruta a la ciudadanía.

Desde los atentados del 9-11, y continuando con la crisis económica, las comunidades inmigrantes han sido usadas como chivo expiatorio en una farsa política. Mientras los súper ricos saquean el país, distraen la atención pública utilizando a figuras políticas para crear histeria alrededor del supuesto tema de “inmigración ilegal.” El proyecto de ley anti-inmigrante aprobado ayer por la Comisión Jurídica del Senado es el más reciente ataque contra las comunidades inmigrantes. Es una intensificación de las políticas del miedo racista y la violencia dirigida a mantener a los inmigrantes atados al estatus de una clase inferior e ilegal a la vez que son utilizados para beneficio económico a través de su trabajo y del negocio de encarcelarlos. Mientras tanto, las políticas económicas de Estados Unidos en el extranjero continúan desplazando gente e intensificando la crisis de inmigración forzada.

Patrick Leahy, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Chuck SchumerEsta legislación anti-inmigrante consiste en lo siguiente:

-Se concentrarán 6,5 mil millones de dólares de los contribuyentes para financiar el genocidio de los inmigrantes que cruzan la frontera entre EE.UU. y México, el aumento de la sanción de las personas que ya están obligados a vivir en los EE.UU. como indocumentados, y para ampliar la maquinaria y tecnología de guerra adentro de los EE.UU.

-Intensificará la capacidad del Estado de seguir y espiar a todas las personas a través de la implementación del sistema mandatorio de “E-Verify” a nivel nacional, un sistema de perfil racial de alta tecnología y programa de vigilancia. Los gobiernos indígenas y tribus enteras se verán obligados a cumplir con este sistema racista de “E-Verify.”

-Empujara a personas que deberían ser reconocidos como residentes legales a un estado de incertidumbre, este estado es un nuevo “estatus” llamado Registro Inmigrante Provisional (RPI, por sus siglas en inglés). RPI promete beneficios pequeños, pero no garantiza derechos y puede ser revocado en cualquier momento. Mientras RPI es falsamente anunciado como un “camino a la ciudadanía,” su efecto real será la creación de una clase inferior de personas errantes con “papeles.” “Registrado” significa que algunas personas serán empujadas a “salir de las sombras” y entrar en el terreno de vigilancia y control del Estado.

-RPI excluye explícitamente a los pobres, establece niveles mínimos de ingreso para poder calificar y seguir dentro del estatus falso y lleno de incertidumbre. Todos aquellos que no pueden optar a esta falsa categoría de “estatus no-legal” – que incluye a las personas con antecedentes penales o aquellos que no pueden demostrar que se han empleado de manera continua – estarán expuestos a un castigo más severo y empujados hacia una industria de detención privada con fines de lucro, la cual se encuentra en tremenda expansión.

-Debilita los esfuerzos para unificar las familias que han sido separadas por las pólizas represivas ejecutadas contra los no-ciudadanos. El proyecto de ley también es un ataque a la comunidad LGBTQ, lo que refuerza la definición de “familia” que excluyen específicamente a las parejas del mismo sexo.

-Proporciona mayor presupuesto para organizaciones no lucrativas corruptas que pretenden trabajar en beneficio de la comunidad inmigrante; en realidad estas organizaciones van a recibir un pago para administrar esta política anti-inmigrante y servir como una extensión de la burocracia corrupta del DHS.
-Amplia el programa de trabajadores huéspedes, que crea condiciones para una situación de esclavitud en la agricultura. Los trabajadores de la agricultura merecen derechos plenos, no una “tarjeta azul” que los hace dependientes de patrones corruptos y vulnerables ante la explotación.

-Eleva el ambiente de miedo racista contra los “inmigrantes de piel café” y los deja en una situación especialmente débil ante las autoridades. Estas son las mismas personas que fueron desplazadas, frecuentemente de manera violenta y traumática en diversas intervenciones estadounidenses en las Américas.

-Viola aún más la soberanía de las naciones indígenas nativas cuyas tierras han sido divididas por la frontera.

5ca9fbd612f54a1eaff81b93f56fcb34-18bdbcff2d9f404f92e1bd31701abc5e-0.rEste proyecto continúa la política de exclusión violenta que se ha dirigido siempre a las comunidades indígenas y afro-americanas. También es un camino hacia un apartheid estadounidense, ya que el gobierno ejerce un mayor control sobre la gente de color en términos de vivienda, trabajo y la vida cotidiana. Crea nuevos mecanismos para estratificar y clasificar a los inmigrantes en base al privilegio socioeconómico y con claras connotaciones racistas. Recrea las condiciones opresivas que empujan en primer lugar a las personas a la migración forzada.

Ya hemos visto este tipo de desinformación organizada por los políticos anteriormente. Y una vez más no nos dejamos engañar por la propaganda en torno a este proyecto de ley anti-inmigrante, el cual está siendo enmascarado como una legislación positiva, no nos dejamos engañar por políticos que sólo quieren capitalizar del voto inmigrante.

Como lo hemos hecho anteriormente, hacemos un llamado a todos las organizaciones, activistas y comunidades que abogan por la justicia social y de los inmigrantes para que se movilicen y respondan a este ataque racista contra nuestras comunidades. No debemos aceptar que los políticos jueguen con la vida de 12 millones de personas, quienes al propósito han sido hechas como una población vulnerable y aterrorizada.

Insistimos en el cese inmediato de todas las deportaciones y una reorganización total de la inmigración y la política económica en torno a los principios de justicia y dignidad para todas las personas.