Thu Jun 01, 2023
June 01, 2023

No One Is Illegal!

By the end of 2015, according to the United Nations, 244 millions of people were living outside their countries, being 20 millions of those refugees, due to political persecution, armed conflicts, oppression or humanitarian questions, etc. A number certainly far from reality, given the illegality and clandestinity that characterizes the migratory processes.

By Wilson Honório da Silva –National Education Secretariat of PSTU Brazil.


This is the highest number of people dislocated from their homes since the World War II. The relation of it with the deepening of the capitalist crisis is evident: in 2000, there were 173 millions; in 2005, 191 millions; in 2010, 222 millions. Still according to the UN, 48% of the immigrants are women, and the poorer the region, the younger they are. Of the total, 65% (157 millions) came from countries the UN classifies as average yield countries, or developing countries, and most of them (175 millions) come from non-white regions: Asia (104 millions), Latina America and the Caribbean (37 millions) and Africa (34 millions).

Xenophobia Kills

Every time we talk about this situation, it comes to mind a phrase of the famous psychiatrist and Marxist militant, Frantz Fanon, in The Wretched of the Earth (1961): Western bourgeois racial prejudice as regards the nigger and the Arab is a racism of contempt; it is a racism which minimizes (…), is a racism of defence, based on fear (…).[1]

Motivated by the profit, something that has characterized capitalism since its beginning, and by the necessity of further oppressing to further exploit, the bourgeoisie and its representatives in the governments around the world have acted following this criteria regarding immigrants. They treat with hypocrisy and contempt the fact that there have been registered, just this year, 3,930 deaths or disappearances of immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea (there were 3,777 in 2015).

They minimize their responsibility for this catastrophe, blaming the immigrants themselves because of their desperate actions for survival. And they even stimulate the xenophobia (the mistrust, fear or antipathy to foreigners) to divide the workers and the youth, who end up fighting each other for the same job position and services instead of uniting against the common enemy.

The result could not be other than this one. Those who survive the affair of traveling the seas of Europe, and the “coyotes”, which charge them shocking prizes and in degrading and dangerous situations to “help” them cross the borders of Latin America, Africa and Asia, will have to face misery, unemployment, under-employment and violence in the countries [they arrive to].

Illegality and the hypocrisy of capital

By the beginning of this week, the press celebrated the dismantling of the Calais Refugee Camp, in France, known as “the Jungle” because of its extremely inhuman conditions. The dismantling was not accompanied by any alternative for the refugees, and so millions are now roaming around the region. The response of the president François Holland and of the Prefect of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, both members of the old, reformist Socialist Party, was an example: on October 31st, a confrontation battalion was used to disperse 2,500 people, men, women and children, that were sleeping in open sky in the surroundings of Paris.

A position not very different to the one of the new reformism, like Syriza, which rules Greece, and not only keeps open the detention camps for deported, as it also maintains a wire fence of 11 kilometers protecting the borders.

It is also worth to mention the first black president of the US is also the one than deported more immigrants in the history of the country. During his first 6 years of government, Obama expelled more immigrants than George Bush in 8 years. 2.4 millions between 2009 and 2014. The estimate is that, by the end of 2016, 3.2 millions more will be deported.

The intensification of the crisis and further restrictions imposed by the imperialist countries also caused an increase of immigration to, and inside, Latin America. Here in Brazil, Haitians and Africans are the most visible examples of this situation.

All around the world, there is a criminal hypocrisy surrounding this story. When they need cheap and less qualified workforce, the restrictions to immigrations are eased. Now, with the intensification of the crisis, while the borders are closed, the ones that manage to enter the countries end up subjected to under-employment conditions, slavery-like jobs, and all kinds of violence. In all cases, the bourgeoisie takes profit out of it. It is necessary to build a society with no borders, be them physical or socio-economic; a world in which misery, over-exploitation, oppression and violence against the people are what is considered illegal instead of the people.





Translation: Sofia Ballack.

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