By David Martinez
Imperialism makes trouble as a law of its existence and will do everything it can to deny and distract from its primary role in sowing the misery of the world’s people, but will never shy away from telling the people what it thinks is best for them. In a typical display of this arrogance, head of US Imperialism Joe Biden made the following statement to immigrants from oppressed nations: “I can say quite clearly: don’t come over.”
Biden’s statement comes after a recent surge in arrivals of immigrants to the southern border, including many unaccompanied children. The different factions of the imperialist bourgeoisie represented by the Democrats and Republicans respectively have used the situation as an opportunity to push their ongoing campaign messages against each other—both groups are obscuring the fact that it is primarily US imperialism which creates the conditions that drive desperate migration from the oppressed countries of Latin America and other parts of the world.
According to the US Customs and Border Inspection, the number of children and families arriving to the Southern border with Mexico has increased by more than 100% in January and February. More than 9,400 of these have been unaccompanied minors, and they are being housed in many of the same detention centers that Democrats used as a campaign talking point against Trump. The detention centers themselves were set up under Obama’s administration. The Department of Homeland Security is also creating temporary shelters as the children await processing and release to sponsors.
The migration increases are tied to various cyclical factors, but regardless of who is in office, thousands of people will continue to flee miserable conditions in their home countries, which suffer under bureaucratic capitalist leaders beholden to US imperialism. The bulk of the recent waves of migrants come from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—all of which are countries where US imperialism has used its lackeys to serve its own aims at the expense of the people.
Biden has tried to put the blame of the most recent migration crisis at the border on Trump for his strict immigration policies, even though the immigration enforcement apparatus was built up under the Obama administration which Biden was a key part of, and the fact that it is imperialism which creates the conditions for mass emigration. Obama, like all modern US presidents, expanded and prioritized the immigration enforcement apparatus, deporting millions like his predecessors and just as Biden will do as well.
Biden has made a big show of rolling back Trump administration orders as part of rehabilitating the image of US imperialism, but this has not stopped him from relying on a public health order instituted by Trump himself to turn away single adults at the border. He does this even as he panders for the support of the reformist immigrant rights movement which has backed Democrats despite seeing immediate reversals on campaign promises.
Republicans have claimed the surge is due to the Democrats sending a message to the migrants that border crossings will be easier under Biden. This is a subjective and moot point—no matter the president, there is nothing easy about attempting to cross into the US as an undocumented immigrant from an oppressed country. Fleeing the backwards conditions in their semi-feudal and semi-colonial societies, migrants travel thousands of miles in search of a better life and take innumerable risks to make it to the US. Just this Thursday in Del Rio, Texas, eight immigrants died as the smuggler whose vehicle they were hidden in led sheriffs on a high-speed chase that culminated in a head-on collision.
Biden’s faction of the bourgeoisie wants to frame the matter as a humanitarian crisis, and Biden has proposed more programs in the form of ‘aid’ to the migrants’ home countries to address what he declares the root conditions to be: corruption, poverty, violence etc., all the while erasing the true root cause of US imperialism in exploiting the Latin-American countries, which destabilizes their societies in the name of maintaining superprofits.
Biden has continued to deny most single adults entering the country, whether on asylum claims or not, showing that he is closer in practice to his Republican critics more than either side will admit—both acting in total service of US imperialism but in different flavors. Regardless, the Democrats are still just as resolute in their defense of the US border. Roberta Jacobson, who sits on Biden’s National Security Council as the Southern Border Coordinator has issued another blunt statement to potential immigrants from oppressed nations, declaring, “the border is closed.”
The US imperialist state will continue to lock up children, families, and all other migrants while claiming it has no other choice. This cycle will not be ended with policy changes or through electing another imperialist, but can only be stopped through developing the world proletarian revolution. In the oppressed countries that migrants flee from, this means New Democratic Revolution, which will throw off the yoke of US imperialism and allow for self-determination of the people living there, to be able put their societies in the service of their own people and not foreign powers. Within the United States, it is the duty of revolutionaries to develop the forces to carry out socialist revolution, to conquer power for a workers’ state which can decisively end the interference and exploitation that US imperialism is compelled to carry out.
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