Defeat anti-immigrant HR 4437

Last December, the House of Representatives passed anti-immigrant HR 4437, introduced by GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner (Wis.).

• It would make all undocumented workers felons, as well as those who help or work with them including teachers, clergy, union leaders, social workers and family members.

• Employers would have to check the Social Security numbers of all their employees.

• An environmentally destructive wall would be built along the Mexican border.

• Local and state police would be deputized to arrest anyone they think may be without documents. This would vastly increase racial profiling and scare immigrants away from reporting crimes.

This is no solution! It is another way of diminishing the democratic rights of the people in our country.

HR 4437 must be defeated in the Senate. Just and workable immigration reform should be passed instead.

What are the reasons for immigration?

Increased immigration is the result of the declining living standards and job displacement caused by NAFTA and other pro-big-business policies pushed by our government. To provide a better future for their families, immigrants are pushed and pulled to come here, at great cost and risk, to live without papers and suffer great indignities. This puts immigrant workers in a vulnerable position and forces them into substandard wages and working conditions. Employers and others use the immigrants’ vulnerability as a lever to lower living standards and quality of life for all.

Don’t buy the big lie.

Immigrants are accused of causing every social problem, and especially of taking jobs and services they are not entitled to. This is not true.

Working people as a whole, including immigrants, pay a larger share of the tax burden than the rich and receive fewer benefits. The profits made from the work of immigrants and all workers are being taxed less and less and sometimes not at all.

Immigrants don’t fire or hire people. They do not outsource jobs, downsize workplaces, raise prices or premiums. They are victims of big business too. For more jobs and services, we need to tax exploitative profits!

We need positive immigration reform.

History shows that as long as extremes of inequality exist between countries, labor migration will continue. The pro-corporate policies of our government that impoverish other nations must be changed. Immigration law should protect the interests of both immigrant and non-immigrant workers.

Organized labor and community and religious groups urge the following constructive program for immigration reform:

• Legalization with a clear path to citizenship must be allowed for existing undocumented immigrants, and future immigrants, with a priority on family reunification.

• Immigrants must be able to participate in labor, religious, civic and cultural activities without fear of deportation.

• “Guest worker” programs have historically been prone to exploitation. Separate has never been equal. Instead, implement improved labor protections and stronger enforcement for immigrants and citizen workers.

Repressive policies like those proposed in HR 4437 must be rejected. They are unjust and counterproductive, and make immigrant workers more vulnerable to exploitation and other injustices.

Immigration policy is scheduled for debate in the Senate in February. Contact and urge your senators today to reject HR 4437 and all repressive anti-immigrant measures, and to vote for legalization of immigrants with a clear path to citizenship and full labor and civil rights for all people. Call the congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121.

The Immigrant Rights Committee of the Communist Party USA can be reached at