Immigration Myths vs. Facts: CPUSA battles misinformation as new legislation is filed
In this Dec. 18, 2018 photo, Honduran asylum seekers enter the U.S. at San Diego's Otay Mesa port of entry, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico. President Trump and the right-wing media continue to demonize asylum seekers and other immigrants, but the Communist Party is launching a public education effort to counter the anti-immigrant narrative. | Moises Castillo / AP

The Trump administration and its supporters continue to put out utterly false information about immigrants and refugees in the United States. But the immigrants’ rights movement is fighting back hard in the streets, in Congress, and in the court of public opinion.

In the congressional fight over his proposed Mexican Wall, and in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election, Trump continues to peddle lies about the supposed criminal propensity of immigrants and refugees, especially those from Latin America and other poor and non-European countries.

Trump and the Republicans have allied themselves closely with the most virulent far-right anti-immigrant organizations in the country, whose stock in trade is precisely this kind of misinformation: the so-called Center for Immigration Studies, FAIR, and linked groups.

While the right-wing press and media gleefully amplify the Trump administration’s lies and slanders, the Communist Party USA and immigrant rights organizations are pushing back with the actual facts concerning immigration to the United States.

The CPUSA is now distributing an updated educational booklet on the immigration situation. The 12-page bi-lingual booklet, Immigration Myths vs. Facts, published in English and Spanish, is designed to guide labor and community activists and the general public in the fight to defend immigrant families against the current xenophobic and racist onslaught.

Joelle Fishman, chair of the Communist Party’s Political Action Commission. | CPUSA

Joelle Fishman, chair of the Communist Party’s Political Action Commission, said the booklet is “a critical tool relevant to all workers, regardless of their country of origin” that shows the stake all working people have in winning comprehensive immigration reform. She described Immigration Myths vs. Facts as “an antidote to the poisonous atmosphere of anti-immigrant hatred and bigotry” being promoted right now.

In Congress, meanwhile, there is also some push back on the part of Democrats. Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, Nydia Velázquez of New York, and Yvette Clarke of New York, alongside House Democratic leadership, introduced H.R. 6, or the Dream and Promise Act. The measure would provide permanent status and a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients whose lives are in limbo because of the Trump administration.

Many of the so-called Dreamers, had previously been given a reprieve thanks to the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.

This program, implemented by former President Obama by means of an executive order, would have given renewable three-year permits to remain and work in the country to undocumented young people who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were minors.  Trump has been trying to abolish DACA under the pretext that such an executive order was not “legal” (though his “emergency decree” used to justify the wall somehow is).

Educational booklet issued by the Communist Party USA.

So far in Congress, alongside a large number of anti-immigrant measures introduced by Republican senators and representatives, there is no “comprehensive immigration reform” bill currently being considered, despite the positive changes proposed in H.R. 6. There are several more piecemeal immigrant-friendly bills, however. Promising is H.R. 541/S262, the “Keep Families Together Act”, which attempts to deal with the horrible treatment of refugee and migrant children families at the border by ICE and the Border Patrol.

Besides the limited nature of these bills, already filed or tentatively proposed, there is the problem that the public is not being properly informed about the reasons for so many people currently coming to the United States as refugees and desperate economic migrants, which include: the devastating effects of human-induced climate change in many poor countries, the activities of U.S. and transnational corporations in displacing poor workers and farmers, and U.S. government support for repressive and corrupt regimes in places like Honduras, Guatemala, and Haiti.

These are things the U.S. public has a right to know about, and absolutely needs to know to understand just how vile the current administration’s baiting and scapegoating of immigrants’ actually is.

Links to the Communist Party pamphlet: Immigration: Myths vs. Facts and La Inmigración Mitos y Realidades. Printed copies can be requested from the party’s Political Action Commission by email: politicalaction@cpusa.org.


CONTRIBUTOR

Emile Schepers
Emile Schepers

Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.

Comments

comments

MOST POPULAR