Land of opportunities?

O medo de deportação obriga o proletariado imigrante a acatar relações ainda mais degradantes de trabalho
O medo de deportação obriga o proletariado imigrante a acatar relações ainda mais degradantes de trabalho

Land of opportunities?

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The condition of the immigrant proletariat in imperialist countries

With the constant wars and plundering enforced by colonialism/capitalism against the Third World countries, imposing the semicolonial or colonial conditions to those nations, it has become common the immigration on the part of people who live there trying better living conditions. According to the United Nations Organizations (UN) there are around 244 million immigrants in the world nowdays, amidst them about 68 million war refugees.

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Several of those immigrants search shelter in the so-called developed countries, since they provide the best social and economic rates to their citizens. Nevertheless, by reaching those places, deceived by the imperialist ideology (which propagates the false American way of life), they face a chauvinistic, humiliating and exploited treatment, being subjected to appaling conditions similar to servitude.

In the USA, the largest centre of the world imperialism, there  have been reports on those cases. Although Donald Trump’s present government has deepened the exploitation and the contempt to the immigrants even more, the same had happened to previous governments like Bill Clinton’s. The Yankee legislation, despite having – at least in the past -, basic attention to the immigrant worker, the rigidity of the deportation leaves gaping holes so that the immigrant does not seek the labour legislation and be exploited by the Yankee employers.

Quoting an article from Irene Zopoth Hudson and Susan Schenck: “Although the illegal workers have the same substantial rights as the documented employees, the illegal workers’ capacity to assert those rights is limited by the fear of deportation and by the fact that the remedies are unlimited or nonexistent. The illegal workers face a “Catch-22” * when they decide whether they must stay quiet and subject themselves to the exploitation or claim their rights and be subjected to deportation. The immigrants understanding of the society as a labour source and not as future members of the society creates a marginal underclass of the population in general. Such a vision brings up a class vulnerable to exploitation on the part of the employers”.

The same article reveals a case of exploitation: “ On August 1995, government officers invaded a clothing factory in El Monte, California, where Thai immigrants were being maintained under conditions similar to slavery and forced to sew by only US$1,60 per hour. [ … ] At the factory the workers lived in a closed place, surrounded by barbed wire and fences. [ … ] A worker affirmed he used to work seventeen hours a day and slept in a 28 square feet place ‘with a blanket on the floor, under the stairs, near the sewing equipment’. A worker woman said she earned 500 to 600 dollars a month to pay her debt of five thousand dollars due to a smuggler who brought her to the USA”.

As mentioned earlier, the president of the USA, Trump, has enlarged such a policy to xenophobic levels, providing horrible scenes of “imprisonment cages” for immigrants, including children. In accordance with the Yankee National Security Department more than 2.3 thousand children were separated of their families by the USA government between April and May, last year, including 49 Brazilians.

In the United Kingdom

Likewise in the United Kingdom, especially in the present government, there is a complete disregard with the labour question concerning the foreigners, mostly refugees and illegal people. In our apparent attempt “to benefit the national workers” there is actually a chauvinistic virulent policy, expressed in the masked permission to the jobs similar to the slavery.

In accordance with Judy Fudge’s studies, published by the Oxford University: “ Instead of facilitating to the workers the fulfilment of their rights, the coalition government has done the opposite. It has increased the demands of services so that the employees could protect themselves and imposing heavy taxes to individuals who tried to assert their labour rights, submitting claims to the Labour Tribunal, it has created barriers to the enforcement of most of the labour rights. As a result of their “Red Tape Challenge”, the coalition government has reduced the grant for only a few public bodies responsible to impose a limited number of labour rights. It has abolished as well mechanisms as the Agricultural Wage Board which pushed down patterns for some of the more vulnerable workers, and several of them immigrants. Instead, it has concentrated in the impact of the “low-skilled migrants” in the labour market in the United Kingdom. And in 2013 it charged the Advisory Committee for Migration (MAC) to study this ‘problem’! On its report in 2014, entitled “Low-skilled Migrants” the MAC concluded that “the combination of non-compliance and poor enforcement can lead to serious exploitation cases, mostly of vulnerable groups as the migrants”. It has also realised that “there was a low level on labour market surveillance in low-skilled jobs”.

This negligence had already been announced by the present First Minister, Theresa May, (at the time a member of the coalition government with David Cameron), declaring in an interview that the government “would give the illegal immigrants a true hostile reception”. According to the British authorities as well there was an increase of 50% in the registered cases of xenophobia and racism since the Brexit voting.

In France, the situation is not different. As observed in the Court of Auditors of France, in 2004: “Deprived of certain essential rights and, in private, of the right to work regularly, the illegal workers are exposed, as the case may be, to the exploitation by illegal unscrupulous employers to the obligation to participate in a profitable but illegal work ( many times tortuous sometimes criminal) or in the most despairing precarity”.

The author, Valérie Lanier, conducted various studies on the immigrant workers in many regions in Europe, mostly in France, exposing a series of unhealthy conditions of the jobs. According to her article the foreigners “must content themselves with the wasted mazets (small rural buildings), barns converted into sleeping areas, rotten cars, even shabby huts in open air [ … ]. Besides, the season workers are not trained or informed on the risks ( as for instance, pesticides, etc). They do not frequently benefit of any medical supervison and do not have individual protection equipments adapted and maintained and the public facilities are systematically absent”.

This is the exploitation and humiliation level to which the immigrant proletariat has been submitted to in the imperialist countries. Far from having access to the assets that have been taken from them during the plundering of their countries by the First World, on the contrary, they enter in a each time more precarious situation. The masses of the Third World will soon be raising and will destroy such a barbarism that is still maintained by the paper tiger, the imperialism.


* Expression that summarises paradoxical dilemmas in which all solution is impossible because of the ground rules.

Ao longo das últimas duas décadas, o jornal A Nova Democracia tem se sustentado nos leitores operários, camponeses, estudantes e na intelectualidade progressista. Assim tem mantido inalterada sua linha editorial radicalmente antagônica à imprensa reacionária e vendida aos interesses das classes dominantes e do imperialismo.
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