Migration: A Reflection of Capitalism

migration imageMIGRATION: A REFLECTION OF CAPITALISM

By Ellen Isaacs

Appearing in Zmag, July 2016

The news is full of tragic and shocking stories of the flight of refugees, such as the 12.6 million Syrians internally or externally displaced and over 1000 drowned in June in the Mediterranean Sea. Today, more desperate refugees are seeking shelter in Europe than at any time since World War II.

In this article we will examine why so many people in the world have been driven to flee their homes, the status of migration in the world today, and why capitalism and imperialism are responsible for this phenomenon. We will also explore how nationalism and racism, inventions of capitalism, are used to justify mass displacements and make them more acceptable.

According to the United Nations Population Council, there were 232 million international migrants worldwide in 2013 – people who were driven from their homes, leaving behind communities, jobs, relatives, and friends because of unendurable conditions. This desperate disruption of life is the condition of about one in thirty, actually 3.2%, of all the people in the world, up from 2.9% in 1990.1 As of December 2014, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 59.5 million of the total number (more than 25%) are forcibly displaced, by which they mean fleeing from, or within, their country because of war, violence, or persecution. Other causes of the surge in migration are poverty, unemployment, and “natural” disasters increased by capitalist-spawned global warming. This huge crisis cannot be solved by mere modifications of capitalism.

A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

It is well known that the entire human species originated in Africa in distant millennia. About 100,000 years ago our ancestors began their migration around the world, which gave rise to separation of various groups and the evolution of many different languages and sets of customs as well as physical differences, like skin color – which later became the basis for the myth of different races as though we were somehow divided into different species. But what DNA analysis in recent years has taught us is that superficial physical differences between geographic groups account for only a very tiny portion of our total genetic make-up. There are more genetic differences between individuals in one place than variations between separated groups who may look superficially different. In other words, we are all the same species, the human species, which underwent very small genetic changes to adapt to different climates, as well as variations in diet and disease.

THE MIGRATION CRISIS IS A STRUCTURAL AND INHERENT FEATURE OF WORLD CAPITALISM

Capitalism treats workers as commodities, like products for sale, valued only for their ability to work and make a profit for a boss. The whole world is capitalist today, including the former Soviet Union and China, where early attempts to build communist societies made tremendous progress in liberating workers from exploitation. Ultimately they failed, for identifiable reasons that we must not make in future revolutions. Not only is capitalism universal in today’s world, it has grown bigger and ever more exploitative. The largest capitalists have merged and consolidated to such a degree that the five hundred largest multinational corporations concentrate between 35–40% of world income. By the end of 2016, the richest 1% of the world’s population are projected to own more wealth than the other 99% put together.

Corporations, aided by the policies of their governments, aim to lower the wages they pay workers by any means necessary. Over the last twenty years, the number of workers available for free-market capitalist exploitation has more than doubled, from 1.5 to 3.3 billion. This is partly facilitated by advances in communication and transportation, allowing products to be designed in one part of the world, built in another, and shipped thousands of miles for sale in still another. This “over-supply” of workers, from the bosses’ point of view, allows them to lower wages to the point where 630 million workers in the world today earn less that than $1.25 per day, while the number of unemployed is now 205 million. This accelerating widespread impoverishment has led to growing pressure on workers to migrate, internally and/or internationally.2

Other factors that have sped up impoverishment and inequality in the last 20 years are world trade agreements such as NAFTA, invasions by the U.S. in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan, proxy wars by the large powers in such places as Syria and Yemen, the buying up of huge swaths of land by rich nations to feed their own citizens such as China in Africa, and climate change. The world continues to warm at an alarming pace, causing droughts, storms and flooding, because the necessity of capitalism to be ever more profitable requires the increasing burning of fossil fuels. All these disasters, and more force people to take the huge and perilous decision to flee their homes, work, friends and family.

RACISM AND NATIONALISM ARE NECESSARY FOR CAPITALISTS TO WEAKEN RESISTANCE TO THEIR DEVASTATING POLICIES

In order for capitalist nations to keep the loyalty of citizens, even if oppressed or poor, the populace must be weakened and divided by ideas of racism and nationalism. Perhaps the most devastating historical example is the importation of 12.5 African slaves to the New World in the 1600-1800s that was justified by the purposeful creation of anti-black racism, so well described by Lerone Bennett in The Road Not Taken (see “What is Racism” in this blog). Racism, along with religion, is still used to divide workers both within their own country and between countries. By fostering divisions between black and white, Shiite and Sunni, Hutus and Tutsis, Catholics and Protestants, Dominicans and Haitians, and many, many more examples, bosses mislead ordinary people into blaming each other for their problems, often to the extent of killing each other. In contrast to their sowing these divisions among workers, capitalists are always willing to unite with one another when their interests are threatened. A major example was the invasion uniting ten Western and Asian nations that attacked the Soviet Union after the revolution of 1917. Another was the temporary alliance that Western capitalist governments were willing to make with the socialist Soviet Union to fight the Nazis in World War II, an alliance that broke up into the Cold War as soon as the Nazis were defeated.

Every nation preaches patriotism, the idea that citizens must be loyal to the rulers of their own country just because they speak the same language or share the same culture. Such blind loyalty, instilled from earliest childhood, enables capitalism to exploit its workers and fight wars with worker-soldiers while minimizing resistance. Patriotism teaches that workers from other countries, rather than the capitalists of all countries, are the enemy. The logical unity that should exist between workers of all nations is obliterated by this ideology of loyalty to the nation of one’s birth, which is code for loyalty to its ruling class.

All present-day discussions of migration differentiate between external, from one country to another, and internal, within a country, but this distinction is an artificial one. It is based on the existence of national borders. Without borders separating nations, all migrations on earth would be internal. Borders developed gradually over thousands of years of class-divided societies, largely separating peoples with different languages and other customs. Today, borders are used by the capitalist classes around the world to divide workers from each other, promoting mutual antagonisms that hamper our ability to unite in common cause to fight for a better life.

THE MIGRATION CRISIS WILL ONLY GET WORSE

Of the 59.5 million migrants who are forcibly displaced, about 24 million are refugees, migrants who have fled from their country to another one because of war, general violence, or persecution. This is the highest number ever recorded and includes 14 million who have been turned into refugees over the past year – some 42,500 a day! To put these huge numbers in perspective, we should note that the numbers of worldwide refugees have vastly increased from 2.4 million in 1975 to a former peak of 19.5 million in 2014.6  Flight from conflict is itself deadly. The International Organization for Migration has recorded 40,000 migration-­‐related deaths around the world since 2000. Every day the media tell of over-filled boats that have sunk, drowning hundreds of refugees, with bodies of children and adults washing up on the shore, and families devastated by their loss of relatives.

Since 1951, refugees have had some legal protection under the Refugee Convention adopted by 150 out of 200 countries. They are also entitled to protection by the UNHCR, which has a budget of $3.59 million in 126 countries. But this has not prevented millions from being forced to live in camps or the fringes of their new lands with the very minimum or less of food, shelter, and health care for years at a time. Internally displaced persons, who have fled their homes but remain in the same country, don’t even have this source of supposed legal protection, except those generally found in the Geneva Accords – honored more often in the breach than in actuality.4

There are only estimates of the millions of people who have been displaced by development projects including dams, roads, mining, urban clearance, or deforestation. This group of migrants, estimated to be 90-100 million during the 1990s alone, usually remains in their home country but are rarely, if ever, adequately compensated. It is estimated that ten million people a year are forced to move by dams alone. The number who have had to flee natural and man made disasters is on average 27 million a year.5 A study by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists finds that 3.4 million have been physically or economically displaced by World Bank-funded projects which seize their lands and livelihoods. In China, about 300 million (almost the size of the U.S. population) have moved from the country to the cities over the last 30 years and 350 million more may do so in the future, often desperate to seek even underpaid jobs in vast international factories.7

The American Academy for the Advancement of Science estimates that by 2020, there will be 50 million climate migrants.8

Migration map

Drought will force millions to flee their land to the slums of large cities, rising sea levels will make many coastal lands uninhabitable, and storms will destroy homes and farmland in many parts of the world.9

EFFECTS OF MIGRATION IN THE U.S. AND LATIN AMERICA

We will attempt to give a very brief overview of migration in our hemisphere and show how it has been influenced by capitalism and imperialism. It is impossible to examine this is in a detailed way regarding each country, but some broad statistics and concrete examples will illustrate how this phenomenon is becoming progressively more massive and deadly as inter-imperialist competition and wars intensify.

THE UNITED STATES

In the U.S., as of 2012, there were 40.7 million foreign‐born people, 18.6 million of whom were naturalized citizens. Of the 22.1 non-citizens, 13.3 were legal residents, 1.9 million were on temporary visas, and 11.3 were undocumented. It is estimated that half of the undocumented have overstayed visas, rather than having crossed borders illegally.10 From 2000 to 2012, the immigrant population grew from 31.1 to 40.8 million people, making up 13% of the total U.S. population, but still lower that the peak of 14.8% in 1890.

The origin of today’s immigrants has changed from 50 years ago. In 1960, 75% of the foreign born population came from Europe, whereas only 11.8% do today. Currently, the largest bloc of immigrants, 26%, come from Mexico, followed by other Latin American countries and Asia. Contrary to media propaganda, less than one in five immigrants lives in poverty, nor do they use social services or commit crimes more than the native-born. Both immigrants and their children have higher levels of education and home ownership than non-immigrants.

Of the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in 2013, 52% were from Mexico, down from 57% in 2007. Of these, 62% have been living in the U.S. for 13 years or longer, 88% for over 5 years. They are employed at a higher rate than the general population, representing 5.2% of the labor force while comprising 3.7% of the population. Hundreds of thousands have relatives in the U.S. but, because of 1996 laws, would have to leave and wait ten years before re-entering the country to qualify for a green card. 3.8 million have children who are citizens and 20% have a spouse who is a citizen or has legal status.10

migration by ethnicity charts

While the right wing press and politicians wail about the drain of illegal immigration on the economy, legalization is thought by liberals, like the Center for American Progress, to be an economic boon. Their thinking is that if immigrants were granted legal protections, and access to promotion and training, they would earn 15% higher wages with documentation and an additional 10% with citizenship within five years. The total $618 billion dollar increase over a decade would boost taxes and spending and boost the coffers of Social Security and Medicare. Even as illegal workers, the undocumented pay $13 billion in taxes, much of it for benefits that they are denied. As the population ages, the younger immigrants would fill many jobs left vacant by retiring workers. Even if all the undocumented were permitted to work legally and became incorporated into the labor force, the unemployment rate would be expected to rise by only .1%, and that only for a short period.11

So if this is true, why is there so much anti-immigrant propaganda and so little done to reform immigration policy? The Republicans and other right-wing politicians like Trump rely on overt racism against immigrants and non-white citizens to build loyalty to the U.S. and create antagonisms among workers. By blaming crime, unemployment, poor schools and other services on the undocumented, they divide various groups of workers against one another. They also use scare tactics to pinpoint Muslim immigrants as the likely source of terrorism, while in fact many more terrorist attacks have been committed by non‐Muslim extremist citizens.

However, the dominant wing of the ruling class, liberals like Obama, are actually a much more dangerous and insidious enemy of immigrant rights. Obama deported over 3.5 million people (deportations + removal soon after arrival) through 2012.12 Nearly all (98%) of these deportees were Latin American or Caribbean nationals. As the backlash increased, he changed his tune and promoted the DREAM Act (deceptively named acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), which would provide, if passed, a path to citizenship to those who came as children, are still under 30 years old, and, most importantly, who enlist in the military or go to college. In the meantime, Obama’s executive policy called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows undocumented children who came to the U.S. before they were 16 and before June 2007 to get a two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. Despite the superficial anti-racist appearance of the (still only proposed) DREAM Act and DACA, the main motivation behind them is to increase recruitment into the military, a path open to many more young immigrants than completing college. As larger resource and profit-making wars loom and the pool of citizen volunteers shrinks, increasing recruitment among young immigrants, who can be pressured to enlist, fight, and die, is essential for the ruling class.

Furthermore, maintaining low wages for Latin immigrants, as well as blacks and women, is necessary to boost the capitalists’ profits. In fact, black, women and Latin workers are paid only 72-78% of the wages of white male workers, which amounts to something on the order of $4 trillion dollars a year by short-changing on wages,11 about 20% of the GDP, that is stolen and pocketed by the ruling class. American workers have become so poor that they cannot support their families or buy goods, leading some politicians to give support to a $15 an hour minimum wage, when a real living wage would be closer to $30 an hour.

But what is most important to the ruling class is to deny immigrants any rights to challenge their conditions of employment or their inferior housing, schools, health care, sanitation and other services. Even more significant than this is the ability to keep immigrants and other oppressed groups – black and other non-white citizens ‐ divided against one another. This prevents their uniting around wages, working conditions or social conditions, because they are separated by job categories, unions, churches, and in segregated schools and neighborhoods. Suspicion and negative images of one another are sown in the media, by politicians, and in the educational curriculum. This has been the bosses’ most effective tool for limiting fight-back against exploitation and oppression, and most particularly for limiting the building of a large anti-capitalist revolutionary movement in this country.

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN

About 42% of all immigrants to the U.S. are from Mexico or the rest of Latin America. During and after WWII, there was a great farm labor shortage in the American West. An average of over 400,000 workers from Mexico, with smaller numbers from the Caribbean and Honduras, were employed legally under the Bracero Program. The program also stimulated a sharp increase in unauthorized immigration, as wages were kept seven to ten times lower in Mexico than in the U.S., where they were still at poverty level. This suited employers, who were free to super-exploit these workers, and it is estimated that the ratio of undocumented to documented farmworkers was about two to one. The Bracero Program ended in 1965, and that same year a law was passed by racist politicians limiting the number of legal immigrants to the U.S. to 120,000 a year from the whole Western Hemisphere. In their zeal to attack workers, the politicians failed to satisfy the bosses’ desire in the U.S. for adequate low paid labor, so, because of the resulting labor shortage, the numbers of immigrants did not decrease.

The economic crisis in the U.S. of the 1970s caused a contraction of jobs in industry and a growth in service jobs – throwing many workers out of higher-wage into lower-wage jobs. The global capitalist crisis and austerity imposed on Latin American countries by the World Bank and IMF caused even greater pressure for immigration. It also meant that more whole families were coming as opposed to just working-age men.11

The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 also led to huge increases in immigration from Mexico to the U.S. Now highly subsidized American agricultural products like corn flooded and undersold the Mexican market, driving some two million Mexican farmers out of work. Large corporations like Walmart opened shop in Mexico because of tax and duty exemptions, causing many small local businesses to close. NAFTA caused a general reduction of wages near the border, forcing many families to send members across the border to seek higher wages.13 Thus, the widely advertised “Free Trade” was free only for the U.S. capitalists but intensified wage slavery for workers in both Mexico and the U.S.

In Central America during the 1980s, the U.S. funded the rise of violent military dictatorships in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as the Dominican Republic, in order to support U.S.-owned corporations and repress movements against poverty and inequality. The defeat of these movements enabled the building of huge assembly plants, maquiladoras, to manufacture goods using American raw materials in Mexico, Central America, and the Dominican Republic and Haiti. This in turn caused the loss of better-paying jobs in the U.S. and increased very low-paying jobs in the target countries. Poverty rates reached nearly 60% in Central America by 1990. The boom in profits led to passage of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) in 2006, which increased the scope of NAFTA-type policies and more widespread super-exploitation. Over 200,000 displaced workers have been forced to move into the maquiladora zones to have any kind of work. At the same time, prices of food and other essentials rose by 9-16%. From 2000 to 2010, the number of Central American migrants in the U.S. grew to 3.1 million and now almost equals the number from Mexico.

Another factor is the “war on drugs,” originally driven by CIA-promoted high drug use in U.S. inner cities – profits from which were used to fund the right wing forces in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas during Reagan’s term in office. U.S. drug consumption, which kills countless workers and destroys countless families, is now estimated at 62% of the total world market. It is used to imprison hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers who might otherwise threaten the domestic tranquility, and who are disproportionately black, even though drug use is roughly equal among both blacks and whites.

Since the 1990s, while promoting the drug trade with one hand, the U.S. has pushed its “enforcement” policies outward with the other, to the Caribbean and as far south as Colombia, enabling them to keep tighter military control over these countries. In 1994 the U.S.-Mexico border was highly militarized, at the same time that NAFTA was displacing thousands. This has resulted in the death of at least 6,000 people trying to cross to the U.S. The Mexicans have also fortified their southern border, making northern emigration from Central America even more hazardous. Despite the hundreds of millions of American dollars poured into this pretence, the drug cartels have grown more powerful and violent, and the murder rate in the region rose 100% from 2000-2012. The increase in violence explains the recent massive increase of unaccompanied young immigrants, who are desperate to escape deadly drug gang recruitment and killing, especially from Honduras and El Salvador.13

It is estimated that 13-30% of immigration within Central and South America is intraregional, going from one country in the area to another, but the numbers are hard to document. The total was thought to be about 3.5 million in 2001. As elsewhere, the search for work and escape from civil wars and drug-gang violence are the main driving factors. Mexico has many undocumented immigrants from countries to its south, many of whom are in transit to the U.S. Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled repression and poverty to Costa Rica since the U.S.-backed war, where they continue to be the victims of racism and exploitation. Colombians have fled the decades-old civil strife and drug wars into Venezuela.14

AFRICA

Of the approximately 17,756,000 refugees and displaced persons from Africa as of December 2014 (according to the UNHCR), 55% have migrated within the continent, often from landlocked conflicted areas to coastal areas in a search for jobs and whatever security they can find. The most common destinations are South Africa, Ivory Coast, and Kenya. Most internal migrants within Africa lack legal protection and are subject to human rights, property, and sexual abuse and suffer poverty and exclusion from the main society.

 

As in other parts of the world, the conflict and poverty within Africa results from its long history of victimization by imperialist exploitation. By the year 1914, 90% of Africa was controlled by various European powers, most notably by France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, and England. Although most states ostensibly gained formal political independence after World War II, they remained economically dependent on their former colonial masters. In the 1990s, the World Bank intervened increasingly in Africa, and both China and the U.S. became deeply involved in the 2000s. AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, was established in 2007, and its first operation was the coup in Libya. Although there is only one admitted U.S. military base in Africa, a 2013 investigation by TomDispatch found military involvement in 49 out of the 53 nations, counting the offshore islands.16 Oil resources in Libya, Sudan, and Nigeria led self-serving governments to make alliances with Western and Chinese oil companies, to the detriment of local populations. The Libyan government was overthrown by a U.S. inspired coup in 2011, when oil prices were high and the Chinese were moving to grab more of the oil wealth. The country was left in total chaos, resulting in nearly 400,000 Libyan refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) by the end of 2014 (UNHCR). Now there is chaos and no work in Libya, but the migrants from countries to the south, who used to seek jobs in the oil fields, still come, hoping to get to Europe by boat from the northern coast. Smugglers charge high fees for transport on flimsy, overcrowded boats and thousands have drowned in the past few years. In 2014, 68,000 North Africans arrived in Sicily – another several thousand drowned – primarily from Eritrea, Mali, Nigeria, and Gambia.17

The Horn of Africa, the northeastern area containing Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, is of vital importance to U.S. energy interests. It is not only one of the potentially largest unexplored regions for oil and gas, but it borders the Red Sea, a route which connects the oil rich Persian Gulf nations to Europe and Asia. This explains the U.S. involvement in wars in Somalia and Ethiopia since the 1970s. A story could be told of resource wars and imperialist greed in almost every African country, which is beyond the scope of this report. Most recently, resurgence of conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, northern Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan have continued to displace millions, pushing ever more young men north towards Europe. Recent mayhem in northern Mali threatens to tip the country back into civil war as camps in Mauritania and Burkina Faso still overflow with refugees from a previous round of fighting.18

Capitalist caused global warming is also playing a role. The strip of Africa that runs from East to West across Africa south of Libya and Algeria, called the Sahel, has been suffering the most severe drought of the last century, one manifestation of climate change. This is a major factor which has driven 1.5Y2.5 million to migrate, largely north through Libya.19

MIDDLE EAST

Today’s news is dominated by Syria. The ongoing civil war there has created 11.6 refugees, over 4 million of whom have fled to Europe, with the rest remaining in the country under horrendous conditions. Although the conflict is said to be about democrats vs. a dictator, with Islamic militants later becoming involved, it too really began over oil and pipelines. As recent Wikileaks cables confirm, the U.S. was involved and planning to topple Assad in 2006. The American Government not only wanted to weaken this ally of Iran and Russia, but to stop the construction of a gas pipeline that was to be built between 2014 and 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria. With a possible extension to Lebanon, it would eventually reach Europe, the target export market.20 The recent military involvement of Russia makes it possible that this war will expand to include direct U.S.Y Russian engagement, wreaking death and havoc on even more of the population and threatening to turn into another world war.

Palestinian refugees were previously the largest and longest displaced group of refugees in the world, about 7.2 million in total. They are descendants of those forcefully expelled by the Israeli government in 1948 or displaced by the 1967 war, and by construction of the Wall surrounding the West Bank, with continuing home demolitions. About 38% live in the West Bank and Gaza (50% of thelocal population) and another 335,000 thousand within Israel. The remainder live in the surrounding countries of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, mainly in refugee camps, or scattered throughout the world.21

This situation had its origin after WWI, when the British promised a state in Palestine to the Jewish Zionist movement, in truth to serve their own imperialist interests, particularly in Middle Eastern oil. After the defeat of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, the British needed a friendly ally in the area to protect newly discovered oil fields in the area, access to the Suez Canal, and air routes to India. Since the end of WWII, the U.S. has become the major supporter of Israel and gives over $3 billion annually in militaryaid. This pays for Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and enables its rulers to maintain the fourth largest army in the world, complete with nuclear weapons, which is intended to serve as the American watchdog in the region.

ASIA

According to the United Nations, this region accounts for 3.5 million refugees, 1.9 internally displaced people and 1.4 million stateless people. The majority come from Afghanistan and Myanmar.22 But UN figures do not include China, where over 300 million have migrated from the countryside to the city as worldwide industries have sought cheap labor among those forced from agricultural villages.

The situation in Afghanistan results from the chaos unleashed by the 2001 U.S. invasion, which has left the country divided and unstable. By midY2014, Afghani refugees in Iran numbered 1 million and in Pakistan 1.5 million. 700,000 are internally displaced. In Iraq, even before the recent escalation of conflicts with ISIS, 1.9 million Iraqis were either transborder refugees or internally displaced. 23

One of the largest of 20th century migrations occurred in 1947  between India and the newly created state of Pakistan (then East and West Pakistan, but now Bangladesh in the east) when the Indian rulers gained nominal political, but not economic, independence from Britain after WWII. Over fifteen million passed back and forth, as Muslims rushed north and Hindus fled south. Between one and two million died as ethnic passions were whipped into a frenzy of bloodshed.24 As in many other places, the rule of colonialists was initially largely responsible for the onset and growth of deadly nationalist passions in an area where various religions and cultures had coexisted for centuries. The wealthy and professional Muslim leadership had demanded privileges from the British rulers since the early 1900s, in return for a pledge of loyalty. A wave of strikes in the months after WWII had united workers of all religions, which made both the Muslim and Hindu upper classes nervous. Even the revered anti-British leader Gandhi, in service to the Indian capitalists, described the strikers as “rabble…in an unholy combination.” The deal for separate states allowed the elites to turn workers against each other and maintain their ruling status, resulting in decades of impoverishment and inter-ethnic rivalries among workers that last until today.25

Today, the U.S. is the major power in the world, manipulating the rulers of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to supply cheap manpower and markets and to “fight terrorism” in American interests. Poverty has caused at least 12 million Bangladeshis to migrate to India in search of better pay, while at least 25 million Indians migrated to Europe, England, the U.S., or Asia by 2005.26. At least 8 million Pakistanis had fled violence, persecution, or poverty by 2015, with 27% of all Pakistanis wishing they could leave.27

In conclusion, migration is just one manifestation of the misery and chaos that world capitalism brings down upon the workers of the world. Without wars between competing ruling classes and their proxies, without climate change due to rampant fossil fuel use, without racist exploitation of labor, there would be far less migration. In the coming decades, life as we know it may well be destroyed by climate disaster or widening war between the superpowers, so long as capitalists remain in power anywhere in the world. We have no choice but to overthrow this system and put the world’s workers in charge. We must build a society based on equality, sharing, and production for need rather than profit.

We will have to study the shortcomings of previous attempts at revolution as well as their strengths. We must be prepared for struggle with revolutionary potential to erupt anywhere in the world. And we must build smaller struggles along the way, to train ourselves as active participants, as leaders, and as thinkers. But always, we must emphasize uniting together on the basis of class and refusing to be divided by racism and nationalism. We have a world to win.

  1. United Nations. http://esa.un.org/unmigration/documents/the_number_of_international_migrants.pdf
  2. Raul Delgado Wise “The Migration and Labor Question Today: Imperialism, Unequal Development and Forced Migration, Monthly Review. 64, no. 9 (February, 2013)
  3. http://www.forcedmigration.org/about/whatisfm
  4. http://www.forcedmigration.org/research-resources/expert-guides/internal-displacement/internally-displaced-persons-the-category
  5. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/201409-global-estimates.pdf
  6. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendocPDFViewer.html?docid=556725e69&query=number%20world%20wide%20refugees%202014

7.http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175959/tomgram%3A_pepe_escobar,_inside_china’s_%22new_n ormal%22/

  1. Harsha Walia, https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-making-of-the-migration-crisis/
  2. Michael Klare, http://www.opednews.com/articles/MichaelYKlareYPostYApocalYbyYTomYEngelhardtY 120807Y!!!!!134.html,!
  3. David Guttierez, http://www.nps.gov/history/heritageinitiatives/latino/latinothemestudy/immigration.html

11.https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/report/2014/10/23/59040/theYfactsYonY immigrationYtodayY3

  1. Washington Post, 4/21/14
  2. Tanya! Golash-Boza, http://www.scribd.com/doc/28994034/The-Immigration-Industrial-Complex-Why-We-Enforce-Immigration- Policies-Destined-to-Fail
  3. Justin! Akers! Chacón, http://sandiegofreepress.org/2014/07/central-american-refugee-children-forced-on-a-dangerous-journey/
  4.  http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/400YHaitiansYDeportedYfromYDominicanYRepublicYinY SeptemberY20150913Y0019.html

    16. Nick Turse, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/09/usYmilitaryYbasesYafrica?page=1

    17. The Guardian, 1/16/15

    18. The Economist, 3/31/14

    19. Anthony Watts, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/12/climateYchangeYblamedYforYdeadYtreesY inYafrica/
    20. Mnar Muhawesh, http://www.mintpressnews.com/migrantYcrisisYsyriaYwarYfueledYbyYcompetingY gasYpipelines/209294/
    21. http://alYawda.org/learnYmore/faqsYaboutYpalestinianYrefugees/

    22. http://www.unhcr.org/cgiYbin/texis/vtx/page?page=49e487cd6&submit=GO

    23. http://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/refugees

    24. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/29/theY greatYdivideYbooksYdalrymple

    25. Ali, Tariq, The Duel –Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, Scribner, New York, 2008, pp 29Y34].

    26. Daniel Naujoks, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/emigrationYimmigrationYandYdiasporaY relationsYindia,

    27. Huma Yusuf, http://www.newrepublic.com/article/world/90118/pakistanYterrorismYemigrationY ISI,

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