This decree, which allows any “illegal” immigrant, that is an undocumented immigrant, to be jailed for 6 to 18 months, is in contradiction with all international agreements on human rights; it is a discriminatory, racist measure, marked by xenophobia against the peoples, especially the peoples of Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Those European governments, such as those of Berlusconi, Merkel, Sarkozy, Zapatero, etc. show a total lack of any historical memory. They forget that the Europeans cruelly colonized the American continent, India and a great part of Asia; during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries millions of Spanish, Italians, Germen, English, French, Swedish, Portuguese, in other words, people from all of Europe were forced to emigrate to the Americas, seeking a better life, a job which was unavailable in their countries, some security that was denied them because of local and civil wars (recall the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939).
They were welcomed and accepted everywhere. Their integration into these countries is plain reality. Europe now denies this same right to the peoples of the Americas that these peoples had generously granted to the European immigrants.
The African people have been plundered, slaughtered, their local economies have been destroyed, they have been subjected to slavery by the European capitalists (of Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, Portugal and Spain) and today, after having plunged them into poverty and endemic famine, they prevent them from working in Europe. The immigrants risk their lives in fragile canoes or ruined ships trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar or the Atlantic Ocean.
Today, neo-colonialism and the penetration of military and economic powers continue the plunder and ruin of the African continent; they maintain the reactionary and bloody governments in power and support them against their own peoples, as is the case with the autocrat Ben Ali of Tunisia, or the satrap of Morocco against his own people and the Sahraouian people.
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed, in which it said (article 13): “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State”. The immigrants, because they are without protection, must have the right granted in this article. Unless human rights are only for rich countries, for the colonialists and imperialists?
Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, having been informed about the content of this infamous decree of the EU, wrote a courageous and sharp letter, which was rapidly supported by many prominent leaders of Latin America, such as Correa, Chavez, and others. Morales states correctly: “the immigrants are not responsible for the problems of social cohesion that affect Europe; these problems are the result of the model of development imposed by the North, which is destroying the whole planet and is dismantling human society.”
Even if we doubt their ability to do it, because of their capitalist interests and neoliberal policies, we demand that the EU draw up a policy which respects the immigrants and their rights, which does not stigmatize them or segregate them. As President Morales said, it is time for the European governments to fix “once and for all, the tremendous historical, economic and ecological debt that the European countries owe the Third World. (…) You cannot fail today with your “policies of integration” as you failed with your so-called “civilizing mission” in colonial times …”
The workers of Europe and the whole world must unite to stop this criminal policy of discrimination by the reactionary European Union, which is like the policy of US imperialism and the other imperialisms all over the world. The slogan shouted these days in the streets of Paris by French workers and their immigrant brothers must resound forcefully in all countries where workers of other countries and continents are living; it is a slogan of solidarity, of fraternity, of resistance to the mechanism of exploitation of capitalism.
“They work here, they live here, they remain here!”
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