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As an immigrant rights organization, we recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions that immigrants make to our economy and society every day. Immigrants enrich our communities with their diverse cultures, traditions, and talents, bringing vitality and innovation to every sector of our society.

From the small businesses started by immigrant entrepreneurs to the essential labor provided by immigrant workers in industries such as agriculture, healthcare, and technology, immigrants play a vital role in driving economic growth and prosperity. They contribute billions of dollars in taxes annually, bolstering our public services and infrastructure while creating jobs and stimulating local economies.

However, we must also acknowledge that the exploitation of immigrant labor is deeply intertwined with the capitalist system that prioritizes profit over people. Immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented or low-wage workers, are often subjected to exploitation, wage theft, and unsafe working conditions in industries driven by corporate greed.

The current political landscape, marked by proposals such as SB 4 in Texas, represents a dangerous regression towards policies rooted in fear and discrimination. This bill, which seeks to grant Texas unprecedented authority to enforce its own version of border security, is not just an affront to the principles of fairness and justice, but a stark reminder of the systemic barriers immigrants face in pursuit of safety and opportunity.

Moreover, the Biden administration’s decision to allocate increased funding for minimum detention facilities represents a troubling continuation of policies that prioritize punishment over compassion. By expanding the capacity for detention, we are perpetuating a system that profits from the suffering of vulnerable individuals, rather than addressing the root causes of migration or providing humane alternatives to incarceration.

Unfortunately, the Inland Empire region is facing home-grown anti-immigrant sentiment as well. That’s why it’s crucial to shed light on the recent arrests of the Justice 8 for exercising their First Amendment rights while protesting Fontana City officials’ decision to criminalize street vendors. These arrests epitomize the ongoing battle for justice and equality, showcasing the systemic challenges faced by marginalized communities. By targeting those who speak out against injustice, authorities perpetuate a cycle of suppression and discrimination, further disenfranchising already vulnerable populations. 

Furthermore, the introduction of AB 2209 by Assemblymember Sanchez from the Inland Empire represents a troubling trend of scapegoating immigrants for societal issues such as the recent catastrophic collapse of the Baltimore Bridge that took the lives of 6 immigrants. AB 2209 not only exacerbates tensions within communities but also actively seeks to weaken the protections outlined in SB 54, which aims to safeguard immigrant rights. By placing blame on immigrants for the fentanyl crisis in California, AB 2209 perpetuates harmful stereotypes and detracts from addressing the root causes of drug-related issues. Instead of fostering inclusivity and cooperation, such legislation fosters division and discrimination, hindering progress towards a more equitable society. It’s imperative to challenge policies like AB 2209 and advocate for comprehensive solutions that prioritize unity, compassion, and justice. 

This wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric is not new; it has been fueled by a long history of scapegoating and xenophobia. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Japanese internment camps during World War II, to the punitive measures of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, to the refugee and asylum ban from Muslim countries in 2016, our nation has a troubling track record of targeting immigrant communities during times of perceived crisis. Yet, when one examines the roots of these anti-immigrant policies it is clear that they serve the interest of Capital and to further exploit and subjugate the immigrant and working class.  

So today, like yesterday and tomorrow, we stand in solidarity with immigrant communities in their fight against exploitation and oppression. We reject the dehumanization of immigrants and call for policies that prioritize the well-being and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their immigration status. It is time to dismantle the systems of capitalism that perpetuate inequality and instead build a society that values the inherent worth and dignity of every person.