Since the passage of Arizona
law SB 1070, a barrage of racist commentary has been spewed onto the public
stage, not only in Arizona but in the media and across the country.

immigrant rights demonstrators with banner

On July 14, the deliberate and
racist targeting of immigrants reached new heights when news of a letter with a
list of names spread like wildfire across the nation’s media outlets. The
persecution list included 1,300 Utah residents of Latino descent with their names,
addresses, phone numbers and workplaces. Some Social Security numbers were also included. The group that signed the letter called itself “Concerned
Citizens of the United States.”

The names on the letter were
sent out to newspapers, broadcast outlets and government entities
including the Associated Press, police and state agencies, various Utah
officials and the Department of Homeland Security. The list caused widespread panic in the Latino
community as people tried to understand how such a list with critical personal
information could be obtained by a right-wing, anti-immigrant group.

The letter whips up racist
hatred and potential violence towards immigrants by stating that the authors
“observe these
individuals in our neighborhoods, driving on our streets, working in our
stores, attending our schools and entering our public welfare buildings. … They
need to go and go now.” This chilling statement is clearly targeting middle-
and working-class non-immigrants witnessing a decline in their economic
situation, by scapegoating immigrants for an economic crisis that is endemic to
capitalism. All productive labor, no matter what one’s immigration status,
creates wealth, but the capitalist class, through the media, has stoked the
fires of racism to divert attention from the real cause of the economic crisis.

Listing the names of Latinos, including those of children and
pregnant women with their due dates shows an obvious intent to instill terror
and encourage further attacks on immigrants. This is a very dangerous
development and is part of the overall hysteria promoted by the ruling-class
politicians and corporations.

Echoes of right-wing campaign against abortion providers

The last time a list of names was discussed in the national
spotlight, it involved a number of doctors who provided critical, and in many
cases lifesaving, abortions for women throughout the country. The name of one
man in particular, Dr. George Tiller, appeared over and over in media outlets
and on Christian fundamentalist Web sites. The demonization of Dr. Tiller
included efforts by the Kansas Attorney General to prosecute him, dozens of hit
pieces by Bill O’Reilly labeling him a “murderer” and “Operation Rescue”
prominently calling him “America’s Doctor of Death.” This fear
campaign culminated in the assassination of Tiller.

As in the fear campaign against abortion providers, the fear
campaign against immigrants is being carried out by neo-fascist elements acting
on behalf of the ruling class. The “concerned citizens” promote racial hatred
and distract and divide the working class.

Revolutionaries: a voice for unity, fighting for justice

The deepening contradictions in
capitalism will inevitably create more suffering and fear among the working
class. That is why it is critical for all progressive people and anti-racist
forces to take a strong and uncompromising stand. We must unite to fight for
justice for the most oppressed and oppose every manifestation of anti-immigrant

We need to educate our class
about how immigrants are forced to leave their homelands and come to the United
States because of U.S. imperialist interventions as well as economic
devastation of their countries. The question must be raised: Why is U.S.
capital allowed to flow freely across borders to super-exploit workers and
destroy livelihoods, but workers are brutalized and imprisoned when they
migrate for survival and to feed their families? It is time to build solidarity
in the streets and raise the demand more strongly than ever for “Unconditional
Amnesty and Full Rights for All Immigrants!”