Friday, March 22, 2019

On The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination -2019

IMA Canada Statement
March 21, 2019

As we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) Canada Chapter condemns the massacre of 50 innocent Muslims in their house of prayer in Christchurch, New Zealand

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination proclaimed by the United Nations in 1960 was to remind the international community that what happened at Sharpeville, South Africa where the police fired at and killed 69 people in a demonstration against the apartheid laws should not happen again. It was also a call to increase all efforts to eliminate racism and all forms of discrimination.

Unfortunately, racism and discrimination are well alive and strong. The massacre at Christchurch, New Zealand is only one of the many attacks against the Muslim communities. In Canada, we remember the attack at the Quebec City Mosque that left six worshippers dead and several others injured. A similar incident happened on January 29, 2017 in a Quebec City Mosque.

The anti-Muslim sentiments, incidents of Islamophobia globally have been going on for decades. Since the late 1970s, hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya were forced to flee their homes, with rape, murder, and arson committed against them. In 2017, renewed violence triggered an exodus of hundreds more. Since US President Donald Trump took office, violence committed by white supremacists and white nationalist organizations in the US have increased and become more visible, as witnessed in the Charleston church massacre and the deadly alt-right terror attack in Charlottesville.

To fight against racism and discrimination is to fight capitalism and imperialism. The migration from the global South to the Global North for work, escape persecution and wars of occupation and even destruction of their communities destroyed by mining and other forms of environmental destruction is the migration of the poor and the dispossessed. Capitalism and imperialism have profited from migrant-bashing, from the unfounded fear that migrants are stealing jobs and driving down wages and the local economies. Pitting workers against workers – we have seen this in New Zealand and here in Canada, and elsewhere. The crisis of capitalism creates state fascism and terrorism to ensure that the people remain in constant fear and divided.

We are saddened with the deaths of our Muslim sisters and brothers and our condolences go out to their families and communities. We work with more urgency to build, nurture and strengthen our international solidarity with the masses of the people to fight and defeat white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism towards a vision of a just and dignified society for all. ###

Monday, December 18, 2017

Grassroots migrants will determine their own future!

US – Trump Rejects UN Global Compact on Migrants and Refugees,
Grassroots Migrants Will Determine Their Own Future!
International Migrants Day 2017

Two weeks before International Migrants Day, December 18th, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it will no longer participate in the UN Global Compact on Migrants (GCM) and refugees (GCR) declaring that the UN’s “approach is simply not compatible with US sovereignty” and that “decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.” Hypocritically, the US has never respected the sovereignty and self-determination of other nations, including displaced indigenous peoples within its own borders, causing many of the economic, political, and environmental disasters driving the global crisis of forced migration.

The Global Compact on Migration is the UN’s latest response to the current migration and refugee crisis. The GCM acknowledges the “mass movement of peoples” worldwide, around 300 million displaced peoples, the highest since the last World War. While the global compact falls short of addressing the root causes of the forced migration of millions of refugees due to war, political violence, militarization, state repression, and economic crises, the United States’ most recent position on the matter demonstrates its complete disregard for accountability or compliance with international processes. At the same time, it is the driving force behind many of the crises in the world today.

The Trump administration has expanded and intensified fascist and racist repression against peoples and movements across the U.S., along its own borders, and extended these attacks to home countries as well. While recklessly war-mongering against China, North Korea, and the Middle East, Trump continues the U.S.’s neoliberal policies of privatization, deregulation, and liberalization. He and other competing imperialist countries are impoverishing, forcibly displacing, and devastating peoples and their homelands.

With slow growth and declining world trade, US imperialist policies under Trump are squeezing workers for lower wages, through flexible work and contractualization, relying more and more on informal, irregular workers. These economic attacks on working people and the exploitation of migrants require the political repression of workers, communities of color, and migrants who are left to fend for themselves, and we have seen Trump openly attack any resistance or advocacy for migrants’ rights. In his withdrawal from the UN GCM process, we note his particular arrogance, insisting on all the rights of an imperialist America first, while avoiding any and all accountability to international norms or laws on the rights of migrants and refugees.

Domestically, in less than a year in office, Trump intensified the exploitation of migrant guest workers by expanding the H2B guest worker visa programs for the benefit of US corporations. He has opened the door for his administration to become the “trafficker in chief,” since recruiters, placement agencies, and employers exploit the desperation of economically forced migrants. At the same time he has excluded other migrant and refugee populations, whom he has alternately labeled as terrorists, animals, drug smugglers, and rapists. His policies represent some of the most inhumane anti-migrant policies recently, none of which resolve the U.S’s underlying and worsening economic crisis since 2008. The number of deportations has ballooned under the Trump administration, and he has shifted from the “deporter-in-chief” Obama’s strategy to now indiscriminately target and collaterally sweep all undocumented immigrants into his deportation net (not just those with violent records as priority).

Even more openly, Trump’s xenophobia and repressive policies signal the desperate reaction of the 1% to cling to power. Trump has also promised or attempted to:

-Build a wall on the Mexican border and multiply the number of deportations, militarizing the border, terrorizing families and communities, and enhancing the powers of the security state.-Implement 3 versions of a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and temporary suspension of the entry of refugees, discriminatorily shutting the country’s doors to the world, and

-Repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and eliminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaragua ending in January 2018 and Haiti in July 22, 2019 with decisions pending on El Salvador and Honduras, instantly adding tens of thousands of forced migrants and refugees in the U.S. to the community of millions undocumented.

With the rise of right wing, racist and fascist governments and movements in the US and Western Europe, people everywhere including migrants and refugees are building resistance and struggle against these reactionary forces. IMA-USA calls on all of its members and grassroots migrants groups to join us, as we build a more powerful migrant and refugee movement across the United States and join oppressed people throughout the world to stand up against this declining US imperialist system and to build a better world for all.

The ultimate solution for the welfare and well being of the hundreds of millions of forced migrants and refugees will not come from UN heads of state or policy makers and big NGO’s, but from the migrants and refugees themselves. Contrary to the GCM framework that promotes “safe, orderly, and regular” migration for the interests of businesses and corporations, this International Migrants Day, migrants and refugees around the world will continue to rise up to demand justice, to fight for their homelands, and to stand against the rising fascism, xenophobia, and repression they face both at home and abroad.

IMA-USA will mobilize on International Migrants Day and invites all who struggle for justice for migrants and refugees to join IMA on December 18th, 2017 and internationally in September 2018 at the 8th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees – IAMR8 in NYC to determine the people’s demands in the UN’s Global Compacts on Migrants and Refugees. Migrants are organizing, and the mass movement is strengthening itself around the world. Join us in our calls:

End forced migration!
End the Criminalization of Im/migrants! Genuine Immigration Reform Now
Legalization for All! No to US and other imperialist wars!
###

Reference: Antonio Arizaga, International Migrants Alliance (IMA), Vice Chairperson
Terrence Valen, IMA International Coordinating Body U.S. Representative
Contact Info: (415) 333-6267, ima.usa2011@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Migrants, refugees to hold Berlin Speak Out Street Event vs. GFMD

PRESS RELEASE
International Assembly of Migrants & Refugees
26 June 2017

[BERLIN, 26 June 2017] Nothing About Us, Without Us! Migrants and refugees from Europe and around the world will hold the SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT on Wednesday, 28 June, in Berlin, Germany, as a counter-action to the UN Global Forum on Migration and Development and as an activity of the 7th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR7).

The 28th of June 2017 is the official opening of the 10th Summit Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). It will be attended by high­level and senior government policy makers, and will talk about issues and policies on migration and social development. Those who are directly affected by these policies -- the migrants and refugees – are not part of the GFMD. They and their allies are organizing a counter-event and will gather at the Brandenburg Gate at 9:00am for the SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT. At around noontime, they will march to the venue of the GFMD Summit at the German Federal Foreign Office.

The migrant and refugee communities will claim their space and assert their right to be seen and heard. It is important to give space to the voices that challenge the legitimacy and capacity of the GFMD to effectively address the problems and respond adequately to the challenges of migration and development. These grassroots and frontline communities will share their perspectives and solutions to the problems confronting them and engage with policy­makers in the parliament of the streets, bearing witness to their effective exclusion from decision­making processes that affect them principally but which take place behind closed doors.

The 10th GFMD Summit is taking place amidst a global migration and refugee crisis that has witnessed the flight of millions of people fleeing extreme poverty, from countries destroyed by resource wars and wars of aggression, and devastated by the impacts of climate change.

Under the guise of creating “legal, orderly and safe migration pathways and channels”, discriminatory and racist policies of pre­selection allow only ‘highly­skilled and knowledge migrants’ to access and enter the territories of European Union member states. This right is denied to majority of those who are the most impoverished and who seek a better life, or those who are victims of various forms of persecution.

This policy also effectively discriminates and criminalizes the majority of migrants and refugees who have already entered and established their right of abode in the European Union. Taking place in Germany where its schizophrenic policy has received close to a million migrants and asylum-seekers in 2015, at the same time as it prepares to deport over 200,000 migrants, among them, the undocumented, the ‘economic migrants’ and rejected asylum‐seekers. Those profiled as ‘irregulars’ face arrest, detention and massive deportation.

The SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT will send a strong message to the high-level and senior government policy makers as well as the general public regarding the continued marginalization of refugees, migrants and immigrants affected by forced migration and human trafficking. Spearheading the event is the International Migrants Alliance (IMA), in cooperation with the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), GABRIELA Germany, IBON International, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, the International Women’s Alliance, MIGRANTE Europe, and supported by Churches Witnessing With Migrants (CWWM), COURAGE, Coalition Against Trump, Democracy in Europe Movement 25 – Berlin, Die Linke International, and Solidarity International. The SPEAK OUT STREET EVENT is an activity of the 7th International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR7).

REFERENCE:
MAITET LEDESMA
Vice Chairperson for External Affairs
Migrante Europe
maitet.ledesma@gmail.com
+31 6 14659558

CATHY ABON
GABRIELA Germany
catherineabon@gmail.com
+49 176 60494488

For more information, please visit: https://iamr7berlin.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Struggle for genuine development and justice for migrants and the people! Struggle and win!

Statement of the IMA on December 18 2014 International Migrants Day

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) commemorates this year’s International Migrants Day with greater resolve to advance the struggle for the protection of our rights and dignity, the end to modern-day slavery and the resolution of the root causes of forced migration.

Erwiana Sulistyaningsih is the image of this struggle that we are pursuing steadfastly.

Erwiana Sulistyaningsih
Erwiana is the young Indonesian domestic worker who was subject to physical abuse and torture from her employer in Hong Kong last year. Her sufferings depict the countless number of physical abuse, harassment and intimidation, exploitation and oppression that many migrant workers experience. Her strength and will to fight for justice in her ongoing case against her employer also symbolizes the willingness of migrants – migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees, immigrants – to collectively fight.

It is her sufferings that belie the pronouncements of development in the world today. She and the 232 million international migrants paint the real picture of forced migration – both a symptom and the result of the intensifying, protracted and prolonged crisis of imperialism.

Neoliberal globalization has caused this phenomenon and continues to aggravate it. The implementation of neoliberal policies has only led to massive landlessness, deindustriualization, environmental degradation and wave upon wave of global economic crisis that caused the dissolution of public services and utilities, skyrocketing of prices of goods, displacement of peoples, unemployment and abject poverty. Without work or salaries to live their families by, many are forced to find work abroad – a phenomenon that many governments have developed into labor export policy.

It is with the same neoliberal framework that the leaders within the United Nations are also aiming to optimize migration for development. Instead of addressing the root causes of forced migration, they only mean to maximize the remittances sent by migrants and facilitate migration all in the name of development. As governments beautify slavery by promoting migration for development through the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), the situation of migrants has only worsened over time. Migrants experience oppression in the workplace, visa restrictions, arrest and deportation, social exclusion, among others.

But there can be no genuine development for the people under this current system. A system that prioritizes capitalist profit over the rights, demands and dignity of peoples. A system that lets modern-day slavery and oppression to prevail.

Yet we are strengthened, inspired and with firm resolve to fight this system. We are strengthened by the likes of Erwiana who have decided to stand up against oppression and abuse. We are inspired by the late Irene Fernandez who has committed her life in defending the rights of migrants and challenging a system of oppression. We are filled with resolve as many migrants all over the world decide to be organized and collectively advance the international migrant movement.

Next year 2015 we will bring the battles in all fronts. We will engage governments of both our host and home countries and challenge them to junk anti-migrant laws and create ones that ensure the protection of our rights and stop oppression and discrimination. We will engage in the international debates and platforms and expose and oppose their scheme to make migration as a tool for development. We will enjoin and encourage all migrants, our families and our local brothers and sisters to strengthen solidarity and demand an end to modern-day slavery and forced migration.

Because we are worth more than the remittances and dollars we send. Because we are workers, not slaves.

For reference: Eni Lestari, IMA chairperson (+852-96081475)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Statement of Migrante International on May Day 2012

Migrante International marches today with the working people of the world in the fight against imperialist plunder and war that continue to threaten the lives and welfare of peoples, migrants and migrant workers, particularly overseas Filipinos and their families.

Today, Migrante International unites with other sectors of Philippine society to condemn the Aquino administration’s puppetry and policy of subservience to foreign dictates that perpetuate the present worsening socio-economic crisis in the Philippines.

Under Aquino, OFWs and their families have suffered and continue to suffer. Thousands upon thousands of urban poor families have been displaced through violent demolition of their homes. Farmers and farm workers have been driven off their lands by landlords, hacienderos and corporate land-grabbers. The environment is being plundered by big foreign corporations. Oil prices and costs of other basic commodities continue to surge while wages are fixed at lowest levels and unemployment is record-high – all in the name of neoliberal policies being pushed by Aquino’s imperialist masters.

Aquino’s puppetry goes beyond economic plunder. The Visiting Forces Agreement, the expanded Balikatan exercises and the Aquino government’s all-out support to imperialist war-mongering are testament to Aquino’s adherence to a one-sided foreign policy at the expense of national security and sovereignty.  Furthermore, in accordance with the US Counter-Insurgency Strategy (US COIN), the Aquino administration and the Armed Forced of the Philippines (AFP) enforce the Oplan Bayanihan which, like Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Banty-Laya, aims to quell dissent and suppress civil liberties.

For the migrant sector, conditions have gone from bad to worse. The Aquino government has failed over and over again to protect and uphold the rights of OFWs, especially those in distress and those displaced by wars and the global economic crisis.

The Aquino administration’s continuous intensification of a labor export policy despite escalating violence and conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions and the worsening global economic crisis has aggravated forced migration, driving Filipino workers to leave their families and homeland at great risks and difficulties abroad.

Nothing short of the reversal of the present system will put an end to forced migration, poverty and social injustice. Past and present experiences have revealed the bankruptcy of the labor export policy, of the present economic system. For as long as there is landlessness, no domestic jobs are available, and prices continue to soar sky-high, OFWs will be forced to seek employment abroad despite the ongoing global economic crisis that continues to displace thousands of OFWs or place them in imminent danger or war.

On Labor Day 2012, Migrante International salutes all workers and migrant workers alike for continuing to organize and persisting in the struggle for freedom, national democracy and sovereignty. Workers of the world, unite!  ###

Reference: Garry Martinez, Chairperson, +63 939-391-4418

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How US Policies Fueled Mexico's Great Migration

David Bacon

This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute and the Puffin Foundation. Some names of the people profiled in this article have been changed.

Roberto Ortega tried to make a living slaughtering pigs in Veracruz, Mexico. “In my town, Las Choapas, after I killed a pig, I would cut it up to sell the meat,” he recalls. But in the late 1990s, after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) opened up Mexican markets to massive pork imports from US companies like Smithfield Foods, Ortega and other small-scale butchers in Mexico were devastated by the drop in prices. “Whatever I could do to make money, I did,” Ortega explains. “But I could never make enough for us to survive.” In 1999 he came to the United States, where he again slaughtered pigs for a living. This time, though, he did it as a worker in the world’s largest pork slaughterhouse, in Tar Heel, North Carolina.

For complete article : http://www.thenation.com/article/165438/how-us-policies-fueled-mexicos-great-migration

Saturday, December 17, 2011

International Migrants Day 2011: Migrants of the world, rise up against imperialism!

Resist commodification, modern-day slavery and other imperialist attacks on migrants and the people!

Statement of the International Migrants Alliance on the International Migrants Day 2011

The International Migrants Day 2011 is commemorated amidst intensified attacks on the livelihood and rights of migrants under the worsening global economic and financial crisis brought about and intensified by imperialist globalization and war. At the same time, the day is remembered amidst an upsurge of people’s movements against imperialism and the advancement of the militant migrants’ movement worldwide.

For migrants, immigrants, refugees and other displaced peoples, the global crisis has resulted to even more severe, exploitative and oppressive condition as both the countries of destination and countries of origin try to squeeze the maximum of profits and benefits from the commodification and modern-day slavery of migrants.

Such imperialist framework on migration is best exhibited in the Global Forum on Migration and Development that remains now as the multilateral venue for the more powerful countries to shape migration and migration policies according to their own interests. They use mantras of development and cooperation, and pay lip service on migrant’s rights to muddle the waters and hide the exploitative agenda of imperialism and the ruling class of countries of destination and countries of origin.

While already discredited among the grassroots migrants and advocates, the GFMD is still being used to counter the exposition of the grassroots migrants on the inhumanity, injustice and indignity brought about by commodification and modern-day slavery.