In Detroit in 1984 I authored a legal rights handbook for rank-and-file Teamsters which had a short chapter on undocumented workers. At the end was a critique of then-pending reform of the immigration laws. It concluded with the following:

Genuine immigration law reform will be possible only when the conditions in other countries which bring people to the US change and borders are opened for all workers going both ways.

On moving to northern Michigan at the millenium I became sensitized to the link between US anti-immigration rhetoric and racism. Near me in Petoskey is the office of Social Contract Press and its magazine Social Contract, founded by John Tanton. This summer's edition of the magazine features an article which argues:

it is legally permissible and prudent to curtail Muslim immigration, and we should do so permanently, and not just temporarily as Trump suggested.

So my neighbors are worse than Donald Trump and authoritarian populism, which are themselves symptomatic of a wave of antiestablishment anger flooding American politics.

A few years ago I published op-eds in local newspapers highlighting the racism of Social Contract's articles and activists, Regarding Social Contract (2006) and On immigration and the 'Social Contract" (2007).

Omitted from the 1984 Teamster book was discussion of how the propelling "conditions" in the other countries arise. Being a legal rights book, the omission was appropriate. But it needs elaboration here, this being a political campaign.

Example: Today over a thousand immigrants are currently headed to Michigan from Syria. Neoliberal economic reform in that country, as well as drought, played a role in the Syrian uprising after the Arab Spring in 2011, which led to the current crisis and the immigration to Michigan.

Though last spring she backpedaled, in June 2014 Hillary Clinton said:

"We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesnít mean the child gets to stay," she said. "We donít want to send a message that is contrary to our laws, or weíll encourage more children to make that dangerous journey," she added.

I couldn't disagree more. Children should not be deported. Social justice must protect everyone living here regardless of their immigration status. Even as to terrorists, whether immigrants or not they should be treated the same.

The Green Party platform on Immigration/Emigration calls for acknowlegement that the trigger for the influx of immigrants is largely due to US trade policies. These in turn are formulated primarily for the benefit of stateless multinational corporations. Our main task is to organize globally to overcome their power, through cooperation and solidarity among labor organizations.

While working toward the goal of two-way access, the party proposes a series of policies. In summary the chief ones are:

  • humane treatment while immigrants live here, without exploitation and abuse,
  • a path to citizenship for resident undocumented workers and their families,
  • border passes into the US for Canadian and Mexican citizens,
  • easy access to work permits,
  • serious consideration of claims of persons fleeing political, racial, religious, or hardships created by economic policies of US-based corporations or military action,
  • prioritizing family reunification, and
  • assistance in resettlement including to the US of refugees currently stranded in refugee camps around the world.