UPDATE AND ERRATA: I have erred, and I am to blame. The DSA Convention hasn’t yet taken place, and will be held August 2-4 in Atlanta, Georgia. This is just a resolution which is proposed to the membership, but it’s not clear that even if this is adopted somehow, it will become part of the DSA’s political platform for the next election.
However, the Immigrants’ Rights Working Group of the DSA has published its goals:
Our policy objectives are ultimately abolitionist:
Abolish Travel Bans
So this remains a viable option for the DSA. It is not, however, part of their present official platform, and I apologize for my error. However, what I say about the necessity of Democrats’ proposing serious immigration reform is unchanged.
I’ve often said that the Democratic Party is cagey in limning its own immigration program in response to Trump’s own odious, kneejerk, and constantly changing policy. I haven’t seen much about a Democratic immigration program, though I haven’t paid a lot of attention. My own take is that Democrats are struggling to formulate such a policy. And to many voters it seems that the Democrats want open borders in the U.S.—a policy that simply won’t work, either for the functioning of the country or as a stand that could help Democrats get elected in 2020.
But one party to which at least two House Democrats and one Senator belong, has just espoused open borders at its national convention: The Democratic Socialists of America. Two congresswomen elected as Democrats are also members of the DSA: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Bernie Sanders is also a Democratic Socialist. While I support some of the DSA’s stands, including its pro-labor position and its endorsement of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election (I voted for him in the primary, and for Clinton in the general election), I disagree with others, such as their anti-Zionism and view that Israel has no right to exist in its present form. Tlaib adheres to this policy, while Ocasio-Cortez refuses to give her position on Israel for fear it would hurt her image.
Well, if you’re a fan of the DSA, which the Republicans will deliberately conflate with the Democratic Party when it suits their needs, be aware that they just passed a resolution for open borders. Click on the screenshot to see the resolution, of which I quote only a part below:
Whereas borders serve to undermine the international working class, by pitting immigrant and citizen workers in America — and foreign and American workers — against each other in a race to the bottom;
Whereas border and immigration enforcement are tools of white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism;
Whereas borders, their creation, and their enforcement, erase the existence and sovereignty of indigenous peoples;
Whereas borders are, and will increasingly be, utilized to violently dominate and restrict people’s movement as climate change pushes people from their homes;
Whereas border and interior immigration enforcement threaten immigrant workers’ ability to organize;
Whereas Comprehensive Immigration Reform policies seek to control who “deserves” entrance to and/ or permanence in the US, and offer empty promises of protection for resident immigrants in exchange for increased border enforcement, and thus will continue to undermine solidarity and organizing efforts for immigrant justice;
Whereas immigration policy, and its enforcement practices, are set on the federal level, without democratic input or accountability and thus demands a nationally coordinated response;
Whereas the continual assault on immigrants’ rights from both the right and the center produces a reactionary, short-sighted view on immigration that reinforces border securitization, which pervades even leftist spaces and thus necessitates a positive, radical vision for immigration justice and internationalism;
Be it resolved that DSA supports the demand for open borders;
Be it resolved that DSA supports the the uninhibited transnational free movement of people, the demilitarization of the US-Mexico border, the abolition of ICE and CPB without replacement, decriminalization of immigration, full amnesty for all asylum seekers and a pathway to citizenship for all non-citizen residents;
This is a recipe for disaster on all fronts, and shows how clueless the DSA really is. It supports no borders anywhere, not just in the U.S.
But we don’t have a One World Society, and it’s hard to envision the ratchet of different countries having different cultures being reversed. At one time borders were more fluid than today, but those days are gone.
I’d be curious if the press asked Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Sanders if they favored open borders. They would dissimulate, of course, because it would hurt their own reputations and their standing within the Democratic Party and the Left in general. (I’d also like someone to ask Donald Trump if he believes in evolution.)
One of the most effective things that the Democratic Party could do before next year is to formulate a coherent immigration policy. While most Americans favor some continuing form of immigration, and say that immigrants strengthen this country (I agree), most Americans would bridle at the thought of open borders, and many would bridle at voting for a party or a President without a clearly stated immigration policy.