Posted on September 11, 2019

Migrants Should Automatically Be Offered Care, Education, Housing, Food, and the Right to Vote

Adolf Alzuphar, Counterpunch, September 6, 2019


Life as an “illegal” migrant. A migrant must negotiate a livelihood with the powerful. Powerful here means those who can navigate a city legally without worry and are stable and settled in identity and material life. This negotiation is stunted by a migrant’s illegality despite a migrant”s participation in building the commons. So, despite the fact that interest in the commons (language, economy, neighborhood) intersect and overlap a migrant is never truly able to negotiate for example where one lives, even if this growth has been stunted by the legals, ie a mix of political apathy and corporatism. This creates a paralysis in parts of the body of a city, on top of another paralysis, that of community left behind by corporatism and prejudice. In a republic supposedly founded with the ideas of the enlightenment in mind, in other words under the sign of reason, we perform tribalist citizenship, as some sort of blood rite. Instead, we should allow migration to replenish this country perpetually by allowing migrants to negotiate its present and fate, instead of sitting outside of the boundaries of negotiation.

Let’s concern ourselves with the city as an organizational category, and how migrants are organized (fated) to exist in a new city. {snip} In this city Migrants are citizens in the economic sense: they (without othering) pay sales tax, labor, consume supply which allows our society to finance itself, produce demand, and help landlords pay property taxes. It’s as simple as that, as Richard Wolff argues in his video on the economics of migration. Politically, however, migrants are excluded from fully participating, though many migrants do for Unions and other political associations. {snip} What if migrants were granted political citizenship by virtue of being economic citizens? A cosmopolity would emerge, one with a dynamic that addresses the urgency in poverty, and poverty and migration’s perspective on government.

A hybrid would also emerge anywhere, as if already has in the city of Los Angeles, a hybrid that connects migrants with non migrants to produce territories of right and life that can negotiate with political power. This hybrid can be a site, a location, for building future just and prosperous America if embraced, instead of it being a site of conflict between “ethnic groups” and legality versus illegality.

{snip} It is time for our democracy to put our private prejudices aside and empower and enfranchise migrants who have and continue to build this country outside of the boundaries of political negotiation (including political economy). It is what is humane, and what will perpetually replenish this country’s culture, economy, and politics.