Saturday, March 31, 2012

Immigrant rights are human rights

Ethiopian undocumented immigrants in Yemen on the border with Saudi Arabia unable to enter Saudi Arabia for work since the Saudis built a 10-foot high barrier wall & unable to make the long land & sea trek home. In a human rights catastrophe, 15,000 migrants,  including children & mostly from the Horn of Africa, are stranded without food or medical care & forced to sleep outside. Many are suffering from diarrheal diseases, malaria, respiratory infections, snake bites, & exposure from sleeping in the open. Many migrants are extorted for money, murdered, disappeared, raped. Others are suffering from broken limbs, gunshot wounds, & other signs of extreme violence & maltreatment attributed by officials to criminal gangs but just as likely from Yemen security forces who police the border for Saudi Arabia. Immigration rights are human rights. For the oligarchs, globalization means free flowing, cross border exploitation & they respect no impediments like national sovereignty. But when it comes to the human rights of migrants, they hold firm to the sanctity of borders & the nation-state. Such nationalist malarkey is not in the interest of working people. For us, globalization means only one thing: solidarity with other working people wherever they are from & that solidarity & wisdom begins with demanding the borders be opened. These are brothers & sisters, not beasts. (Khaled Abdullah/Reuters)

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