We need those immigrants!

The chaos of the last several weeks have put a few things into stark relief. Two of the most obvious: who actually does the work essential for our world to function and how little value the wealthy put on this work.

In industries like meatpacking, the corporations that our wealthy run are forcing a mostly immigrant workforce to choose between their livelihoods and their lives. But workers are showing the world where the power lies. More than 160 wildcat strikes across the United States, the labor outlet Payday Reports details, have flared, mainly unreported,  since the beginning of March

On the May 1 International Workers’ Day, meanwhile, employees of companies like Amazon, Target, and Instacart went on strike to demand better protections from companies that have watched their revenues soar while workers sicken. Meanwhile the idea of a rent strike is catching on.  These movements are getting little media attention. (Chuck Collins for the Institute for Policy Studies and Inequality.org)

My take:   The US Government’s policy is to get rid of immigrants, especially the undocumented ones, keep newcomers out, and abolish Obamacare, which may be imperfect and barely adequate in international terms, but is a literal lifeline to millions.

For a start, there are few Americans who are not descended from immigrants, mostly desperate and poor, and, like the former migrants, simply wanting safety and a living. And the very nature of the American capitalist system requires low wage workers, on whom we all now depend because they are YES! profitable to employ. But their low incomes will preclude them getting adequate care from a hugely expensive and Wild West healthcare system, which, if Obamacare is scrapped, will mainly benefit the well-off and, of course, entitled political donors.

Epicurus, notable for his civilized attitude to slaves, would advocate for a decent deal for immigrants – a living wage and access to affordable health.

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