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Home > IV Online magazine > 2006 > IV378 - May 2006 > International Manifesto Of The Undocumented

May Day

International Manifesto Of The Undocumented

May 1st: International Mobilization For Regularization

Tuesday 2 May 2006

On May 1st the undocumented have taken to the streets demanding RIGHTS, DIGNITY, and RESPECT. We publish here a Manifesto drawn up by migrant/undocumented organisations from across the world.

May 1st is Labour Day in most countries around the world, celebrated in honour of those who lost their lives to gain the 8 hour work day. On this day, demonstrations around the world will come together to support the rights of the working class and of the oppressed. It is a day of struggle, commemoration, and pride. It is our day, no matter where we come from, even if we’re born here or on the other part of the planet, we face the same injustices and struggles.

In the United States, it is those without papers that have taken the date of May 1st to bring to light the cause that they have been struggling for the past 6 years. Today, over a million immigrant workers have taken the streets to rally against the terms in HR4437, which passed in the House of Representatives of the US Congress. On May 1st, immigrants call for “a day without immigrants” and for a one-day consumer boycott to demand the legal status of 12 million undocumented workers in the United States. May 1st is not a holiday in the United States, the abstinence from the immigrants will show just how vital immigrants are to the economy of the United States.

In Europe, the undocumented are rallying for the same causes. In Belgium, 10,000 people took to the streets to demand legal status for immigrants and to say NO to the prisons for children born “in the wrong place.” Today, the undocumented have held hunger strikes in six churches to demand legal status.

In Spain, a limited regularization process from a year ago has left hundreds of thousands of workers without papers and many other with serious difficulties in reapplying. A few months ago, thousands undocumented workers took to the streets of Madrid with the chant: "Nativa o extranjera, la misma clase obrera” (“Native or foreign, we’re the same working class").

In other parts of Europe, the masses rose to rally against the dozens of undocumented workers who burned in cages like rats in Schiphol this past October... In France, the undocumented struggled for the last 10 years for the regularization for all, thousands of young people from the popular suburbs took to the streets to protest discrimination, and today the undocumented, the students and French workers joined in the struggle against the CPE. Their unity and determination won the first step in that battle.

Unconditional legalization for all

It is a system based on the unlimited search for profit and on the savage exploitation of the earth and its people that has led to the displacement of millions of workers from the poorest to the richest countries searching for work and a way to sustain their families.
Facing the phenomena of migration, the receptor countries arbitrate cruel laws that criminalize and control immigrants. Different “regularization” or “adjustment” laws for immigrants all over the world also regulate the working conditions, the quality of life and residency of the immigrants submitting them to a double standard, creating a second class of workers, and developing situations of new slavery. These are then, xenophobic laws (hate to the foreigner). The same way that Europe wants to “export” its borders South, to Libya, Morocco, etc., the United State wants to export its border to the South of Mexico to stop the flow of immigrants in the south of the country. The situation is similar the struggle expands through all the rich countries: France, the United States, Belgium, England, Switzerland ...that’s why the struggle of immigrants in one country reflect on the rest and should begin to be coordinated with each other.

All immigrant workers contributing in receptor countries have the right to legal documentation that would allow them to work with dignity, and to fully enjoy full rights and human dignity. The use of the “immigrant status” allows governments to keep a massive class of workers that cannot ask for just working conditions, which in turn lowers the working conditions and salaries of all the workers.

Native or foreign, we’re the same working class

The division between native and foreign workers, between the documented and the undocumented, affects all workers and impedes our unity. This allows for the passing of laws as the New Labour Reform in Europe, which attacks and reduces labour rights for all. The first to be affected by these reforms are the immigrants.

For this reason we call on all workers, with or without papers, to participate in the next mobilizations to defend everyone’s rights. “Native or foreign, we’re all workers” signifies the end of the division between workers, the unity against a system that favours slavery, and racism ...

On May 1st we will take to the streets demanding RIGHTS, DIGNITY, and RESPECT. Native or Foreign, we’re the same working class. We call upon everyone, documented or undocumented, to join us in subscribing to this international declarations of the movements of the undocumented.

Signed on May 1, 2006

United States: Coalición Nacional por Dignidad y Residencia Permanente

Spain: Asociacion de Trabajadores Inmigrantes En España ATRAIE

France: La Coordination Nationale des Sans Papiers CNSP/France

Bélgium: Unión De Sans Papiers UDEP

Italy: Le Comitato Immigrati in Italia