Perhaps no subject is more explosive in global politics today than immigration. For the Right, the issue has been something like manna from heaven. As social democracy continues its retreat, increasing working-class anxiety has provided fertile ground for far-right parties. In the United States, Donald Trump has staked his electoral fortunes on an anti-immigrant platform, continuing his embrace of it even after a humiliating retreat on his government shutdown. more
The Left, for its part, understands the significance of the issue, but is hesitant. On the one hand, it is clear that falling in line with the Right’s anti-immigrant stance is both immoral and self-defeating. But on the other hand, we are unsure how to acknowledge the real economic anxieties of working people, without supporting a restrictive immigration policy. In the latest issue of Catalyst, we tackle both dimensions of the problem. In the opening essay, Suzy Lee argues that any effective strategy on immigration has to be rooted in the material interests of immigrants as well as the domestic working class. But whereas most analyses based on this premise call for immigration restrictions, Lee forcefully argues that a restrictive policy actually undermines workers’ economic interests. She then builds a powerful case for an open borders policy, not out of a moralistic desire to “do the right thing,” but because this is the most effective way to rebuild the working-class movement.