Monday, May 01, 2006

respect the rights of migrant workers

In the last few weeks, we witnessed the bravery and determination of millions of migrant workers in the United States. In an unprecedented move, migrant workers and human rights advocates joined hands and marched in cities across America to oppose H.R. 4437, the immigration bill passed in the US House of Representatives in December 2005.

Last night, I was watching Fox News Channel (the most biased news organization ever!) and again tens of thousands of migrant workers marched in 26 cities all over the US
to protest HR 4437. They walked out from work and schools. They were also able to paralyze businesses across America. Most of the protestors are Hispanics i.e., Mexicans, Guatemalan, El Salvadoran, etc. More than 60% of the 11 million undocumented workers in the US are Mexicans.

Meanwhile, in another part of the world the government of South Korea continues its crackdown against undocumented migrant workers resulting in one more death; this time of a young Indonesian worker. Two years ago, Malaysia's program to deport 'illegal workers' resulted in countless human rights violations such as the abuse of women migrant workers as well as illegal detention in squalid conditions.

Indeed, Labor Day 2006 arrives with a new hope and new threats to the millions of migrant workers worldwide. On one hand, there is a new found strength amidst difficult conditions; while on the other hand, there exist daunting challenges that continue to bring misery to the migrant workers and their families.

I salute the workers in America and support their call for a fair and just immigration reform. The American authorities should respect the rights of the migrant workers and recognize their contributions to its economy and society. America will not be as powerful as it is today if not for the millions of migrants who toiled in its farms and factories.

I also commend the 25 million migrant workers across Asia for their courage and steadfastness despite the appalling and terrible conditions they are living in. In exchange for a better future for their families, they endure hardships and abuses inflicted on them. It is now time that we provide migrant workers with the legal protection accorded other regular workers. As the UN High Commission for Human Rights said: "The right of the migrant workers which require protection include the whole gamut of human rights including civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights in particular and their rights as workers, right as women as a specific group (reproductive rights and right to be free from gender-based discrimination and violence)."

Governments around the world must cease from mounting crackdowns and arbitrary expulsion. Articles 22 and 56 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families address the issue of expulsion and arbitrary expulsion. Paragraph 1 of article 22 expressly prohibits measures of collective expulsion. An expulsion decision must be taken by the competent authority in accordance with law (art. 22, para. 2) and only for reasons defined in the national legislation of the State of employment (art. 56, para. 1). Paragraph 4 of article 22 requires that, except where a final decision has been pronounced by a judicial authority, "the person concerned shall have the right to submit the reason he or she should not be expelled and to have his or her case reviewed by the competent authority, unless compelling reasons of national security required otherwise".

For migrant workers all over, life is a constant struggle. Today, migrant workers may be in bondage but the time will come when they will escape from the clutches of repression and exploitation.

5 comments:

Simple American said...

Wanted to thank you for coming by and voting.

Got to disagree on the migrant workers argument. Immigration is a legal process and if you apply for visa, permanent residency or citizenship I have welcome that individual. Heck I spent a few thousand so my wife could become a resident and then citizen of the US.

Just giving nonexistent rights to people that invade (that's the proper term for people that enter illegally) a soverign nation is not fair to those that fought for and suffered to earn those rights and then pass them along to their descnedants. If a US citizen did the same thing and headed south they would be impriosoned for two years. Plus the Mexican police are authorized to shoot illegals that do not follow instructions.

Would you allow someone to break into your house, use your guest room, take your food, use your medicine, and then listen to them complain because you won't give them the key to the front door. That is what the illegals are doing here as they take our social services, fill our hospital emergency rooms for minor ailments, and demand citizenship.

Sorry to make such a comment on my first visit and all. But I just had to give you the view of an American.

twistedman said...

hey there simple american. thanks for dropping by as well. i'm glad you found time to leave a lengthy comment here in my blog. i stand by my own view about the immigration crisis in the US but i respect you opinion. however, i must say that your analogy between the 'illegals' and the unwelcomed guest you described is most unfair. first, the 11 million undocumented migrant workers in the US are entitled to the same rights and privileges given other workers. why? because they do the same job as the other workers do and sometimes they do it better. secondly, these migrant workers contribute to the US economy. they're the ones who build your homes, serve your food, take care of your kids, look after your old folks, etc. they do the jobs other americans shun off. besides, US is the one who has insatiable appettite for low wage labor.

yes, they enter the US illegaly but is it right to punish them as criminals like murderers and rapists? your leaders in capitol hill is so focused on border control that they forgot that these economic migrants also need legal protection. undocumented migration itself is not a crime and that migrants are often victims needing protection too. FORTRESS AMERICA is not the answer. you're just isolating yourselves. have you forgotten that your moms, dads, and grandfolks were once migrants too.

no need to apologize for making a comment. we both believe in democracy anyways. thanks

Simple American said...

My ancestors had to go through a legal process to enter the nation. They were also checked to see if they were ill. If they had certain diseases such as TB, Cholera or leprosy they would be rejected and sent back to whence they came. These disease which were almost irradicated from the American landscape are now growing at an alarming rate.

What rights would I have have if I went to any nation in the world without proper documentation. I would have none and at best I would hope to be deported. The reason the illegals are allowed to go is the greed of American business. By creating a serf class with these illegals and keeping them dumb by not teaching the English they do have a cheap labor pool. That really does not lift these unfortunate people up.

As far as rights go the illegals have more rights than American. I'm required to have insurance and a driver's license. Illegals rarely have either. If a an illegal has a sniffle they can go to an emergency room and they recieve free treatment. The children go to American schools where they recieve free meals and are taught in Spanish.

What rights do they not have? The right to vote. That is what they seek. But what right does an invader have to vote. None. It cheapens what every other immigrant had to go through and fight for.

I am curious to think what would happen to me if I waved an American flag in front of any other world capital and cried out for the right to be a citizen of the nation I stood in.

twistedman said...

@simple american:

hi again. first i'm not saying that you, or America, roll out the red carpet for migrants. just give them the rights they deserve. there are multitudes of international declarations, covenants, agreements that define those rights. just check them out. if you come to the philippines as an undocumented worker you will not be immediately hauled off to jail; you'll be accorded your rights as a human being. sometimes you'll even be given amnesty.

again migrant workers are not criminals, they just want to have a good life just like the europeans who sailed to america centuries ago. and they don't have papers back then. as for the diseases that you've mentioned i am just curious if you know that when the europeans came to the land they named America they brought with them several diseases including smallpox who almost wiped out the entire native American population including the Aztecs, Incans in South America and the Iroquios in North America.

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