So a couple days ago the New York Times had the headline “Should Immigrants Have Human Rights?” The article is behind a paywall so without a subscription you can’t access it but the question alone stands as a monument to neoliberal stupidity, insularity, & barbarism. What human rights do they think should be denied immigrants? Food? Healthcare? Housing? Education? Do they even consider those human rights? If you talk to most working people, our set of human rights does include them but if you talk to the powers-that-be, those rights are behind a paywall.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights formulated by the UN isn’t much use in clarifying those rights but it does talk about freedom from torture, enslavement, arbitrary incarceration, asylum, due process, religious freedom, & no arbitrary deprivation of property. When you read it, you realize almost every country on earth should be indicted on multiple counts. The US has a rap sheet so long it’ll take decades of special tribunals to address them all. The murder of Michael Brown & the denial of the Bill of Rights in Ferguson are only the latest instance of charges that also include Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Palestine, Mexico, Guatemala, & too many other places to mention–all in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Because if there is one thing at odds with human rights, it is neoliberalism, the barbaric phase of capitalism. The force of that system respects nothing & mows everything & everyone down before it that stand in the way of massive profiteering.
The NY Times cannot be accused of stupidity. Duplicity yes, but not stupidity. They know damn well immigrants are denied all human rights in this country–including safety protections, due process, asylum, arbitrary arrest & incarceration. Is the NY Times trying to get a popular mandate from it’s elite readership on continuing that policy?
The answer can only be “Of course immigrants should have human rights–every damn one of them–for no other reason than they are human.”