Statement by Gloria La Riva

Big business and the politicians who serve them are trying to blame immigrants for California's economic crisis. The racist, anti-people Proposition 187 is an attempt to divert people from the real cause of the crisis: the system of capitalism, which puts corporate profits ahead of people's needs. It is big banks and corporations
which have laid off hundreds of thousands of workers and created the stateps crisis.

The attack on immigrants is one of the most serious issues facing workers today. Prop. 187, supported by Governor Pete Wilson, would deny undocumented workers the right to all social services, including medical care and education for their children. He wants to militarize the California border the way it has been done in El Paso, Texas. Democratic candidate Kathleen Brown wants to increase penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers and advocates sending the National Guard to the border to assist the INS.

Immigrants come here from all over the world because of what U.S. imperialism has done to their countries. However, the bosses and politicians are scapegoating immigrants and creating a climate of vicious racism. They are making conditions for immigrants intolerable to force them into the worst jobs with the lowest pay and no benefits. By victimizing this one group, the bosses can drive wages down across the board.

An injury to one is truly an injury to all. All workers have to be concerned about attacks on the rights of immigrants. It is hypocrisy that NAFTA allows US corporations to export capital, but says that Mexican workers can't move here to get better jobs. There are no restrictions on capital going across borders only on workers. Capital goes to wherever the rate of profit is the highest. For example, the average wage for Ford workers in Mexico is $1.55 an hour. U.S. auto
companies make an average of $670 more in profit per car made in Mexico than for the same car made in the US.

We have to answer this capitalist greed with workers solidarity. A perfect example of what is needed is the October 16 march being organized by the Proposition One Coalition. Undocumented workers should have the same rights as all other workers here, including the right to a union, social services, the right to vote and all other social and political rights.

The La Riva for Governor campaign calls for jobs, housing, healthcare, childcare and education for all. This can be achieved by taxing the big companies which have feasted off of California for so long. PG&E, PacBell, McDonnell-Douglas, Bank of America, Dow, McDonald's, Chevron, and many others have made hundreds of billions in profits while destroying much of this state and exploiting millions of workers. It s time they pay for the crisis they've created.


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California Voter Foundation 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 & 1998