On July 29, the day that controversial Arizona anti-migrant law SB 1070 (which would require police to check the papers of anyone they “reasonably” suspect to be undocumented) was due to take effect, protesters blockaded the I-19 highway in Tucson, Arizona (more photos available here):
“A blockade of tires covered in tar and broken glass were placed across both southbound lanes along with a banner reading ‘Stop All Militarization! The Border is Illegal!’ This blockade is a temporary shutdown of the very road that is used to deport people deemed ‘illegal’ as well as a direct disruption of the flow of capital. By blocking I-19 we have halted the transportation of migrants and the profits Whack-n-hut [sic] and Corrections Corporation of Amerikkka [sic] make by these inhumane acts of separating families, communities and loved ones.”
The press release also draws attention to other law enforcement violence against people of color in Arizona, including “”the militarization of indigenous land, I.C.E. raids, deportations, the attacks on ethnic studies, violence against women and queer people, the expansion of prisons and immigration detention centers, empire, the border wall” and the deaths of migrants in the desert (153 in the past 8 months). Even the temporary injunction against implementation of SB 1070 will leave these policies unchanged, it notes.
“Neither SB 1070 nor the deployment of National Guard troops to the border do anything to address the root causes as to why people migrate. U.S. economic policies and wars have displaced and impoverished millions of people all over the world. Capital-driven policies, such as NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], create poverty. These policies and laws not only consume and exploit land and people, but they also displace us from our homes, forcing us to migrate in order to survive. If policymakers were serious about stopping ‘illegal immigration,’ they would end these capitalist exploitations and stop their military invasions abroad.”
I-19 is part of the CANAMEX Corridor, intended to ease the flow of NAFTA-related trade between Mexico, the United States and Canada.
At other protests, including in Tucson and in Oakland, CA, banners drew the connection between migration and international trade:
For more about the connection between migration and infrastructure, read the Root Force factsheet, “Infrastructure Expansion, Migration and Radical Border Solutions.”