by Michael Malloy
Delegates of the Democratic Socialists of America convened in Atlanta for their 2019 National Convention, where they overwhelmingly voted in favor of resolutions that, among other things, call for open borders and endorsing a Green New Deal program.
Brandon Rey Ramirez, a DSA member and co-sponsor of the Open Borders resolution, stated in a press release that DSA “unapologetically support[s] free movement for all people. It is unacceptable that a Fortune 500 corporation can ship a job across a border without consequences while a mother crossing a border to see her child is put into a concentration camp.”
The Open Borders resolution calls for the “uninhibited transnational free movement of people, the demilitarization of the US-Mexico border, the abolition of ICE and CPB without replacement, decriminalization of immigration, full amnesty for all asylum seekers, and a pathway to citizenship for all non-citizen residents.”
These demands, aligned with DSA’s growing presence in local and nationwide elections, are part of an organization-wide strategy of responding to the growing crisis of harassment, detention, and inhumane treatment of immigrants and their families.
While the border control policies of the current administration have clearly drawn the immediate attention of convention delegates, this endorsement targets the fundamental structure of the immigration policies supported and maintained by presidents of both parties, with Ramirez stating, “Our current system is morally indefensible at its core. We need open borders and the complete dismantling of ICE and CPB in order to respect the dignity that every person deserves.”
The Green New Deal proposed in the resolution describes the climate crisis in terms that attack the domestic and international policies of the United States that exacerbate and intensify the effects of man-made climate collapse. The resolution calls for “the redistribution of resources from the worst polluters, like Wall Street and the bloated U.S. military, to fund the transformation we need from an extractive to a regenerative economy.”
As with the Open Borders resolution, this response ties climate policy to the broader causes of this crisis, rejecting lesser solutions that merely address the symptoms of these issues. DSA member Ashik Siddique, a co-sponsor of this resolution, states, “Capitalism and the corporate greed it inspires are the cause of our present crisis, but ecologically informed socialism is the answer. We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of despair.”
As DSA establishes itself as the premier socialist organization in the US, this response is essential to their strategy of responding to the political crises instigated by the far-right wing agenda of Republicans and Democrats at both the state and national levels. On the heels of victories for DSA candidates and local initiatives in elections across the country, the organization seems to have aligned upon a strategy of growing their membership by building off growing public outrage in response to far-right wing policies. The convention will continue into the weekend, with delegates voting on a wide range of resolutions and internal policies. ◊
Michael Malloy is the Protean correspondent covering the 2019 DSA National Convention.