All movements go beyond the final aims they give themselves, by their simple existence in acts. The content of the struggle whose slogan is "citizenship papers for all!" obviously goes beyond this slogan; otherwise there would be no way of explaining why it mobilizes so many militants who, themselves, have citizenship. if someone were actually to limit themselves to demanding citizenship for everyone and pretended that that was all they wanted, they'd find themselves in a contradiction: if everyone had citizenship, the green cards themselves would be worthless. So anyone asking for "citizenship papers for all" is also, from an objective point of view, also asking that citizenship papers themselves ultimately be made worthless, destroyed. In other words, the real content of the demand "citizenship papers for all!" could also be formulated as: everyone must have citizenship papers so that we can all burn them.

The existence of the proletariat, of the man dispossessed of everything, such as the "illegal immigrants," since he has no acknowledged rights, represents a figure, and as such is an occasion for a total indictment of the society that produced it, or the way to make everything that it produces desirable. An "illegal" who would really ask for no more than the right to be part of an essentially worthless world must not think that he's worth any more than that.

Identity papers comprise the archaic form of an oppression that has now become much more subtle. By furnishing a person with an identity, Power, in appearances, acknowledges that person's existence. In fact, it is only acknowledging itself, that is, one of the identities it allows for. In order to exert itself, Power needs to make an identity for everyone, then to file them under that identity. Liberalism has no problem with such kinds of control mechanisms, which are the furthest thing from "liberal."

Refusing the "case by case" or the "regularization upon demand" approaches, means refusing such a Power as that, which operates through individualization, by subjectivation. The refusal to be, paradoxically, ID'ed as someone non-ID'ed.

The necessary solidarity between the carded and non-carded, between those that have citizenship papers and those that don't, must take place against the principle of ID'ing, against the principle of citizenship papers. The present struggle tactically aims to give everyone citizenship papers, then strategically it aims to abolish them as such.

changed April 13, 2011