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More on the "immigration crisis"

By Michael J. Smith on Wednesday May 17, 2006 02:09 PM

Tim D writes:

One major step in the right direction in terms of solving the “immigration crisis” would be to renegotiate NAFTA and CAFTA so they place people and the environment over profits (pardon the cliché), if not cancel them completely. It should be obvious to anyone with a brain that our comrades south of the border are coming here in droves as economic refugees – victims of neo-liberal snake oil forced on them at virtual gunpoint by the United States and its ruling class. As Jeff Faux, founder of the invaluable Economic Policy Institute pointed out in an article on CounterPunch, "[NAFTA] flooded Mexico with highly subsidized U.S. and Canadian grain, driving between 1 and 2 million Mexican farmers off the land and adding to the supply of desperate Mexicans looking for work." On top of that, the Mexican government under Zedillo did everything it could to dismantle Mexican infrastructure in the early years of NAFTA, which has predictably enough left the country absolutely devastated.

At any rate, I have no qualms about granting full rights to undocumented workers from Latin America (as well as aggressively unionizing them), but I think our priority should be to improve their situation at home, so they need not abandon their families and homelands in search of work in foreign lands.

Comments (2)

js paine:

tim D :

no fast way to reverse the flow

but indeed two things at least are necessary

the agi sector needs a bilateral balance
country by country

this was done in the past

the idea is simple
the agi sector has to balance itself

us food agi exports
must equal the value of
us agi imports
country by country
thru out latin america

second we need to raise
the value of the local
emerging nation
pan am currencies
this will reduce
the incentive to migrate
to el norte
and increase the purchasing power of local wages
and households

the kick back ???

the vast
cost advantages
would narrow
for trans national corporations
investing in plants
down there
to produce
for re export up here

but this too has its remedies

really you make the key point

if region wide
human welfare
is the guide
not maximum trans nat profits

means to end
all these obstacles
fast or slow as
their removal may prove
will arise
and arise humanely
and with a greater measure of social justice

balanced regional progress
is not necessary ...not at all

Tim D:


I agree there is no quick fix, but a lot of progress could come from the Mexican government itself. In the past, before the U.S. overthrew them, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and Allende in Chile had made significant advances in the quality of life of people in those countries with various government programs aimed at alleviating poverty. Venezuela is currently trodding down a similar path. Cuba, albeit a more extreme example, has undisputably given the Cuban people a better, longer life - the lack of a democratic government aside (in Fidel's defense though we all know that if there was ever an election there the National Endowment for Democracy and the CIA would be soon be on the ground to fund any party calling for resumption of unbridled capitalism there and would more than likely assassinate any democratic socialist who enjoyed significant support from the population).

In any event, Mexico, like Venezuela, is a major exporter of oil to the U.S. (second only to Canada I believe). Vincente Fox could easily use some of those petro profits to ameliorate the awful plight of the Mexican people, but we know he will not, for the obvious reasons...

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