February 8, 2006

AS THE FAR RIGHT AND THE LEFT MELD:

NAFTA and Nativism (Harold Meyerson, February 8, 2006, Washington Post)

In December the House approved a bill by Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin that would turn all those undocumented immigrants into felons. It would supersede local ordinances that keep police from inquiring into the status of people coming forth to report crimes or help in investigations. It would help create a permanent underground population in our midst, with no hope of ever attaining legal status.

But the most striking aspect of the assault on undocumented immigrants is that it has no theory of causality. Over 40 percent of the Mexicans who have come, legally and illegally, to the United States have done so in the past 15 years. The boom in undocumenteds is even more concentrated than that: There were just 2.5 million such immigrants in the United States in 1995; fully 8 million have arrived since then.

Why? It's not because we've let down our guard at the border; to the contrary, the border is more militarized now than it's ever been. The answer is actually simpler than that. In large part, it's NAFTA. [...]

So if Sensenbrenner wants to identify a responsible party for the immigration he so deplores, he might take a peek in the mirror. In the winter of '93, he voted for NAFTA. He helped establish a system that increased investment opportunities for major corporations and diminished the rights, power and, in many instances, living standards of workers on both sides of the border. Now he and his Republican colleagues are stirring the resentments of the same American workers they placed in jeopardy by supporting the corporate trade agenda.

Walls on the border won't fix this problem, nor will forcing cops to arrest entire barrios. So long as the global economy is designed, as NAFTA was, to keep workers powerless, Mexican desperation and American anger will only grow. Forget the fence. We need a new rulebook for the world.


Nativists, big Labor , secularists, and blacks all share a common enemy and it's only natural that they'll eventually unite around anti-immigration and protectionism. Pat Buchanan was the outlying indicator.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2006 10:53 AM
Comments

"We need a new rulebook for the world." Socialism in One Country has been tried already, Harold.

Posted by: Luciferous at February 8, 2006 3:05 PM

Very bad idea.

Posted by: erp at February 8, 2006 6:52 PM

How can you sympathize with the ravings of this lefty?

Posted by: GER at February 9, 2006 12:00 PM
« WHO'S DONE MORE FOR BLACKS THAN HE HAS? | Main | SHOULD HAVE HAD A PREDATOR WAITING FOR HIM: »