For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
Immigration: Corporate Trade Deals Root of Problem
Author of the book Mexico
Unconquered: Chronicles of Power and Revolt, Gibler said today:
"In current parlance, the 'federal failure,' or one of the many, has
been to design trade policies that create unemployment and poverty in
Mexico and across Latin America while subsidizing industrial agriculture
and ignoring the speculative boom of the housing and construction
"Arizona's anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, not only ignores the
economic and political roots of mass labor migration, but harkens back
to the racist laws of the late 19th and early 20th centuries like the
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the California Alien Land Law of 1920 and
the Immigration Act of 1924. The Arizona law borders on being the
legislative equivalent of hate speech: fomenting racial profiling and
criminalizing migrant workers."
Author of the book Illegal People: How Globalization Creates
Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants, Bacon recently wrote the piece "Better
Options Needed on Immigration Reform," which states: "What's wrong
with the Schumer-Graham proposal? It ignores trade agreements like NAFTA
and CAFTA, which produce profits for U.S. corporations, but increase
poverty in Mexico and Central America. Since NAFTA went into effect,
income in Mexico dropped, while millions of workers lost [their] jobs
and farmers their land. If we do not change U.S. trade policy, millions
of displaced people will continue to come, no matter how many walls we
"People working without papers will be fired and even imprisoned
under their proposal, and raids will increase. Vulnerability makes it
harder for people to defend their rights, organize unions and raise
wages. That keeps the price of immigrant labor low. Every worker will
have to show a national ID card (an idea too extreme even for the Bush
administration). This will not stop people from coming to the United
States, but it will produce more immigration raids, firings and a much
larger detention system."
Said Bacon: "Grassroots immigrant rights groups want an alternative
immigration bill that would end trade-related displacement. The
proposals made in D.C. do nothing about the root causes of forced
migration while criminalizing migrants. We need a human rights policy
that ends corporate displacement while protecting the rights of
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