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Recognizing the Neoliberal Roots at the Heart of Trump's Cruel and Inhumane Border Policies

America’s unique responsibility for creating this crisis is one of the many reasons that we have to put an end to the president's "zero-tolerance" policy.

"In Mexico, the influx of corn has created a situation where U.S.-grown corn is cheaper than corn grown in Mexico, pushing farmers and families off their land." (Photo: Richard Perry/NYTimes)

The human rights violations at the border and in detention centers all over the country are an outrage. Ripping children away from their parents with no plan for how and when to reunite them is inhumane — and it has created irreparable trauma for thousands.

Trump's announcement to reverse his horrific decision to separate families is nowhere close to enough to address the current situation or the root of the crisis. It’s cruel and ironic that many immigrants are seeking a better life in America to try to escape the effects of the very policies that the United States has used its enormous power to promote in their countries.

U.S. agricultural policy and trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA have put corporate profit before the wellbeing of the people — often creating a situation where people are not able to make a living and are forced to leave their homes.U.S. agricultural policy and trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA have put corporate profit before the wellbeing of the people — often creating a situation where people are not able to make a living and are forced to leave their homes.

For example, NAFTA created an overabundance of commodity crops in the U.S. that we export abroad. In Mexico, the influx of corn has created a situation where U.S.-grown corn is cheaper than corn grown in Mexico, pushing farmers and families off their land. On top of that, NAFTA required countries to weaken farm safety nets, making the impact of a flood of cheap U.S. corn exports to Mexico even more devastating.

U.S. policies have long-reaching impacts. The real human misery, conflict and cruelty we are seeing today are some of their many ripple effects. And as temperatures rise due to our irresponsible addiction to fossil fuels, people will be forced to migrate in response to drought and other impacts from climate chaos. 

America’s unique responsibility for this crisis is one of the many reasons that we have to put an end to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy at U.S. borders.

We must reunite these children with their families and end indefinite family detentions.

We must eliminate corporate driven trade deals that are geared towards profit, while harming people, communities, workers and the environment.

We must take a hard look at the neoliberal policies that both political parties have wholeheartedly supported—including trade, security and economic policies—that benefit the richest and tear apart the lives of the poorest.We must ensure a just transition to 100% renewable energy to protect our planet and ensure a livable future.

And, we must reinforce the fact that seeking asylum in the United States is not illegal and instead ensure policies that give people the dignity and human respect they deserve.

Finally, we must take a hard look at the neoliberal policies that both political parties have wholeheartedly supported—including trade, security and economic policies—that benefit the richest and tear apart the lives of the poorest.

That’s why we at Food & Water Watch will be side by side with activists and organizers at the Saturday, June 30 #FamiliesBelongTogether actions all over the U.S.

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