Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Indentured Servants, Circa 2009

By Barbara Koeppel, Consortiumnews.com
March 18, 2009

The immigration imbroglio is the gorilla in the room that won’t go away.

Feeding on this and last years’ gigantic job losses and fear of more to come, anti-immigrant anger is exploding across the U.S. Thus, Nativists like Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio are nudged to over-the-top nastiness: Just a month ago, he proudly paraded his villains (aka illegals) through the streets of Phoenix before deporting them.

In fact, since 1882, when the U.S. passed its first anti-immigrant laws — at that time, against Chinese workers — Nativists have played the same xenophobia card: With fundamentalist fervor, they fire up those with fragile incomes to fear immigrants, legal or otherwise. Lately, local governments have passed punishing laws against undocumented workers, while enforcement agencies ratchet up raids on factories and farms.

At the same time, Chambers of Commerce insist foreign guest workers are vital to U.S. businesses. Heeding the call, politicians promise the guests will figure in any new immigration plan. Details, however, are absent. [...]

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