Monday, August 5, 2013

What Real Immigration Reform Would Look Like

By David Bacon, The Progressive
July 27, 2013

Oralia Maceda, an immigrant mother from Oaxaca, asked the obvious last weekend in Fresno. At a meeting about the Senate immigration reform bill, she wanted to know why Senators would spend almost $50 billion on more border walls, yet show no interest in why people leave home to cross them.

This blindness will get worse as immigration reform moves to the House. It condemns U.S. immigration policy to a kind of punitive venality, making rational political decisions virtually impossible. Yet alternatives are often proposed by migrant communities themselves, and reflect a better understanding of global economics and human rights.

Rufino Dominguez, who now works for the Oaxacan state government, describes what Maceda knows from experience: “NAFTA forced the price of corn so low it's not economically possible to plant a crop anymore. We come to the U.S. to work because there's no alternative.” [...]

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