Sunday, October 20, 2013

The "Implacable" War Against Migrants

Review of The Immigrant War, Vittorio Longhi, Policy Press, 2013

By David Bacon, Truthout
September 30, 2013

The immigration debate in the United States almost always treats the migration of people into this country as something unique. It is not. The World Bank estimates the total number of people worldwide living outside the countries where they were born at 213,316,418 in 2010. A decade earlier, it was 178,050,184, and a decade before that, 155,209,721

The number of people who have become cross-border migrants has increased by about 58 million people in 20 years. To be sure, the United States has become home to a large number - 42,813,281 in 2010, up from 23,251,026 two decades earlier. This increase coincided, by no accident, with the period in which the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect, and neoliberal economic reforms were implemented in countries that have been the sources of migration to the United States.

Nevertheless, looking at the ways migration has affected other countries, and especially at the experiences of migrants themselves, it is clear that US exceptionalism - the idea that this country is somehow unique and different from the rest of the world - has no basis in fact.[...]

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