Friday, November 22, 2013

All Over the World, Migrants Demand the Right to Stay at Home

A global consensus is emerging on immigration policy–and the U.S. isn’t heeding it.

By David Bacon, In These Times
October 30, 2013

Such voices here in the U.S. and abroad deserve a greater audience. If there is no effort to examine the impact of trade agreements, or to look at the danger of the growth of new international guest worker programs, a decade from now, the world we live in will be one we will hardly recognize.

The United States has become home to a large number of people born outside its borders—there were some 40 million as of 2010, according to various estimates. That was up from approximately 20 million in 1990.

The immigration debate in the United States usually treats the migration of people into this country as something unique. But it is not. The United Nations estimates that 232 million people worldwide live outside the countries where they were born—3.2 percent of the world's population. In 2000 it was 175 million, and in 1990, 154 million. The number of cross-border migrants has grown by 78 million people in just over 20 years—enough to fill 20 cities the size of Los Angeles. [...]

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