Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bush misses the point on immigration

A few reflections here on Bush's immigration plan announced on Monday night.

I think he missed the point. The problem, and the focus of any immigration reform, should be to strive toward social and economic justice, here, and outside our borders.

People need opportunities to train for jobs that provide living wages, and that help them raise healthy, stable families.

What Bush is offering instead is more security at the border, and a legalization of a system that exploits immigrant workers as slaves, and that undermines domestic workers.

Why, in the first place, doesn't the United States support diversified, sustainable family farms, and support the same model in other countries?

Instead, the United States promotes megalithic corporate farms that require enormous inputs of petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, genetic homogenization of crops, monoculture plantations, and cheap labor.

The use of force follows from the failure of better solutions. Sending 6000 National Guard troops to the border won't solve any problems.

How about sending those troops to New Orleans instead, to help gut homes, and rebuild New Orleans?

Here in New Orleans, we know the answer to that question. The justification for the use of troops by President Bush is to promote the interests of his friends in corporate boardrooms. Which also explains why he isn't mentioning as part of his immigration reform forcing employers to comply with immigration law. It's because his friends at Halliburton and The Shaw Group benefit from the gigantic profits they earn from hiring cheap labor. It isn't as though taxpayers are getting more bang for the buck -- corporations are charging the same, but hoarding more of our tax dollars for their executives.

That's the Bush strategy: more juicy contracts to corporations, more juicy tax cuts for corporations, less enforcement of laws to protect citizens, dismantling existing programs to protect citizens, more debt to our children.


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