The Right demands that illegal immigration stop, but their reasons are ass backwards
There's nothing like hot button issues such as illegal immigration to get the U.S. right riled up. Their state of siege mentality comes right out with strains of racism, militarism and ultra-nationalism accentuating their distaste for "dem foreigners coming to take our jobs away."
Actually, there is validity in what is said about illegal immigration being, well, illegal. But the right prefers a militaristic approach to the problem, and in turn bury their heads in the sand in regards to the actual causes of illegal immigration.
Over the years, there was clamoring for a wall to be built on the U.S.-Mexico border. It came in the form of Operation Gatekeeper in 1994, originating in San Diego. It consisted of constructing a steel wall from the Pacific Ocean to the Sierra Madre Mountains, according to OneAmerica Executive Director Pramila Jayapal.
Regarding costs, even a border fence would amount to $1.2 million per mile, according to a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. And Princeton sociologist Douglas Massey noted that there was an increase of funding for the U.S. Border Patrol which amounted to $3 billion in 2010.
Coinciding with "beefing up" security at the border is the "war on drugs" where militarization has been increased with high-tech weapons and unmanned drones within Mexico.
The right never seems to want to look at the root causes of illegal immigration, and only scapegoat the actual victims.
What are the root causes?
• Austerity: The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by the U.S., impose austerity measures on countries. Meaning, to balance their budgets and be free of debt, governments have been arm-twisted into cutting essential social services, and privatizing major industries. This winds up hurting many people who don't have political/corporate power.
• Imperialism: Imperial power gives the U.S. leverage to more or less "call the shots" on international policy. Its leaders and operatives have interfered in the affairs of other nations like Mexico as a behind-the-scenes player; or outrightly. The sovereignty of other nations is violated.
• NAFTA: Fast track legislation was used to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under the Clinton administration. The result is an unequal relationship of cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico. While Mexico isn't allowed to use manufacturing tariffs and agricultural subsidies for its farmers, the U.S. is allowed to maintain its own. "U.S. firms gained access to Mexico's financial, agricultural, energy, textile and manufacturing sectors, But Mexican firms were blocked in their efforts to gain access to the U.S.'s transport, agricultural and textile sectors," Jayapal stated.
• Militarism: When George W. Bush Jr. was in power, he signed a $1.4 billion aid package called the "Merida Initiative," according to professor Justin Akers Chacon. This provided training and equipment to fight the "war on drugs." Obama extended it, providing high-tech weapons, unmanned drones, and U.S. military personnel, CIA agents, etc. Chacon states that this would create "a costly and bloody quagmire." Adding in the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border due to the immigration issue and we have hopelessly unworkable projects like the war on drugs and NAFTA.
The math is simple: The factors above equal poverty and oppression, which equal the people of another country like Mexico becoming desperate or desiring to immigrate to the U.S., which equals the chance for illegal immigration.
There's no doubt that many people would be glad to stay in the own countries if living standards were good. And the latter is a major factor that propels people to immigrate.
For those on the right who oppose illegal immigration: then oppose austerity, imperialism, NAFTA and militarism. Don't blame those without corporate/government power.
David Starr writes on various social and political issues, both national and international.