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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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting Diary. Some questions for you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    charliehall2

    Let's start with this:

    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.  

    Please site references for "unmanned drones within Mexico"  and "scapegoat actual victims"  the victims are those that enter illegally or who?

    Point 1 "Austerity".  Mexico?  Other S. Am states. Who exactly is under this duress?

    Point 2.  Imperialism.  Gee, thought that ended after WW II.  Granted, our illegal invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, where do we hold "Imperialist" power?  You have seen what Putin has done to the West lately?  Yes?

    Point 3. NAFTA.  You fail to mention that this was a Clinton initiative.  So, it was good then, not now?  (BTW I believe NAFTA and the elimination of Glass-Stiegel  was the root cause of our current problems.)

    Point 4. Militarism.  Yup. We gots it.  It's how we deal with things when we have lost our "leverage".  Though no one ever goes to jail for wrong policies or adventures.  Wouldn't that be refreshing no matter which party is in the WH?

    And finally, the "math is simple" is just false.  If it was simple we would have figured it out by now.  Those pesky foreigners with their own ideas regarding politics, governance and social mores....

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 10:59:19 AM PDT

    •  Nice try with the edit (0+ / 0-)

      Now Point 3. now acknowledges Clinton...

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 01:21:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NAFTA was not a problem for the US (0+ / 0-)

      but it WAS for Mexico.

      How many cheap manufactured goods to you see on the shelves of Walmart that say "made in Mexico"?

    •  Points (0+ / 0-)

      Point 1: Mexico is mentioned as an example. Other S.Am states are going through a similar scenario. Mexico was used as an example of this.

      Point 2: U.S. Imperialism has been virtually continuous since WWII.

      Point 3: I mention it was enacted under Clinton, although not specifically saying it was his initiative.

      Point 4: Yes, that would be refreshing. It's long overdue.

      The simple math? It's simple in the sense of what could be done if the conditions were appropriate. Actually, doing it? Easier said than done, particularly given the right's stance.

  •  The problem as I see it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    Is that the politicians, in both major parties, benefit from the illegals.  They have no incentive to put a stop to it.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Mon Mar 31, 2014 at 11:59:42 AM PDT

  •  Other than NAFTA none of this applies to Mexico (0+ / 0-)

    Lets see....

    Austerity: Mexico had had a mismanaged economy for decades before NAFTA which continued afterwards. The PRI which ruled Mexico for longer than the Communist Party ruled the Soviet Union (and is back in power) was corrupt to the core and could not say no to the special interests to which it was beholden.

    Imperialism: The US has not intervened directly in Mexico since the end of its Civil War around 1920, and even then it did side with the Left after Wilson took office. It even let Mexico nationalize its oil industry in the 1930s.

    Militarization: After Mexico's Civil War ended, all the parties agreed that the role of Mexico's military needed (finally) to be reduced and as a result it has a small but quite capable professional military that stays out of politics. Militarism was a big problem in Mexico for its first century of independence, but not today.

    NAFTA: It destroyed Mexico's agricultural industry but few manufacturing jobs went south.   Free movement of goods and money was not accompanied by free movement of people and that was a recipe for failure. The US needs to increase the quota on Mexican immigration to the US by a factor of about ten.

    •  How would tenfold immigration (0+ / 0-)

      into a country with high unemployment be good for the citizens already there?

    •  Points (0+ / 0-)

      Austerity: True, but NAFTA hasn't helped to stem the tide of immigration, the idea that it would offer jobs that would heighten living standards. Plus, austerity has been a scourge worldwide, e.g., in Western Europe. Mexico is no different. Austerity requires cuts in social services, privatizing state industries, things that have helped the "commoners."

      Imperialism: Again true, but it can do it economically, as mentioned in my article: '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."

      Militarization: Militarization from U.S. policies. A former border patrol agent named David Stoddard suggested putting U.S. troops on the border. Increasing funds have been spent to where the word isn't that far-fetched to use.

      NAFTA: Yes, and that alone is a disaster for Mexico.

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