Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More on Getting to the Root of the Problem

While the American people continue to be fed a daily dose of inflammatory rhetoric and simplistic solutions to the complex issue of immigration reform, that rely far more upon ignorance and bigotry than facts and practical proposals, the real-world problems that are the cause of the current worldwide migration remain trivialized or utterly ignored.

And while arguments over border walls, drivers licenses, and who can inflict the most pain and suffering upon the unauthorized migrant population, might make for effective sound-bites and attack ads in the circus that now passes for political campaigning, they do little towards addressing the root causes of the issue….or reaching any meaningful solutions.

While politicians, pundits and the media try to avoid the issue of root causation like the plague, any serious examination of the issue cannot ignore the United States' roll in fostering the very conditions that have driven millions of people in this hemisphere to uproot themselves for the uncertainty of life as unauthorized immigrants in the US.

Here is just one example:

Which is why any meaningful attempt to reform US immigration policy must go beyond the scope of the current debate and legislation and move towards addressing the policies that have promoted conditions that can only lead to social and political unrest and poverty in sender nations.

The US has power to do both great good and great harm throughout the third world with its economic and foreign policy decisions and we must start to look at the long term ramifications of these policies. Rather than allowing US business interests to dictate trade and economic policy, we need to view these policies in light of their long term effects on both foreign economies and our own.

…As long as US foreign and trade policy is based solely upon the interests of big business, this race to the bottom will continue. Until we begin to address the true causes for the mass migration of people who live in abject poverty in countries that have more than enough resources to provide a reasonable lifestyle for its entire population, we will never get a handle on the "immigration problem"

…(We must) address the root causes of immigration, and change US policy so that it doesn't foster and produce conditions that force millions of people each year to leave their countries of origin in order to simply survive. (We must) tie all future trade, military, and foreign aid agreements to not only worker protections both here and abroad, but also to their ability to foster economic progress for the working class and poor in sender nations.

Getting to the Root of the Problem: Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Working Americans

For those wishing to know more about US policies and practices in Latin America, pull up a chair, pop some corn, pour a cool one, and spend an hour or so seeing a different perspective on our relations with our neighbors to the south….a region that Richard Nixon once proclaimed "People don't give a shit about...." Even if you're not quite sold on Chavez as a modern day Simón Bolívar, the film has much to offer.


Underground Country said...

That's a powerful video. But of course, that kind of information will never reach the mainstream media in the US. I agree with you that for a change in immigration policy that will really work, a deeper change would have to occur first within the government.


yave said...

I watched the shorter clip. It seems there's always more to learn about shady U.S. actions in Latin America that you don't learn in school for some reason. It kind of reminds me of how they never taught us the story of Onan in Sunday School, or really delved into the multiple genocides committed in the name of the Lord described in the Old Testament. Anyway, the speaker at the end of the clip hit it on the nail. The idea that GWB represents a radical break from an honorable, invasion-free, torture-free U.S. foreign policy is pure fantasy. Those on the receiving end know well that torture, repression, and destruction have long been core tools of U.S. foreign policy.

Duke1676 said...


If you've got the time the full length documentary is excellent. A little heavy on the "Chavez as savior" framing ...but it definitely presents a point of view totally unseen in the US media....and Chavez really is an engaging character.