News Release

Behind the Immigration Crisis: Policies in Latin America


Rodriguez writes the syndicated “Column of the Americas” with Patrisia Gonzales. He said today: “The effect of the Sensenbrenner proposal may well be to make a ‘guest worker’ program seem reasonable. Such a proposal would create a two-tiered society of citizens and non-citizens. Or better yet, a system with full-fledged citizens and dehumanized, expendable aliens. They would be prohibited from unionizing; would work under subhuman wages and conditions and be unable to switch jobs. They could not bring their families with them. And when their labor is used up, they are sent home.

“This is totally different from how the European Union is developing, where workers from any country in the EU have full rights in different countries in the EU. In contrast, under NAFTA and such a guest worker program the goods, the capital, and select labor all flow, but the people are without meaningful rights.”
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Birns is director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs based in Washington. He said today: “Illegal migration is fueled by desperation, and in the history of the hemisphere no event has created such social devastation as the Central American wars of the 1980s, which were spearheaded by the Reagan administration. …

“In Mexico, trade policy had a similar devastating impact on rural areas, with the NAFTA trade pact leaving small farmers unprotected in the face of tariff-free imports from massively subsidized U.S. agro-industries. So damaging was the agreement to small-scale Mexican farmers — whose ancestors have grown maize for millennia ­– that they found themselves being undercut by corn from Iowa.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167