Wednesday, July 9, 2014

8 REASONS U.S. TRADE AND IMMIGRATION POLICIES--NOT "LAX IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT"--HAVE CAUSED MIGRATION FROM CENTRAL AMERICA

David Bacon explains that U.S. foreign and immigration policy is responsible for much of the pressure causing this flow of people from Central America.  Importantly, the migration of children and families didn╒t just start recently. It has been going on for a long time, although the numbers are increasing. The tide of migration from Central America goes back to wars that the U.S. promoted in the 1980s, in which we armed the forces, governments or contras, who were most opposed to progressive social change. Two million Salvadorans alone came to the U.S. during the late 1970s and 80s, to say nothing of Guatemalans and Nicaraguans. Whole families migrated, but so did parts of families, leaving loved ones behind with the hope that some day they'd be reunited.

The recent increase in the numbers of migrants is not just a response to gang violence, although this is virtually the only reason given in U.S. media coverage. Growing migration is as much or more a consequence of the increasing economic crisis for rural people in Central America and Mexico, as well as the failure of those economies to produce jobs. People are leaving because they can't survive where they are. 

The failure of Central America's economies is mostly due to the North American and Central American Free Trade Agreements and their accompanying economic changes, including privatization of businesses, the displacement of communities by foreign mining projects and cuts in the social budget. The treaties allowed huge U.S. corporations to dump corn and other agricultural products in Mexico and Central America, forcing rural families off their lands when they could not compete.

KJ

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2014/07/8-reasons-us-trade-and-immigration-policies-not-lax-immigration-enforcement-have-caused-migration-from-central-america.html

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