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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Takin' it to the streets

Huge protests in France, Britain and the US.

I can't claim to have any great solution to offer to the immigration question. The status quo isn't good, and neither are the proposed "solutions." Bush, McCain and Ted Kennedy want to put undocumented aliens into some kind of semi-permanent second-class status; sort of an indentured servitude. This would suit the needs of the corporations wanting to keep labor cheap, plentiful and servile, and allow them to exploit it without breaking any laws. It would probably be a mixed bag for the immigrants themselves--they would pretty much be stuck with an employer, no matter how bad, but at least there would be some rules to play by. Then there's the (non)Sensenbrenner Repugs, who want to deport and/or lock up anyone who is or who has ever known an undocumented alien. This is one of those "What's the matter with Kansas" cases--letting xenophobia rule to the detriment of practically everybody.

The elephant in the room that is being generally ignored is the reason why so many Latin-Americans keep trying to come to this country. So-called "free trade" and US-sponsored neoliberal economic policies have colonized the economies of Latin America, depriving millions of the opportunity to make a living off of the land or in small business. (See these posts for more of my rantings about NAFTA and "free trade.")

BTW, the protests in France are related to those here, in that the government is trying to undercut the rights of labor by providing a large pool of workers beholden to their bosses and without any rights. In France, the law they are opposing allows employers to fire workers without cause or compensation during their first two years on the job.