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Monday, May 01, 2006

No choice for migrants

John Gibler writes about the economic forces which have driven millions of immigrants into the US. Excerpt:
After spending over three months traveling through 18 of Mexico’s 31 states on the trail of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation’s Other Campaign, I have documented a very different view of the forces behind mass migration to the United States—the view of Mexicans who have migrated and returned, of those whose families left and did not come back, of those who have resisted migration, and those who are readying their day packs for the long walk north.

In their experience, there is no real choice, no search for something better. There is only the option of playing their lives against the coyotes and the desert, or betting on the slow but certain destitution of sweatshop labor, dispossession, and the political violence of the government and local mafia groups. This is the cruel gamble that the neoliberal political model in Mexico and the United States calls free choice.