Diffusing Fear and Hate
June 07, 2007, 07:10 PM
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Roberto Rodriguez writes at Common Dreams and The Capital Times:
Consider the following: If the United States were to put up a 2,000-mile wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and if the 12 million nannies, busboys, gardeners and maids were deported, would the illegal and immoral war in Iraq immediately come to a halt?

If undocumented workers were deported, would gas prices go down, would it compel U.S. corporations to immediately institute a living wage for all workers, and would Congress pass universal health care overnight? ..... The urge to blame illegal immigrants or anyone else for the nation’s problems is the result of the Bush administration’s politics of fear, hate and blame. They’ve unleashed that dynamic, and now Americans have come to believe that their rights, livelihood and happiness depend on the denigration and dehumanization of their fellow human beings.

My own comment:

As an American that has worked in occupations(farm worker, construction worker, software engineer) in which immigrants play a very important role, I tend to think that immigrants are used as a shield by wealthy and corporate interests in the US. Why should any amnesty apply to US citizens that profited from violating US immigration law?

There is much more operating here than simple xenophobia. For most Americans, their US citizenship is the most valuable asset they can ever hope to have. Allowing citizenship to be doled out as fits corporate interests degrades the value of citizenship and props up a predatory elite. Has the average American's life really improved since the 1965 immigration expansion? What about the distribution of wealth and income?

The Kennedy/McCain/Bush proposal is not a solution to this problem. We need to look beyond the currently popular proposals to a package of policies that might really improve the lives of people in both Mexico and the US.

When you look at other countries with high levels of immigration, most are quite undemocratic. There are also clear examples of highly egalitarian countries that have prospered without high levels of immigration.

Do immigration and massive US foreign borrowing keep the US from pursuing sane, realistic solutions to its problems? Clearly this unpopular, unnecessary war would be harder for the US government to fight if it had to pay a living wage at home-and couldn't recruit soldiers lured by the attraction of a green-card.