Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mexico, USA and Illegal Immigration

<bold><fontfamily><param>Georgia</param><bigger> I read an article
Santa Fe paper about illegal immigration from Mexico and the reasons
for it not diminishing.

Fences are not going to prevent this inflow. The border is long and
the people are desperate for what they hope will be a better life.
Many wives are discovering that their husbands can't or don't
return---so they are going also.

Bush's three year permit for workers to be in the country doesn't
seem appealing to many Mexicans. The immigrants want to stay here and
benefit from better wages and services.

Ironically, NAFTA is part of the reason for increased illegal
immigration. One of NAFTA's results is putting many Mexican farmers
out of work. Cheap U.S. corn and

wheat (subsidized by our government) is sent to Mexico, undercutting
the prices charged by small Mexican farmers--who are forced out of
business, and many end up having to sell their patches of land.
Sometimes, U.S. agribusiness will purchase this land to set up
corporate farms.

These farmers and their families, in many cases, head for the U.S.A.
After all, isn't this fair?

Another NAFTA caused event: the building of factories on Mexican soil
right across the border. Mexicans from the interior move to these
border regions for work in these "maquiladoras". U.S. firms then have
their products built in these new factories by Mexicans who are paid a
pittance --- while American factories are closed and U.S. workers put
out of jobs.

The Mexican workers are frustrated because they are not paid enough
at the factories to support a more "costly" area in which to work.
Frequently, they end up in colonias (slums) with poor sanitation,
crime --- and sometimes not even water.

Although Mexico supposedly has rather tough environmental laws on the
books---they are seldom enforced.

Now, the final blow: many of the maquiladoras are closing
now---because U.S. companies have discovered the work can be done even
more cheaply in China, Thailand, etc.

The ultimate result: a WIN-WIN situation for corporations. And a
LOSE-LOSE situation for both Mexican and American workers.

One final note: Mexico's beloved corn used to be available in
something like 36 different varieties. One variety for tortillas,
another for tacos, etc. Now, because of the dumping of corn on the
Mexican market primarily from the U.S.----they may end up with three
or four varieties---maybe.

What many people don't realize is that NAFTA and CAFTA usually are
not very helpful to the most citizens of the developing nations, but a
great boon for multi-national corporations. Really --- a form of
economic colonization.</bigger></fontfamily></bold>