Mexicans had had enough. In 2009 a campaign to protect the country’s food sovereignty wrote to President Obama asking that NAFTA be renegotiated. “Sin Maíz No Hay País…Y el frijol Tampoco,” or “Without Corn There is No Country… and Not without Beans Either,” detailed the negative impacts of free trade. Among them:
That brings us to the 2012 election. Migration has slowed because of a weak U.S. jobs market, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, growing dangers of illegal border crossings, lower birth rates in Mexico and economic conditions in that country. However, the problems detailed in the letter to President Obama remain, as do millions of undocumented immigrants, and the U.S. needs to take responsibility for its part in creating them.
Mexicans love their country as much as North Americans love theirs. Millions have risked flight northward because of situations they did not create. Trade policies and major agricultural companies bear significant responsibility for forcing many of them off their land.
Republicans and Democrats are proposing very different immigration reforms. The GOP wants to deport all 11.5 undocumented immigrants, while the Democrats are suggesting a more practical and humanitarian approach.
Economic and humanitarian issues are critical and complex components that should underlie any immigration reform. There are also economic fallouts. Think Progress has created an infographic that shows the Republicans’ punitive plan will cost the country billions.
Neither path is perfect, but the Republicans’ plan is particularly mean spirited in light of the country’s role in contributing to the problem in the first place.
Where do you stand, Care2 readers?
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