Glad to see that some pro-immigrant protesters are now including NAFTA in their signs!! NAFTA and free trade globalization policies as the source problem of the increase in undocumented migrations (& resulting abuse of migrant workers) needs to be openly discussed both in the US and in Mexico, elsewhere..
The corporations (agribusiness, slaughterhouses, etc..) who profit from the labor of undocumented immigrants would prefer that they don't become U.S. citizens for as long as possible, thus ensuring the corporate plantation masters the longest time frame of virtual slavery as undocumented immigrants who cannot join or organize unions, ask for sick leave, health insurance or even minimum wage..
The recent decision by the GW bush/Cheney regime to grant undocumented immigrants amnesty was a result of pressure from the public (NOT because they care for immigrants!!); Mayday immigrant & supporters protesting the ICE raids and INS hostility to migrants at the US/MEX border.
Scapegoating the migrants while the corporations who create economic inequality are ignored will not get people any results!!
If anyone actually wants to help the people of Mexico and the US, my advice to Minutemen, SOS AND to leftists, anarchists, etc.. is to reframe their protests away from the migrants themselves and redirect their protest activities against NAFTA/WTO AND the agribusiness corporations (Cargill, ADM, Monsanto) who contribute to the loss of communal ejido farmland in Mexico and simultaneously profit from the recently landless status of undocumented migrant farmers who then work for slave wages on the plantation style agribusiness pesticide patches of el norte..
From "Plot Against Mexican Corn"
by John Ross
"But whatever the immediate causes, the dismantlement of government agricultural programs and the brutal impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement have deepened the crisis in Mexican corn production.
Competing with highly subsidized U.S. farmers is driving their Mexican counterparts into bankruptcy. Whereas south of the border, guaranteed prices for farmers' crops is a thing of the past, corporate corn growers north of the Rio Bravo can receive up to ,000 an acre in subsidies from their government, enabling them to dump their corn over the border at 80% of cost. The impact of this inundation has been to force 6,000,000 farmers and their families here to abandon their plots and leap into the migration stream, according to a 2004 Carnegie Endowment study.
This assault on poor farmers down at the bottom of the food chain will be exacerbated at the end of 2007 when all tariffs on U.S. corn are abolished. Meanwhile President Calderon seeks to tamp down tortilla prices by importing up to 2,000,000 duty-free tons to augment what Mexican farmers can or cannot produce. Such a solution is guaranteed to drive more farmers off the land. Even worse is that much of the new influx of NAFTA corn will be transgenic."
article @; http://www.counterpunch.org/ross02142007.html
For some reason neither side of the so-called "immigrant rights" debate is willing to take this needed step in exposing the root causes of poverty induced migrations. The biotech agribusiness corporations (Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, etc..) flood the Mexican market with subsidized maize (corn), that results in local Mexican maize farmers being driven out of business and eventually selling their land and adding themselves to the stream of migrants heading to el norte, not because of Disneyland, psuedo-democracy or the chance to scoot around LA in an SUV. Poverty, neccesity and landlessness are the primary reasons for this northward migration. In Guatemala similar land heists and construction of hydroelectric facilities by US corporations (IMF/World Bank Structural Adjustment Programs) also contribute to increased rates of poverty induced migrations..
Upon arrival in the US, many undocumented immigrants end up being conscripted into the farmworker lifestyle, often for agribusiness plantations who are owned by or contract out to these same corporations mentioned above. Only now the landless migrants become tenants charged rent (comes out of their below minimum wage paycheck), overworked, exposed to toxic pesticides and high temperatures, smoggy polluted air, etc..
Since the US is basically a two party run CIA brainwash camp with plenty of useful idiots (no offense, we're all susceptible to US government mental conditioning attempts!) to go around, we have a psuedo-debate between the overtly "anti-immigrant" Minutemen/SOS platform of Eurocentric racism and the so-called "pro-immigrant" leftists (Democrats, socialists, etc..) who claim that the US economy depends on the labor of migrants. Their rally cry of "human rights" is a neo-liberal smokescreen for enabling US corporations to continue their abuses of farmworkers without understanding how people got to this position to begin with..
The Minutemen/SOS support the false belief that a border wall, police state ICE/INS tactics will actually prevent the migrants from entering in the US and attempting to find work. Of course the Mm/SOS leadership deliberitely ignores the many powerful agribusiness corporations who profit from the plantation style labor of undocumented migrants, thus rendering any so-called "protection" measures ineffective. By refusing to explore the source of poverty induced migrations, the Minutemen/SOS fail to get beyond an ineffective band-aid border wall and police state tactics (INS/ICE raids) to address the abuses suffered by undocumented immigrants. This is classic CIA mental conditioning, because the needed response of the "pro-immigrant" leftists to the Minutemen/SOS position then becomes one of "immigrant rights" and other futile efforts that do not address the source of the crisis, Mexican farmers losing their land under NAFTA/WTO policies. Some leftists have even gone so far to support the illegitimate government (stolen election from populist candidate Manuel Obrador) of Felipe "Lapdog Jr." Calderon as he claims to oppose the US/MEX border wall. Calderon's main objective is to keep on enabling US corporations to steal the land from under the feet of Mexican farmers, then send the landless farmers to el norte to make the same US corporations (given carte blanche 4 human rights abuses under his ally GW Bush) wealthier from the labor of the now landless undocumented migrants..
What we're dealing with is the polarized "anti-immigrants" vs. the "pro-immigrants" debates and protest/counter-protest actions over the last few years that consistantly avoid any honest dialogue about the source factors of undocumented immigrations, the role played by US agribusiness corporations who provoke the flood of landless campesino farmers. Neo-liberal vs. neo-conservative, English vs. Spanish are all distractions from the greatest corporate plunder of land, labor and loss of food sovereignty we've ever witnessed. Anyone attempting any honest dialogue without taking "sides" is quickly marginalized from the debate by excessive shouting from the polarized camps..
The only real friends that the Mexican people may have today are the guerillas of Guerrero, Zapatistas, APPO and other indigenous campesino farmers who resist their own government's corrupt policies of globalization, neo-liberal free trade agreements (NAFTA, WTO, PPP) and other mechanisms that enable US corporations to heist resources from out of Mexico..
This from US-Mexico Bi-National Family Farmer and Farmworker Congress
Mexico City, September 28, 2006
"We demand a fair trade of agricultural products that respect the viability of neighboring national markets. That is why we oppose the free trade agreements that facilitate and legalize the invasion of products at prices below the cost of production and that prioritize transnational export and agribusiness corporations. In particular, we oppose the policies and agreements contained in the WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA-DR and other bilateral free-trade agreements. Given the profound crisis in the countryside, we demand that the WTO, NAFTA and all other trade agreements get out of agriculture, because they are an attack on peoples' well-being and democratic processes, and trump agricultural policies that support rural and family economies.
In 2008, the completion of the opening of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets under NAFTA is set occur, which would mean the deepening of the farm crisis in all three countries, and as a result, the displacement of thousands of campesino and indigenous peoples from their places of origin and, in the U.S., the near completion of the disappearance of family farms. For this reason, we demand that the agricultural chapter of NAFTA be eliminated, as a means of assuring the survival of producers from both sides of the border.
We think that among the principle causes of the high levels of migration is the concentration of economic and political power in the hands of large transnational corporations and the policies that favor them, especially in the agricultural sector. The massive exodus from the Mexican and Central American countryside is largely a result of the trade and agricultural policies already mentioned."
entire declaration @; http://americas.irc-online.org/am/3629
"The Perfect Neoliberal Tree"
by Jason Ford
"Eucalyptus is the perfect neo-liberal tree. It's fast growing, kills everything near it, and makes a lot of money for a few people."
"In his regular La Jornada column, "The Village Idiot," Mexican journalist Jaime Aviles delivers a humorous, yet accurate, sketch of the connections between the disastrous effects of monoculture eucalyptus plantations on native forest ecosystems and the neo-liberal agenda, more popularly known today as corporate globalization. In fact, monoculture plantations, along with the research and development of genetically engineered trees, are fast becoming a symbol of the international timber industry's refusal to deal with its unsustainable paradigm of industrial forestry."
article cont's @; http://www.gene-watch.org/genewatch/articles/14-2neoliberal.html
So let's all resist this CIA mind control attempt by the so-called Minutemen/SOS and reframe the debate over immigration to resisting corporate land heists in Mexico, defending the campesino farmers from NAFTA/WTO tierra & resource theft!!