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Waging War on Immigrants

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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They come to America because NAFTA and other exploitive trade agreements destroyed their ability to earn a living at home. Come north or perish. Millions have no choice.

ICE heads them off at the border. Gloves off policy targets them ruthlessly. Wanting to live free and survive is criminalized. Poor, desperate people are called dangerous.

Immigration reform won't help them. Earlier proposed legislation replicated Bracero Program harshness. From 1942 - 1964, it persecuted immigrants ruthlessly.

Indentured servitude was policy. Immigrants became serfs with no rights. Employers were empowered to exploit them. They got temporary low wage jobs.

They were cheated out of pay. Employers seized their documents. They were held in virtual captivity. They were denied vital medical care or benefits for injuries received.

A cycle of abuse punished them. They couldn't resist or complain. As undocumented workers, they had no rights. They were sent home when no longer needed. 

Why expect better now. Conditions today are worse than earlier. Whatever final congressional legislation emerges, expect it to reflect anti-immigrant harshness.

Since 2004, Border Patrol staff doubled. Numbers are ninefold greater than 30 years ago. Plans call for increasing their numbers. Untold billions more will be spent. Efforts will be as futile as earlier.

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Greater militarization of Mexico's border is planned. So are harsher crackdowns. Drone surveillance is proposed. A commission of governors, state attorneys general and community leaders will decide if policies succeed.

Senators say they'll monitor "progress of securing our border and make a recommendation regarding when the bill's security measures outlined".are completed."

It could take years. Immigrants who come forth voluntarily will get "probationary status." It's ill-defined. They'll have no rights. They'll be at the mercy of federal and local authorities, as well as exploitive employers. 

They can be deported on a whim. They'll have no right of appeal. They'll be separated from family members. Parents and children will be split.

The path to citizenship requires millions of undocumented immigrants to wait 11 years or longer. Many or most perhaps won't qualify.

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"Comprehensive immigration reform" is a figure of speech. Reality suggests otherwise. Previous Bush and Obama initiatives failed. They were aborted.

Immigrant rights aren't prioritized. They're exploited and abused. They're not wanted. Most come from Mexico and Central America. At best, they can expect Bracero Program 2.0.

They'll be exploited, persecuted, denied all rights, underpaid, and hung out to dry when not wanted. America's race to the bottom assures it. Planned immigration reform assures none at all. It's the American way.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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