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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/6/10

The Economics Beneath Immigration Reform

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Message shamus cooke

How convenient for Goldman Sachs. Just as most working people were demanding that the Goldman bosses and other Wall Street criminals either be massively fined, jailed or worse, the nation's attention is suddenly forced to react to the racist immigration law in Arizona. And although the two incidents are not directly related, they represent a trend that is likely to increase in the months and years ahead.

Because of the economic crisis, massive unemployment, corporate bailouts, home foreclosures,and criminal activity of Wall Street, the majority of people in the U.S. have never been as passionately anti-corporation. But the corporate owned media plus the wealthy, elite-controlled Congress reacted quickly to these intolerable circumstances and fought back.

They took the fight over public opinion to the airwaves, and massively pushed the blame for the dismal state of the U.S. economy onto those unable to defend themselves -- immigrants.

One can either focus their political rage on the billionaires who dominate the economy and Congress --Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, etc. -- or those millions of undocumented immigrants, many who get paid lower than minimum wage and are living in society's shadows.

The corporate media would rather you focus on immigrants. Thus, Fox News and virtually all other media outlets spew nightly venom at a vulnerable public, looking to get revenge on immigrants who "ruined America." There is an obvious connection to this type of racist propaganda and the increase in hate crimes against Latinos that has exploded over the years.

Latinos are blamed for everything from lower wages, violent and non-violent crimes, to just about everything else. There is no exaggeration to say that Hitler played a similar blame-game for Germany's economic and social woes with Jews and other minorities.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles was quoted in The New York Times when he correctly pointed out: "Every time we have an economic downturn, there is a new attack on immigrants"" (May 1, 2010).

The right-wing exploits this claim when they accuse immigrants of lowering the wages of "native" U.S. workers, but the full truth of why a tidal wave of immigrants entered the U.S. is never told.

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Shamus Cooke is a social service worker and activist living in Portland Oregon.
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