Thursday, March 25, 2010

U.S. border crisis. Imperialist Human Rights violations of the poor prompt ICE raids protest

As the world marks International Human Rights Day, Mexicans and Central Americans seeking asylum in the U.S. due to life-threatening persecution face persecution in the U.S. where xenophobia, militarization, and disinformation about decades of U.S. corporate-based, imperialist foreign policy result in ICE raids, prompting LA human rights defenders to protest in the streets.

People are marching in downtown Los Angeles to say, "Imperialism is a Human Rights violation," and "Stop the ICE Raids."

Globalization and Xenophobia

Latin American immigration to the U.S. is driven by globalization including trade agreements and U.S. military trained terrorists. American anti-immigration behavior towards Latin Americans has historically been driven by xenophobia and economic crises. (John Higham, Strangers in the land; Patterns of American Nativism, 1860- 1925, cited by Yolanda Chávez Leyva, Giving testimony to the atrocities": Coalición de Derechos Humanos/ Arizona Border Rights Project, University of Texas, San Antonio) Today, media backed disinformation, a non-lethal weapon of war, adds to the toxic brew creating racism against people of color.

Approximately 11 million undocumented ("illegal") immigrants reside in the U.S, The Pew Hispanic Center reported that in 2005, 57% were from Mexico and 24% from other Latin American countries, mainly Central America. Now, Mexicans account for 61%. (Thomas Frank, Illegal immigrant population declines, USA Today, February 2009)

Raising standard of living promised by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank was to have reduced the economic incentive for border crossings. Instead, in NAFTA's first year, 1994, an economic crisis in Mexico devalued the Mexican peso, decreased Mexican wages, and increased all poverty-related crises. More efficient U.S. agricultural operations and NAFTA tariff elimination caused Mexican: 1) corn prices to fall 70% between 1994 and 2001, and 2) farm job decrease from 8.1 million to 6.8 million in 2002.

At least 45,000 Central American hungry, desperate unaccompanied children seek asylum by attempting crossing the dangerous U.S. southern border every year, many now sex slaves in brothels according to Manuel Capellin, director in Honduras of the humanitarian organization, House Alliance.

Read the rest of the article on the Examiner here.

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