Of course, the Republicans' (and many Democrats') idea of immigration reform is to ramp up the 3,000-mile border militarized zone, concentrating first and foremost on stopping the Hispanic hordes with drones and guns before actually getting around to policies that are humane. Shoot or capture first, hand out the e-verify cards later. How much later is left up in the air. It depends on how profitable the enhanced border security is to the Military-Industrial Complex.
(Obama, according to the New York Times, likes the Senate plan, although he is said to be less than thrilled about more border security. But he'll go along with it anyway. Because it's bipartisan. And he'll talk about immigration reform as being "a call to arms." You can say that again, Mr. Gun Control Prez.)
It also boils down to how cheaply labor can be exploited. And as for the 11 million people already here without papers, they'll have to pay vague fines and back taxes before getting in line. They will still be subject to deportation, imprisonment in private, for-profit detention centers, still be ensnared by Obama's draconian "Secure Communities" police sweeps. Even those accepted as probationers will be denied public health benefits. They will be required to learn English and pass a civics test. (notwithstanding the fact that civics is no longer even part of the public school curriculum in many states.)
In insisting on the paranoid securitization of the borders, the Senators are of course ignoring the fact that fewer Latinos are even choosing to come here any more. Our economy sucks. The economies of Latin America are improving. Their income inequality is decreasing, while ours keeps getting worse. So I can't help but think that our politicians' pivot to immigration reform smacks of a ploy to enrich the CEOs and the defense contractors and Agribusiness and the gun manufacturers -- not to mention enhancing and further cementing the Homeland Security spy state. Xenophobia remains at the core, despite the Gang's claiming to be against ethnic profiling.
|More Enforcement Against Fewer Immigrants?|
Their border enforcement plan is not getting high grades from immigration activists. It is, they say, a typical wedge issue that appears designed to make immigration reform fail before it even gets started. Writes Vicki Gaubeca of the ACLU's New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights, "Border enforcement policy decisions must include mechanisms that holds agencies accountable and provides oversight as well as reflecting the perspectives of border communities. Now is the time to halt further construction of costly, deadly and ineffective border infrastructure or unproven technologies, and stopping the expensive, overzealous prosecution of migrants through programs like Operation Streamline. This operation is a 'zero tolerance' border enforcement program that orders federal criminal charges for every person who crosses the border without documentation, overloading U.S. courts and undermining the best values of our judicial system."
It is telling that the reform plan being put forth gives precedence to both low-paid migrant farm workers and highly educated scientists and tech professionals who were trained at another country's expense. Follow the money. If you can serve the needs of the plutocracy for cheap, you will be given a place at our great table of American exceptionalism. Otherwise, get in line and listen to the sound of a thousand Predator and Reaper drones buzzing over your heads.