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Lighting Up U.S.-Mexico Border Area

So most Americans are upset by the continuing arrival of immigrants. But the immigrants don’t come because they want to. Why would people want to leave the nation where they were born and grew up, where they know the language and customs, where friends and relatives are nearby, to come to the United States that is notorious for its racism and bigotry, tolerance of economic and social exploitation, where they must learn a difficult language and adopt new customs and where it is unlikely they will really be fully accepted by “native” Americans but will remain second-class citizens?

But what else can be expected when the U.S. chooses the course of imperialism. The consequence of empire is a continuing stream of immigrants.

American banks, overflowing with OPEC deposits, urged Latin American governments to borrow huge sums that obviously could never be paid back, thus devastating their economies and forcing them to adopt “austerity measures” that ruined the poor, forcing many to emigrate.

Ronald Reagan’s policies toward El Salvador and Nicaragua made it impossible for many to live there so people left, driven out by death squads and ruined economies.

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As a consequence of the Vietnam War the U.S. could not shirk its responsibility to its client-state and had to accept its refugees.

There is some irony in today’s hostility to immigrants. People most hostile are also most likely to support American adventures abroad. For example, Orange County was a hotbed of support for the Vietnam War and now is notorious for its racist attitudes towards its Vietnamese residents.

As for new immigration, those hostile to it will do much more to stop it by working to reform American foreign policy than by shining lights at our southern border. Give people a chance for something approaching a decent standard of living, a government not run by thugs, and people will stay home rather than go through the painfully wrenching experience of becoming an immigrant.

BILL KRAUSE

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Glendale


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