Friday, May 18, 2007

Immigration Reform, good for whom?

The most recent "agreement" on immigration reform is, notably, between Senators. It is not a done deal in it's present form. It still has to go before the house of representatives and we have not heard Pelosi comment on the actual form that this is taking. That serves as a lead to make several comments that are tied together only be the fact that they involve immigration.

For starters, you get an entirely different view of the issues on immigration is you pick up media aimed at the Indian immigrants. The May 2007 edition of India Currents gives us a Point / Counterpoint discussion on the question: Is loosening up of numerical limits desirable? Captions tell the story:
The H-1B cap is not preserving the wages of U.S. employees; rather, the jobs are being permanently moved to India!
- and -
According to a Duke University study, immigrants founded 25 percent of the engineering an technology companies created in the last 10 years.

Next, since the new reformed immigration package would greatly expand the number of "guest workers" allowed to enter the United States, there is very real need to address the abusive practices of labor contractors. The United Farm Workers, obviously, sees the Union as the appropriate tool to do this. This morning, they emailed me a copy of their labor contractor action page. Unless this is solved, we have only moved the issue of human rights to a different context, we have not solved it.

In California politics, immigration is a big issue and often for the wrong (repressive) reasons. Orange County Representative Dana Rohrabacher has already been quoted (Costa Mesa Daily Pilot) as seeing the bill feeding an anti-Democratic backlash in the next election.

The battle over immigration is far from over and Greens need to be able to articulate a clear position, based firmly on the 10 key values of this party. Everyone who might think about spending time in any tabling or voter registration efforts should make sure that they understand the recent reform bill and to be able to discuss this bill in light of the current platform.


Mato Ska said...

It is reasonable to propose an original position given the current debate in Congress and across America. As Greens we are entitled to present the population scenario resulting from the migration of Mexican workers to the US in a context that presents its social costs in environmental degradation, unsustainable growth, population peaks that stress the existing public infrastructure and as a human rights quandary.

As a political party, we need to get away from the preconceived agendas of advocacy groups and non-profits and begin to present a political alternative other then a No-Action scenario that has such profound consequences. I would address issues of legitimate concern without resorting to demagoguery or accusations against legitimate expressions of concern and anxiety. Polarization on the issue will not benefit Mexican workers in either the long-run or the short run. They are also victimized as a result of existing policies by depressed wage standards and labor rights, public health issues and standards for care, housing standards and adequate shelter for family members and unique educational services needed for the children of such workers and numerous safety issues confronted by the families as they come from their home cities in Meso-America.

Discussion IS NEEDED and the presumption needs to be stopped in regards to good-faith efforts to establish policy proposals that can be supported by Greens around the West and throughout the nation. One such example might be to increase activity by city administrations in prosing reimbursement for services rendered and infrastructure needs to the Federal government of Mexico.

Orval Osborne said...

This is a vitally important topic, nowhere more so than in our state. I have written on immigration policy in the past. See my July 7, 2006 post on my other blog at

In defense of the human rights of all people, the enforcement should NOT come down on the individuals, splitting families. Rather, the penalties should be put on the companies employing illegal/undocumented workers. That is the perspective utterly missing from the Demo/Repub proposal being floated now.