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Don’t Punish the Dreamers—Punish the Corporations Driving Forced Migration


Don’t Punish the Dreamers—Punish the Corporations Driving Forced Migration

David Bacon

The "dreamers," young recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—are the true children of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). More than anyone, they have paid the price for the agreement. Yet they are the ones punished by the administration of President Donald Trump, as it takes away their legal status, ability to work and right to live in this country without fear of arrest or deportation. At the same time, those responsible for the fact they grew up in the United States walk away unpunished—and even better off.


“About 2.5 million rural Mexican farmers and farmworkers driven out of work or off their land.”

A follow-up statistic would count how many reclusive estates or semi-private bedroom communities are what became of the farmland. That is to say, Mexico’s upper-class agenda to acquire farmland for personal food production serving reclusive rural estates, probably contributed to both nation’s impoverishment and inequitable division between rich and poor. No doubt the car driving population there now drive more, fly more too, rent cars, complain about traffic, air pollution, gas price per gallon, dirty slow mass transit, walking a health threat.


Don’t punish the Dreamers or the Corporations.

Punish the parties of the Duopoly for giving rise to the criminal behavior that beget this whole mess.

Shame them into obscurity.

Never again give them relevance.


33% of Mexican economic activity is exported to the U.S. That means the U.S. has a very strong hand to negotiate better work conditions for Mexican workers. Statistics like this can be wrong, but it’s a safe bet a lot of employment in Mexico is generated because U.S. consumers are purchasing what Mexicans make. Often these Mexican companies are owned by U.S. corporations and U.S. citizens – think Ford and G.M. and Sony and Black and Decker, and several thousand more. I went to WITS, World Integrated Trade Systems, for this data. We could force the Mexican government to respect labor laws, force them to systematically raise the labor compensation on exporting industries. No. We probably do the opposite, we support the Mexican forces that drive living conditions into the ditch and drive their citizens into emigration – out migration. They become our immigrants. This is the hypocrisy of the Trump rhetoric, which is a sort of “don’t blame the wealthy for Mexican emigration” rhetoric. And when the migrants arrive without papers, we do not often prosecute corporations for employing them. According to this article 45% of the migrants have or had a visa, and 55% did not, out of a total of 12.7 million. I’m surprised the legal migration was so high. $5 a day is the minimum wage in Mexico, that’s maybe 70 cents an hour. And I’ve read that about 60% of workers earn less than 3 times the minimum, or less than $2.10 an hour. That means surviving on less than $13 a day, where in the U.S. an income of less than $34 a day places one below the poverty level. So maybe 60% of Mexicans live in what we in the U.S. consider to be “deep poverty” which is less than half the poverty threshold in the U.S. Maybe, I can’t be sure. But they are poor in Mexico, – Wikipedia has a chart showing that 33% live at less than $5 a day. And law and order is in bad shape. Mexico has the highest inequality among the 32 OECD countries, save for Turkey. The U.S. has the power to make improvements. We need a political movement to force the changes. My blog: http://benL8.blogspot.com - Economics Without Greed.


Excellent article - with a narrow focus on NAFTA and related economic / political issues. Zoom out a bit and the origins of forced migration over the past decades all seem to trace back to the School for the Americas, where the US trained terrorists to assassinate as many as 50,000 people in Central America in the 1970s and 1980s. Remember the Contras?

Seems like distant history until you remember that Hillary as Secretary of State made a right-wing coup in Honduras, which has now become the murder capital of the world. According the to Guardian, many of those murders are random killings of women - femicide. Those numbers have spiked since 2009. Where do we imagine women in Honduras are going to take their children? They are not “dreamers.” They are fleeing nightmares.