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Who are you calling illegals?

 

By Jill A. Bolstridge

 

Editor's Note: You can read Part 1 of this piece by following this link: 

 

America is a nation which immigrates, not by the individual people crossing borders by nightfall, but by the huge corporations which plow in and settle on foreign lands, destroying countries’ natural habitats, depleting their resources, and exploiting their people every step of the way. 

 

The US cries out about illegal immigrants, who are predominantly Mexican and Latin American, taking work away from “real” American citizens, yet fails to acknowledge the poverty that US corporations unleash on foreign shores through heinously corrupt international negotiations and the evils of imperialism every day. 

 

Perhaps if the people of these foreign lands were not so destitute through the US’s contribution to their poverty, they would not feel the need to “illegally” sneak out of their country and into another.  If the US is going to set up shop on foreign lands and exploit foreign workers in other countries, then why should those same workers not have the right to immigrate to the land of the very country that exploits them? 

Additionally, this hype and frenzy surrounding the issue of illegal immigrants in the
US, who are predominantly Hispanic, reveals an innate fear which has quickly been brewing up in the United States over the past two decades. 

 

The explosion in birth rates in the Hispanic communities of the US has led to an uprise in the popularity of Hispanic culture, a wide increase of Spanish communities, an increase in interracial marriages, and an increase in the Spanish-speaking population of the US.  According to the US census bureau in 2003, one in five people living in America spoke a language other than English at home. 

 

       

        Would-be immigrants from Mexico jumping the fence into America

 

The census also reported a 62% increase in Spanish speaking citizens in just one decade, from 17.3 million in 1990 to 28.1 million in the year 2000.  The immigration bill’s stipulation on ensuring that all immigrants on the “path to citizenship”learn to speak English, as well as the recent Senate scramble to make English the official language of the US, only further point to the fear seeping throughout white America: “they’re going to take over.”

Today, we live in a world made by borders.  The laws of the land no longer revolve around man’s natural needs and the earth’s ability to supply man with those needs, but by immigration laws, prejudice, racism, elitism, border patrols, and a whole lot of paper pushing. 

 

The issue of illegal immigration in the West has long been the cause of great controversy; today, however, in the height of globalization, this hysteria has seemingly reached a fever pitch.  The concept of land ownership has been perverted into a one-sided display of the age-old proverb, “might makes right.” 

 

Taking over another country’s land, habitat, and natural resources is perfectly fine when satisfying the greedy agenda of the wealthy few.  But allow a few thousand of the exploited victims of this empire-building to slip over our borders and attempt to work, and all hell breaks loose.  The stereotypes and anger surrounding the issue are only heightened when a few of those so-called “asylum seekers” slip up. 

 

Yet selling a bit of marijuana doesn’t seem like such a horrific crime when compared to massive human rights violations and forced labor in sweatshops throughout the so-called Third World.  But those are not the “foreign crimes” we see.  We do not see the horrific atrocities imposed by Western corporations every day. 

 

Nor do we see the underlying causes for the increase of crime in impoverished inner cities throughout the world.  No, we only see the face of the drug-dealing “Yardie,” the fires in the streets of Paris, and the profile of the Mexican who took work from a “real, honest American.” 

 

Such is the self-serving, “I, Me, Mine!” consciousness which has unfortunately turned into a second-nature trait of life here in the West, and the greedy corporate-driven media which propagates it. 

 

Jill Bolstridge is a sub-editor with Ricenpeas.com, an award-winning online film magazine where this piece first appeared.

 

Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com

 

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