Bring 'Em On and Send 'Em Home
Alternatives to Bush's enhanced bracero plan
Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
President Bush's "Fair and Secure Immigration Reform" proposal is now in, and it might as well be labeled LOL or DOA -- laughing out loud or dead on arrival. The chances of Congress actually passing something beyond an enhanced bracero program during this campaign year are less than nil.
Published on LatinoLA: January 9, 2004
That's not to say that draconian Homeland Security and indentured servitude measures won't get passed; it's the dignified components that won't quite see the light of day in 2004.
Incidentally, the promise of NAFTA 10 years ago was that a humane immigration agreement would be negotiated shortly thereafter, similar to the European Community arrangement. There, workers from member nations are eligible to work in each others' countries without losing any of their human rights and dignity. It was already understood then that it is a labor issue, not a criminal issue.
It's difficult to not take notice that his proposal has come in the fourth year of his presidency -- wrapped under the rubric of Homeland Security and fighting terrorism. It doesn't include amnesty, permanent residency or full citizenship provisions. No cynical election year ploy here. But enough said.
Here's an alternative that has a better chance of making it through Congress. The following are provisions of the "Bring 'em On, Send 'em Home" proposal.
-- Pete Wilson's 187 Amigos: This clause will permit corporations to employ amigos for three years at minimum wages. Their families will not be eligible to come along. Additionally, Social Security taxes paid for by amigos will go into their home country's system, ensuring their return. As a bonus, these amigos will not be
eligible for living wages and will be prohibited from engaging in labor-organizing activities.
-- Citizen First. U.S. citizens, regardless of skills or work ethic, will retain the right to first dibs at any job, raise or promotion. This will also permit citizens to be waited on first at any governmental institution or private establishment, including restaurants.
-- The Schwarzenegger ID Card: To ensure that employers, law enforcement and Homeland Security agents will be able to distinguish amigos from U.S. citizens, everyone will be issued color-coded ID cards, certifying their amigo or non-amigo status and ensuring that the holder is not a terrorist. The card will double as a driver's license and will permit employers to deduct pay if amigos don't speak only English.
-- Knock Down the Wall: This calls on Israel to halt the construction of its wall, thereby freeing up the materials to allow the United States to continue building its walls along the 1,800-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
-- Human Rights: To ensure that costly human and civil rights are not being extended to these amigos, this clause will give them a special temporary non-human status while in the USA. Because they will be ineligible from being counted by the U.S. Census, this will also discourage them from staying.
-- Annexation: This clause gives the United States the option to annex Mexico. It would eliminate our current southern border and obviate the need for "la migra" (or whatever they're calling it nowadays) and all its associated costs. Mexicans would no longer have to leave their country to look for jobs. It would also solve the U.S. long-term labor shortage and allow it to claim Mexico's oil.
-- The Canadian Option: Being that Canadians are treated the same as Americans, under the auspices of NAFTA, Mexicans, for a mere $5,000, will be able to claim a Canadian identity. For $50,000, Mexicans will be able to claim both a Canadian identity and temporary membership in the Caucasian race (for as long as they remain in the United States). For a mere million, they can be granted instant and automatic U.S. citizenship (resembling an actual immigration provision).
-- AFTA-CAFTA: When the Central American Free Trade Agreement of the Americas is fully implemented, amigos from these big-hat countries will catapult above the Mexican amigos in all rights and privileges. However, they too will not be eligible for U.S. citizenship until all Canadians have waived their firsts rights of refusal. Also, once the free trade area of the Americas is fully implemented, all citizens of
this hemisphere will be eligible to be treated like Mexicans. Once the World Trade Organization talks are fully concluded and implemented, the world will no longer need migrants. As global citizens, everyone will have the right to stay home.
-- The GI Jose and GI Juanita exception: Join the Army and see the Middle East. Citizenship guaranteed upon return.
* For an in-depth analysis of the president's immigration plan, go to the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights at: http://www.nnirr.org or write them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez:
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