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(DV) Random: Misconceptions in the Immigration Debate







Misconceptions in the Immigration Debate 
What Would Crazy Horse Do? 

by Jack Random
May 19, 2006

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We are not a nation of immigrants. We might have been. We nearly exterminated the entire population of indigenous peoples but in the end we failed. The natives are still here despite our determined drive to genocide. The tribes are still identifiable despite our determined campaign to scatter and destroy their languages, cultures and religious beliefs. 

We are not a nation of immigrants; we are a nation of conquerors. We are a nation that seizes by force what we desire. We are a nation that has never been content to share our discovered treasures. We did not steal the land from Mexico; we stole the land from the Apache, Lakota, Iroquois, Cherokee, Nez Perce, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Seminole, Blackfoot, Ute, Paiute and countless other tribes that still exist. We joined Mexico is stealing the land from those who did not wish to possess it but merely to live on it in harmony. 
We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of natives and ungrateful visitors. 
We are not a nation of laws. We are a nation that bends laws to power. We are a nation that chooses not to enforce laws when they conflict with our designs or the all-powerful will of the international corporations that control our government. We are a nation that breaks laws at will and violates treaties and international agreements with willful abandon. 
We are not a nation of laws. We are a nation of lawyers, accountants and corporate boards of directors. 
When the president explains that employers have not been prosecuted for hiring illegal immigrants because the immigrants have mastered the art of document fraud, he is putting forth another myth. Employers have not been prosecuted because they are the presidentís constituents. They are in fact sponsors of politicians in all border states. Anyone who actually believes that the authorities will begin prosecuting employers because legal immigrants have better identification cards has drunk from the well of magical wonders. There may be selective prosecutions for show and political retribution but that is all. Anyone who believes that employers will stop hiring low-cost undocumented workers should let his psychotropic prescription lapse. 
We are not a nation of justice -- justice least of all. If we were a nation of justice, we would honor our debts. We would make just reparations to natives and African Americans who were compelled to migrate as slaves. What the nation owes to the Lakota (1) and Cherokee (2) alone amounts to more than what we will ultimately spend to destroy the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq -- more even than our national debt, a debt that is deeper than the skies over Bear Butte are wide. 
We are not a nation of justice. We are a nation of exploitation. We have conspired with corporate governments throughout the hemisphere to exploit labor and extract resources. We have created a free trade zone without factoring wages into the equation. Though it seems complex, it is not that difficult to understand. It follows the fundamental laws of supply, demand and profit taking. Corporations will seek all means of maximizing profits, including cutting the cost of production. Jobs will move to where the costs are least.  Labor will move to where jobs pay living wages. Wherever possible, good paying jobs will be replaced by low paying jobs and no wall or barrier will prevent these laws from being carried out. In the corporate mind, it is a cold calculation: cost versus benefit. 
It is easy to see why our politicians ignore the root cause of the immigration problem: global trade policy. Republicans need a new scapegoat to replace the gays and abortion activists that have served them so well. Democrats cannot afford to alienate their corporate sponsors. 
What has happened to Mexico (a momentary beneficiary of job migration) is happening now in America. Regardless of immigration reform in whatever form it takes, we will continue to lose well-paid jobs and real wages will continue to decline until we understand that the cause of our misfortune resides with the corporate masters of a global economy and their proxies in government.  It will continue until we embrace our fellow workers in all nations in unity and strength. 
If we fail to revive organized labor on an international scale, the bleeding will render us powerless. There are no walls that can prevent our demise. We have allowed international corporate conglomerates to divide and exploit us nation by nation because we are too proud, too naÔve, and too nationalistic to value unity with individuals outside our borders. 
If we do not stand together to lift up the whole (wages and working conditions in every corner of the globe), then like the childrenís nursery rhyme in the time of the great plague, we will all fall down. 
In the long term, we must make sure that the costs of exploiting labor are greater than the benefits. Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia are showing the way. 
In the short term, we must repeal NAFTA, CAFTA and all international trade agreements that regard human labor as something less than cattle. 
If the pandering, reactionary right prevails in the current climate, like the Israelis in Palestine, we will construct a monument to intolerance and ignorance on our southern border. If it comes to pass, there will come a day when a new American president stands in the land of the Chiricahua and demands: 
Tear down this wall! 
Patriots on both sides of the border will comply and all humanity will applaud. 
Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website: Random Jack.

1)  Payment for the Black Hills and all the resources extracted there from in accordance with the Fort Laramie Treaty. 
2)  Recognized as a sovereign nation by the US Supreme Court in a decision that was ignored by President Andrew Jackson who subsequently carried out the mass relocation recorded in history as The Trail of Tears.

Other Articles by Jack Random

* Requiem for American Democracy
* Paradigm Shift: Embracing the Power of Green
* Remember the Bastille: A Response to Mickey Z
* Designated Fall Guy: Replacing Rummy
* Libertad Y Justicia Para Todo!: Liberty and Justice For All
* Barry Bonds and the Steroids Saga
* Defiling the Grave of an American Hero: The Censoring of Rachel Corrie
* Starving the Beast: Programmed Ineptitude
* Constitutional Suspension: An Abdication of Democracy
* Right and Responsibility Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed
* Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan: Challenging the Pro-War Democrats
* The State of the Union: A Stumbling Illusion of Strength
* The Presidential Power Grab
* Surrealistic Pillow: The West Virginia Mining Disaster
* Pataki & Bloomberg: How to Bust a Union
* The Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal
* France and the Burning Embers of Repression
* The Activist Court & the Neoconservative Agenda
* The Agnew Factor: Clearing the Impeachment Path
* Iraq and New Orleans: The ABCs of Police Lawlessness
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster
* No Tears for Rehnquist: The Legacy of a Chief Justice
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers
* Hugo Chavez and the American Slug: Pat Robertsonís Call for Assassination
* The Lie of a Strong Economy (Beneath the Towers of Avarice)
* Fooled Again: Major Party Turnabout
* The New War Candidate: Major Paul Hackett for Congress
* Free Judy! The Fine Art of Calling a Bluff
* Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in Haiti
* Blame the Democrats & Move On: The Federalist Court
* Against the Wind: The Inevitable End of the Iraqi Occupation
* London and Madrid: Reflections on the War on Terror
* Judith Miller: The Anti-Hero
* Schizo Scherzo: The Last Waltz
* The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
* Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
* Recall the Governator
* The Gates of Hell: Occupied Iraq
* May Day: The Rise & Fall of the Middle Class
* The Papal Aristocracy: Confessions of a Nonbeliever
* No Citizen Left Behind
* A Marine Comes Home: The Untold Story of War
* The Compassionate Leader -- In a Time of Crisis
* In Defense of Barry Bonds
* Defending Dan? Rather Not
* David Went to Canada...& Johnny Got His Gun