I’ve always found it ironic that we would be building a large fence to prevent Mexicans from coming into Los Angeles, San Antonio and the state of New Mexico. When I think of immigration, I start with the fact that the American Southwest is the former northern half of Mexico, won through the Mexican War and the rebellions in Texas and California.
We’ve always had nativist reactions to the latest wave of immigration. The only non-immigrants I know are my brothers and sisters at the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio. Having been raised in Detroit, I got used to carloads of illegal Canadians coming in to take high-paying jobs in the city. Just as they got used to me crossing the border to take advantage of cheap currency and free health care at malls in Windsor.
If we really wanted to stop illegal immigration, we should start at the root of the problem – the North American Free Trade Agreement, which allows U.S. corporations to massively exploit the people of Mexico with low wages and toxic pollution. I believe in true international unions that negotiate a fair and livable wage for all people in North America. I favor a continental minimum wage and a generous guest worker program that allows labor to flow in a free and legal way across what are often becoming meaningless borders in a globalized economy.