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A comprehensive ‘white’wash
A senseless legislation of criminalising illegal immigration will deepen US’ economic woes

Christopher Columbus’ dream has now received the shape of reality. Invading whites have become “natives” and the rest, including the African Americans, originally brought into the the country as slaves, are subjected to racist bigotry (refer to Scrutiny, “I had a dream”, B&E, February 10, 2006). US, which was established by immigrants from post-industrial revolution Britain, has, paradoxically, turned xenophobic. The proof lies in a bill that was cleared by the country’s House of Representatives that blatantly terms illegal immigrants as criminals. The controversial document goes on to state that harbouring illegal immigrants entails criminal procedure associated with federal felony. In addition to the above, the Act envisages a 1,120 km long wall along the US southern border with Mexico – surely, an act of unashamed racism, for no such wall is being planned along the country’s northern boundary with Canada.

Following this senseless piece of legislation, protests all over the country have erupted. Thousands of protestors demonstrated in New York, a procession almost a mile long, carrying banners stating slogans such as, “If you hurt immigrants, you are hurting America,” “We are your economy,” “I cleaned up ground zero,” etc. The protest march in Los Angeles drew out a mammoth 500,000 people. The protests are predicted to grow, as more and more of these illegal immigrants fall prey to such a legislation. The protests forced the Senate to review the controversial bill. The Senator Republicans remained divided on the issue, as the house envisaged a softer path of doing away with criminal procedures, and including a provision that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship. The Joint committee of the House and Senate, as a result, are on the warpath.
Mr. Bush, a “silent” onlooker, is supposed to be favouring a middle path and is set to play a major role in getting this legislation ratified. A “guest worker status” being conferred to such immigrants, is the path that he wants to adopt, albeit such a move would attract the ire of his Republican Party members and leave a smirk on the faces of the democrats, who would bask in the glory of the ruling party relenting to the opposition. This would definitely be one of the nails in Bush’s coffin, after having built one to lie in when he ratified the takeover of ports by the Dubai Ports Authority. The World Bank in its report called Global Economic Prospects, 2006, pegged the amount of remittances at $167 billion from immigrants working in developed world. As far as Mexico is concerned, this figure is estimated to be at around $13.3 billion, or in other words 140% of its FDI inflows. The World Bank also concludes that such remittances would certainly contribute towards poverty alleviation in such developing countries.

The survival of US transnational behemoths lies in the global demand for its products. The First World demand has stagnated with the onus of driving global growth lying on the Third World, with the consumption multiplier taking care of the rest. Regressive legislations would prevent such income growth from taking place. In addition, the Governments in such wronged countries would retaliate by closing its doors to such transnational enterprises. The American legislators are doing a fantastic job of chopping down the branch on which they are perched. The US legislators should enhance Mexican participation in the NAFTA to allow migration through manufactured products (Hecksher-Ohlin-Vanek Theorum) generated from capital flows into its developing counterpart.

By:- B&E

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