I spent some time in the ol' stacks today, and found some nice stuff. They don't have everything on google, yet. I came across this book published in 1913 called, "The Immigrant Invasion" (sound familiar?) and spent some time thumbing through it. Some have argued on this blog that immigrants in the past were somehow different from the modern ones. Even if that is the case, the arguments used against them haven't changed too much. Check this out:
"That this competition of the Slavs and Italians, which has forced the English-speaking races and the native workers out of the anthracite mines, is operating to-day with equally significant results in every one of our important industries, is a fact to be observed on all sides.
Even better than observations are the convincing facts of an official investigation conducted by the Commission on Immigration of the State of new York... The results of the extended inquiries of the commission show, for illustration, that in the manufacture of cuffs and collars, the Irish are being supplanted by Poles and Armenians; in that of woolens, worsted, and underwear, the Irish and English by Poles and Italian.
...Let us glance at some of the social consequences ...the mass of poverty, want, and vice that accumulates in every large manufacturing center is dumped on the charity of our churches and the hospitality of our poorhouses. We see the dreary dwellings of the earners of scanty wages..."
There's more, but I'm not typing out anymore of it right now. An edition of Migration and Development from 1994 had an article by John R. Fraser which dealt with "the limits of sanctions against employers," attempts to fine employers under Reagan and Bush I are discussed, and the conclusion is that these have been ineffective for a number of reasons:
"A long-term approach to combating illegal immigration must include mor effective but humane border control, better inforcement of labor standards in the workplace and a sustained commitment to greater social equality and economic development in immigrant sending areas.
...Better enforcement of labor and immigration laws in the workplace will serve more to regulate the flows of illegal workers within the US labor markets (ie across the boundaries between transitional and more mainstream employment opportunities) than across US borders.
...employer sanctions could have several negative effects: i) that sanctions would impose additional administrative costs on employersâ€¦ ii) that sanctions could result in additional employment discrimination iii) that counterfeit and fraudulent documents to circumvent sanctions could proliferate."
The idea is that these sanctions have a larger effect on the type of jobs immigrants work, rather than whether or not they stay in the country. When these measures have been adopted in the past, the results were a surge in counterfeit documents (from both immigrants and employers) combined with a reluctance among employers to hire any Hispanic workers for fear that they could be illegal.
I also came across some more blog-friendly electronic resources:
This is an article by Hernando De Soto , who's thing is property rights as the key to development in Latin America.
"Illegal Employers" discusses the issue of employers and undocumented workers. The idea is that it's important to enforce fair labor standards.
These are three articles dealing the different aspects of the impact of free trade and neoliberal reform on Latin American economies:
and of course,
So Chavez was just reelected. If the people prefer socialism to capitalism, it's because the perception in much of Latin America is that capitalism has failed miserably in fostering development and creating jobs. I think this move we're seeing in Latin America toward populist, socialist politicians can be seen as a rejection of the failed neoliberal economic policies which the US and other OECD countries have pushed on South America. These same policies have played a major role in the creation of the large-scale migration of Mexican workers into the US.
Our leaders need to be working on bi-lateral efforts to create jobs and economic growth in Mexico and Latin America. We need to send the message that we're committed to working together to find a fair and workable solution. Building a wall would send just the opposite message.
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