Letter to the Editor: Democrats and Republicans Should Address Root of Problem

By Tom Ribe
Santa Fe

Behold the shallow immigration debate in Congress! Watch as republicans struggle with their racist base. See Democrats embrace a symptoms based “solution” while the root causes go unaddressed like a starving dog in the yard.

Why do millions of people from Central America and Mexico come to the U.S.? Why do they risk their lives in hot deserts and dodge heavily armed drug gangs to get minimum wage jobs in freezing cities full of strangers? In Santa Fe hundreds of immigrants are homeless on our south-side.

Yes, the U.S. is a land of opportunity to an extent, but the flip side is that the Mexican economy is a mess. “Fair trade” laws have destroyed the Mexican rural agricultural economy that was an employment and community base for millions of people. Cities offer few jobs for displaced farmers.

Rather than building more ineffective and environmentally damaging border fence and militarizing our border (remember the Berlin Wall?), the U.S. could help repair our neighbor’s economy by repealing fair trade provisions that hurt rural agriculture and encouraging American companies to build manufacturing plants in Mexico rather than China (where American companies go
to dodge pollution control laws and labor laws here at home.)

Rather than attacking symptoms, we could address the immigration problem at its root. Given the reactionary nature of the Republican Party and the weakness of Democrats, I won’t hold my breath.

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