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Big sign reads: 'Seeking Mexican Labor'

Uncle Sam installs sign inside new fence that reads: 'Migratory Law'


                                                                      [El Universal, Mexico]



El Tiempo, Colombia

Bush's Migration 'Sadomasochism'


"What kind of sadomasochism is it that the Bush Administration now prescribes, when it is destined to create labor, economic, bureaucratic, and most importantly, human chaos?"


By Sergio Muñoz Bata



Translated By Carly Gatzert


August 14, 2007


Colombia – El Tiempo – Original Article (Spanish)

While it would be an exaggeration to say that the U.S. economy will be paralyzed if the Bush Administration enforces the set of 26 anti-immigrant reform measures that it announced last week, it is possible that the effect on sectors such as agriculture, construction, the garment industry and housing will be devastating. 


The astonishing thing is that although President Bush, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez admit that rigorous enforcement of the reforms would have disastrous consequences, the insist on implementing them.


Nor is it easy for those of us who believe in the sincerity of the administration to understand how it can change its tone and represent ultra-conservative punitive measures against undocumented people and their employers, when just a few months ago it argued before Congress that the broken-down system of national system migration demands an integrated solution [In other words, not only a security element, but a 'path to citizenship' or legalization for the 12 million illegals now in the country].


How can one believe the administration, when Chertoff himself informs the country that this hardball approach is nothing more than a new strategy to force Congress to finally proceed with more integrated immigration reform, which will only occur when members of Congress refuse to tolerate pressure from lobbyists for industries that depend disproportionately on undocumented workers?


Out of this new reform package, what stands out are measures that tighten the rules for hiring workers, forcing businesses within 90 days to verify the migration status of workers by checking to see if their Social Security numbers match those in the government database. According to the plan, the Social Security Administration will send out 140,000 letters per year until it covers a total of 8 million people.


Although in principle this reform measure sounds manageable, the problem is that if previous interactions between the Social Security office and employers are any guide, the margin of error of the agency's official data will be very high, as will be the ensuing disaster that such flaws will inflict on employers and employees. Employers who don't comply with these regulations and hire undocumented workers will be sanctioned economically and be subject for prosecution as well.


With regard to reinforcing borders, aside from the construction of walls and barriers and the positioning of cameras and radar towers along the southern border which have already been approved by Congress, the new package contemplates increasing the number of border patrol agents to 20,000 by the year 2009 and expanding the amount of prison space for people stopped for violating the migratory laws.


One of the package's most contentious measures is one that requires state and city police to be trained to perform migration duties, which disregards the recommendations of chiefs of police, who have always said that changing the profile of local police would have a tremendously negative effect on investigations within immigrant communities - because confidence in law enforcement would be lost.


What kind of sadomasochism is it that the Bush Administration now prescribes, when it is destined to create labor, economic, bureaucratic, and most importantly, human chaos, by increasing the number of deportations, separations of families and corporate dislocations - all in the name of saving the country from itself?






























The U.S. Border Patrol: Soon to be beefed up, along with immigration training for local and state police. But will involving local police in immigration enforcement interfere with their capacity to investigate other crimes?