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  • Al Soto
    ... From: Nancy Green To: Javier Perez ; Carlos Marentes ; Bea Malinalkalli Villegas
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2008

      ----- Forwarded Message ----
      From: Nancy Green <nancygreen9@...>
      To: Javier Perez <soymechista@...>; Carlos Marentes <marentes@...>; Bea Malinalkalli Villegas <malinalkalli@...>; Jesus B. Ochoa <viejolex9277@...>; Isabel Olague <itzabelolague@...>; Julie Ortiz <jortiz@...>; Al Soto <spearchuckeral@...>; Donna Snyder <tumblewordsproject@...>; emmy pérez <emmyperez@...>; Richard YAnez <richyanez@...>; Mary Yanez <maryy@...>; Selfa Chew <schew1@...>; Sylvia Molina <OSHRUN@...>; Hayat Imam <imamhayat@...>; Ana LaCubana <td2000ana@...>; Teresa Sotelo <ta4humans@...>; Maria Estela Monsivais <mmonsivais@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 7:43:35 AM

      --- On Tue, 12/9/08, Roberto Rodriguez <xcolumn@...> wrote:
      From: Roberto Rodriguez <xcolumn@...>
      To: "Roberto X Rodriguez" <xcolumn@...>
      Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 10:51 PM

      DECEMBER 7, 2008
      When president-elect Barack Obama is sworn in, one of his first orders
      of business should be to order the cessation of the construction of
      the walls along the 2,000-mile U.S./Mexico border.
      One of the legacies that President George W. Bush will leave behind is
      a bizarre patchwork of militarized walls that will forever symbolize failure
      and mass-death.
      In time, people will recognize that the failure of Congress to pass a
      comprehensive immigration reform bill during his reign rests squarely
      on the president's shoulders – a failure that has resulted in the
      deaths of thousands along the southern border since he took office in
      2001. That they were/are preventable is nothing short of negligent
      homicide, if not outright state terrorism. That more people probably
      oppose the walls due to the destructive aspects of the wall to tourism
      and the environment is not surprising.
      The first thing president-elect Barack Obama should do regarding this
      issue is ask, why peoples from Mexico and Central America continue to
      risk their lives to come to a land that seemingly does not want them…
      except perhaps as an exploitable labor force?
      To educate himself on this issue, I suggest that he read The
      Farmworker's Journey, by Dr. Ann Lopez.
      If he read this book, by the end of the first chapter, he will be
      angry over the historical mistreatment of workers in Mexico,
      particularly Indigenous peoples and campesinos. By chapter two, he
      will understand the historical collusion between both governments and
      the multinational corporations that super-exploit Mexican workers. By
      chapter three, he will learn that by now, Mexico's only function – as
      a result of NAFTA – is to produce millions of babies – destined for
      cheap labor in the United States, without rights and without dignity.
      By chapter four, he will also learn of the hundreds of tons of
      banned-in-the-U.S.A toxic chemicals that the Mexican population is
      subjected to. By chapter five, he will understand that those banned
      cancer-causing pesticides – are coming right back unto our kitchen
      tables. Halfways through the book, he will understand the destructive
      nature of NAFTA that has forced millions of people off the land –
      primarily as a result of heavily subsidized U.S. corn -- much of it which
      has been genetically modified. By chapter seven, he will learn of the
      incredible damage that these forcedmigrations and separations have
      caused Mexican families. By chapter eight, he will understand of the
      fatal exposure to diseases – such as HIV/AIDS – that these migrants
      are being subjected to in the United States – and bringing them home
      to Mexico (the rate is ten times higher than the rest of the Mexican
      population). By chapter nine, he will understand the meaning of
      starvation and why
      people continue to die in the deserts, mountains and rivers. By chapter ten,
      he will come to know that these migrants are greatly enriching corporations
      and filling U.S. tax coffers, even though most will never see a dime. By
      chapter eleven, he will come to understand that contrary to public
      pronouncements, the secretive NAFTA was never intended to take labor,
      the environment or migrants into account. By the end of the book, he
      will be weeping, while calling for a halt to the construction of the
      walls. By then, he will apologize, on behalf of all Americans, for the
      treatment these migrants have received, on both sides of the border.
      Perhaps it is Congress that needs to read this book.
      Neither Obama or Congress have to listen to human rights advocates. He
      can simply listen to lawmakers along the border, who view the walls as
      but a monument to Bush's fear-based society. Even Tex. Rep. Sylvestre
      Reyes – former head of the Border Patrol in the El Paso sector – is
      one of those who is calling upon Obama to halt their construction.
      Neither are two of his cabinet choices – Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano
      and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson – exactly champions of these
      Once sworn in, Obama should negotiate labor and trade agreements with
      Mexico and Central America. But in these agreements, human beings have
      to come first – in both countries. No special rights need to be
      negotiated; just the right to be treated as full human beings and the
      corresponding full human rights that come with this status. This
      should also mean the end of massive raids and immoral detentions and
      deportations, plus the end of the categorization of hard-working
      migrants as illegal human beings.
      Once such agreements are in place, the only dilemma will be: what will
      the U.S. do with all the excess metal?
      Rodriguez, a research associate at the University of Arizona, can be
      reached at: XColumn@...
      Column of the Americas - PO BOX 85476 -Tucson, AZ 85754

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