Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Framing of Immigration

At last! Someone is looking at the wider issues behind the “immigration problem.”

From the Rockridge Institute, “The Framing of Immigration,” by George Lakoff:
Bush's “comprehensive solution” entirely concerns the immigrants, citizenship laws, and the border patrol. And, from the narrow problem identified by framing it as an “immigration problem,” Bush's solution is comprehensive. He has at least addressed everything that counts as a problem in the immigration frame.

But the real problem with the current situation runs broader and deeper. Consider the issue of Foreign Policy Reform, which focuses on two sub-issues:
  • How has US foreign policy placed, or kept, in power oppressive governments which people are forced to flee?'
  • What role have international trade agreements had in creating or exacerbating people's urge to flee their homelands? If capital is going to freely cross borders, should people and labor be able to do so as well, going where globalization takes the jobs?
Such a framing of the problem would lead to a solution involving the Secretary of State, conversations with Mexico and other Central American countries, and a close examination of the promises of NAFTA, CAFTA, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank to raise standards of living around the globe. It would inject into the globalization debate a concern for the migration and displacement of people, not simply globalization's promise for profits. This is not addressed when the issue is defined as the “immigration problem.” Bush's “comprehensive solution” does not address any of these concerns. The immigration problem, in this light, is actually a globalization problem.

Read on...


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