Is the GOP sincere about immigration reform?

So inquires the (paraphrased) headline to a news article in the Arizona Republic.  Don’t you love how newspapers so easily give the impression of debate where none actually exists?  Because we really doesn’t need someone with specialization in the political economy of migration to know the answer to this “question.”

But just in case you’re curious: the answer is no. GOP leaders are most definitely not sincere about immigration reform.

Nothing against the Repubs here, folks.  Let’s face it: the fact is that the Democratic party – indeed, most of the United States – is equally insincere about immigration reform.  Even Joe Biden is starting to look like a concern troll.

If we were sincere about change, we’d be going about this whole “immigration reform” thing in a completely different way. First and foremost, we wouldn’t be so anxious to expand free trade through the trans-pacific partnership, after witnessing twenty years of the devastating impacts of NAFTA on the Mexican economy and workers on both sides of the border. If we were sincere about immigration reform, we would stop militarizing our borders, given the well-documented fact that the increased militarization of the US-Mexico border has only increased the resident unauthorized population.

If we were really, completely, sincerely sincere about “immigration reform,” then the last thing we’d be talking about would be immigration.  We would, instead, point to unauthorized migrants as symptoms of a globalized society that is utterly dependent on cheap and disposable products and people.  Then, we would talk about the role of the United States in undermining the political, social, and economic stability of other countries, thereby ensuring the availability of a contingent labor force of vulnerable workers to produce our cheap and disposable products.

Folks, the problem of unauthorized migration is anything but the problem of unauthorized migration. Any group that claims to be “sincere” about immigration reform – but stops at solutions that revolve around the “problem” of immigration – is most definitely not sincere about changing the structures that force and coerce people to migrate in unauthorized status.

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