Long one of the hottest issues in California and indeed the US, immigration has been an integral part to the Golden State’s success. Hysteria and ignorance have characterised the immigration debate and led to draconian exclusions of the “other”. Ironic given that immigration is part of America’s DNA….
In this 31-minute podcast (of two) San Diego-based scholar Justin Akers Chacón discusses the history of US-Mexican relations, starting with the non-honoured agreement of the US-Mexican war and continues through to the Bracero programme and the modern era. He discusses the maquiladoras, the enormous assembly plants on the US-Mexican border, as well as how undocumented workers were able to work and pay taxes with a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and the detrimental economic impacts of deporting undocumented workers.
In it, Akers Chacón challenges the widely-held perceptions, and discusses justice (NAFTA for capital, but not for labour), immigration’s positive economic impacts and the imbalance between short-sighted politicians and the quest of large multinationals for cheap labour.
Episode two will be released around 20 May and include policy formulation in an election year, the initial milestones and the decreasing impact of the United Farm Workers.
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