Sunday, June 03, 2007

Letter to the Editor, NYT (unpublished)

To the Editor:

How can an Op-ed page dedicated to immigration (June 1) completely overlook its root causes? Immigration can't be "solved" with national IDs or more border security, because the economic need south of the border is simply overwhelming. The U.S. government should instead reconsider the effects of free trade agreements like NAFTA, which has decimated the Mexican countryside by flooding the market with highly subsidized corn -- while at the same time requiring Mexico to eliminate its own agricultural subsidies. Forced off their land, Mexican agricultural laborers resort to the country's large cities for many times exploitative (and certainly scarce) industrial jobs. When these attempts fail, for whatever reason, they are forced to head north. No U.S. immigration policy can succeed without taking these economic considerations into account.

Daniel Nemser

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