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Immigration Where will the journey end?. The inscription on the Statue of Liberty, erected in 1886, proclaims the famous lines ''give us your tired, your.

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Presentation on theme: "Immigration Where will the journey end?. The inscription on the Statue of Liberty, erected in 1886, proclaims the famous lines ''give us your tired, your."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immigration Where will the journey end?

2 The inscription on the Statue of Liberty, erected in 1886, proclaims the famous lines ''give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.''

3 Really? Four years earlier, Congress enacted the first immigration restrictions, specifically excluding "paupers, ex-convicts, mental defectives and Chinese."

4 For generations people have come to the United States seeking refuge from oppression, economic opportunity, religious freedom, family reunion, and hope.

5 Except for Native Americans, everyone has immigrated or has ancestors who have immigrated from another country.

6 From where did your family immigrate?

7 Why?

8 Waves of Immigration There have been several waves of immigration over the course of United States history, beginning with the colonists of the 1600's. The U.S. is in the midst of another great wave of immigration, which brings in roughly one million new residents a year.

9 The current wave of immigration The current wave of immigration has its roots in the Immigration Act of 1965. The law placed a new emphasis on reuniting families and granting asylum to refugees, while also favoring immigrants with desired job skills and ending the longstanding preference for Western Europeans. Mexico has been the leading source of new U.S. residents for over two decades; and since 1998, China, India and the Philippines have been in the top four sending countries every year.

10 Most Mexicans come to the U.S. to find work and economic security for their families. A look at globalization and NAFTA says a lot about why this is so.

11 What is Globalization? Increased cross-border trade and investment around the world Facilitated by technological advances Growing economic interdependence Results in increased migration Is this new? Is this new?

12 No, but… Pace of change is faster It is more global in scope, more universal Has increased economic and cultural and economic impacts.

13 Driving Globalization is the desire by corporations and individuals to make money from new opportunities around the globe to: sell products produce products more cheaply access materials: oil, minerals, plants, etc. exploit comparative advantage

14 One example of globalization: NAFTA

15 What is NAFTA? North American Free Trade Agreement pertaining to the U.S., Canada, & Mexico Important example of a “free trade” agreement One of the first, a template for future agreements Implemented January 1994 2000 pages long

16 What is NAFTA?




20 Precise details govern trade and investment : No barriers to the cross-border flow of goods, services, and investment. Disputes over trade and investment issues are settled confidentially by an appointed tribunal. Foreign investors and firms are given special, non-traditional rights not given to domestic firms and citizens.

21 Expanded Rights for Corporations When profits are restricted foreign firms can challenge domestic policies, laws and regulations that:  protect the environment,  regulate land use,  protect workers, and/or health and safety; If that’s not enough, they can demand compensation.

22 In 1997, Canada banned the gasoline additive MMT due to health concerns. It was already banned in California, other states, and much of the global North. The U.S. Ethyl Corporation makes MMT. Ethyl sued Canada under NAFTA charging an illegal act, “tantamount to expropriation” of assets. The NAFTA tribunal ruled against Canada. Canada rescinded the MMT ban, paid Ethyl over $19 million, and issued a statement saying MMT was neither an environmental nor a health risk. Here’s one example

23 More NAFTA Provisions Protections for workers and the environment are in side agreements only with very weak dispute and resolution mechanisms. No special privileges for “home” firms – a state or nation cannot give preferential treatment to a domestic firm. Very limited role for government; heavy on deregulation.

24 Impact of NAFTA on Mexico

25 NAFTA and globalization have contributed to Mexico’s stagnating economy. Since the 1980s Mexico’s economy has grown 50% slower than in the previous three decades.

26 Impact of NAFTA on Mexico

27 In 2004, average Mexican household income from working was 15% below the level of 1994, adjusted for inflation. That rate was equal to 15% of average U.S. wages.

28 Impact of NAFTA on Mexico

29 After 1994, most FDI is the purchase of existing assets. In 2001, Citigroup purchased BANAMEX, Mexico’s second largest bank, for $12.5 bil. Foreign Direct Investment – Purchasing Existing Assets

30 Maquiladoras Plants usually owned by multinational firms that assemble parts (made outside Mexico) into finished goods and send the finished item back to the U.S. for sale. Typically these plants produce apparel, appliances, and other electronic goods because assembly of these is labor intensive and cheaper in Mexico. Also there are fewer environmental regulations. Originally these plants were located in special zones along the Mexico-US border and exempted from most taxes including import/export taxes. Now, these zones occur in several places in Mexico, always moving where lower wages can be paid.

31 Maquiladoras Women comprise about half of all workers in maquiladoras and are primarily line workers. Men comprise the majority of production technicians and administrative staff, earning higher wages.

32 Maquilas: Low Wages, Low Tech Wages in maquiladoras are nearly 40% below those in comparable non-maquila manufacturing The technological base is weak Maquilas are a trap of low productivity growth and reduced skills – sustained only by low wages. So these firms are leaving to find even lower wages.

33 An extensive study of wage adequacy done among maquiladora workers in 11 cities (including Juarez andTijuana) found the minimum wage provided approximately one-quarter of the income needed for sustainable living.

34 Impact of NAFTA on Mexico

35 An Example: Corn Production

36 Since 1994: Farmers earn less than 1/3 of 1994 level. 1.7 million family farmers have been displaced (over 1 million corn farmers). This represents not only a loss of food security for these families, but the loss of a way of life.

37 Is it any wonder that the U.S. is experiencing a wave of immigration from Mexico???

38 '’… give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.''

39 As Christians we are called to welcome the stranger.

40 Immigration Where will the journey end?

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