Friday, November 20, 2009

Bello on migrant workers

"Thus, to seriously address the problems they confront, migrants and migrant advocates cannot but be involved in a two-front war. On the one hand, we must struggle in our countries of origin to end the conditions of structural adjustment, trade liberalization, and other neoliberal policies that have eroded our industrial and agricultural base and destroyed millions of jobs. We must tell the US government and the European Union that we do not need aid; what we need is for them to stop imposing bilateral trade agreements and economic partnership agreements on us. What our countries demand is a halt to the structural adjustment programs still in effect in scores of countries in Africa and an end to further liberalization of trade under the WTO and bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Of course, development has many other requirements, but stopping structural adjustment and indiscriminate trade liberalization is a sine qua non, a condition without which other indigenous development initiatives cannot prosper.
When it comes to the other front, in our host countries, the agenda is clear. We must aggressively assert what is the unvarnished truth: that migrants overwhelmingly make a positive contribution to the economy and culture of their host countries. We must frontally oppose state repression of migrants and confront the right wing populist groups that scapegoat them. We must demand an end to the deportation of undocumented migrants, the rapid legalization and granting of full citizenship rights to those with papers and their children, and the facilitation of the achievement of legal status of those without papers. "

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