This article by Noam Chomsky, emeritus professor of linguistics and philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came from Truthout this month. It is relevant to the current conversation about immigration, borders, and protecting the commons. Read the entire article here. Following is a brief excerpt.
“Few borders in the world are so heavily guarded by sophisticated technology, and so subject to impassioned rhetoric, as the one that separates Mexico from the United States, two countries with amicable diplomatic relations.
That border was established by U.S. aggression during the 19th century. But it was kept fairly open until 1994, when President Bill Clinton initiated Operation Gatekeeper, militarizing it.
Before then, people had regularly crossed it to see relatives and friends. It’s likely that Operation Gatekeeper was motivated by another event that year: the imposition of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is a misnomer because of the words ‘free trade.’
Doubtless the Clinton administration understood that Mexican farmers, however efficient they might be, couldn’t compete with highly subsidized U.S. agribusiness, and that Mexican businesses couldn’t compete with U.S. multinationals, which under NAFTA rules must receive special privileges like ‘national treatment’ in Mexico. Such measures would almost inevitably lead to a flood of immigrants across the border.”
For more of Noam Chomsky’s article, click here.