Saturday, June 02, 2007

Immigration Reporting Wins Project Censored Award

David Bacon is a passionate and courageous journalist who writes on some of the toughest issues of our day. This recognition is well deserved. -Angela

Immigration Reporting Wins Project Censored Award

Two articles by David Bacon, "Which Side are You On?" published by Truthout, 1/29/07, and "Workers, Not Guests," published by The Nation, 2/6/07, have been included among the 25 Project Censored "Most Censored" News Stories of 2006-07. The award will be presented at the Media Conference and Award Ceremony in Northern California on October 26-27. A synopsis will appear in Chapter 1 of the book Censored 2008: Media Democracy in Action, scheduled for release in August from Seven Stories Press.

The stories can be read at the following links:

"Which Side are You On?"

"Workers, Not Guests"

"Workers, not Guests" describes the way that the Bush administration uses immigration raids to attack union organizing campaigns and efforts by immigrant workers to enforce basic workplace rights and protections. Further, the administration uses the raids to pressure Congress into adopting new, vastly expanded guest worker programs.

Which Side are You On? describe the way Washington DC-based lobby groups have abandoned opposition to contract labor programs, and instead have developed a political alliance with some of the country's largest corporations, with the objective of passing new guest worker legislation. This legislation includes provisions which will make future immigration raids much harsher and more widespread.

Since publication, the Bush administration and both Democratic and Republican senators have announced new proposals which go even further. They would end the ability of immigrant families to reuinte in the U.S., and instead institute a corporate-driven point system intended to supply skilled labor to big companies. Raids and enforcement would become even harsher, with huge detention centers built on the border. The proposals would allow corporations to recruite as many as 800,000 non-farm contract guest workers a year.

The use of immigration policy to funnel labor to corporate employers is growing at the same time that Congress is debating new corporate trade legislation, including the renewal of fast track negotiating authority for the administration, and four new trade agreements - with South Korea, Peru, Panama and Colombia. These bills would all increase the displacement of workers and farmers in other countries, sending many of them into the migrant stream to the U.S. This displacement is being coordinated with Congress' immigration proposals, which would then channel displaced workers into industries where their labor can be used profitably, and ensure that they can only remain in the U.S. in a status vulnerable to exploitation.

The mainstream press has carried many articles about the proposals and raids, but very little coverage of the corporate backing for the immigration bills in Congress. Many reporters refer to the guest worker bills as "pro-immigrant" and "left." This is not only inaccurate, but actually covers up the corporate domination of the immigration agenda in Congress. There has been virtually no coverage of the connection between U.S. trade policy and immigration policy.
For more accurate information, readers can contact the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Global Exchange organized a national speaking tour on trade and immigration policy by David Bacon and Juan Manuel Sandoval, a leading Mexican critic of NAFTA and US immigration policy. The presentations made during that tour are available on the Global Exchange website,

For more articles and images on free trade and migration, see

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US, Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

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