Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants

Illegal People How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants For two decades veteran photojournalist David Bacon has documented the connections between labor migration and the global economy In Illegal People Bacon explores the human side of globalization ex

  • Title: Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants
  • Author: David Bacon
  • ISBN: 9780807042267
  • Page: 438
  • Format: Hardcover
  • For two decades veteran photojournalist David Bacon has documented the connections between labor, migration, and the global economy In Illegal People Bacon explores the human side of globalization, exposing the many ways it uproots people in Latin America and Asia, driving them to migrate At the same time, U.S immigration policy makes the labor of those displaced peopleFor two decades veteran photojournalist David Bacon has documented the connections between labor, migration, and the global economy In Illegal People Bacon explores the human side of globalization, exposing the many ways it uproots people in Latin America and Asia, driving them to migrate At the same time, U.S immigration policy makes the labor of those displaced people a crime in the United States Illegal People explains why our national policy produces even displacement, migration, immigration raids, and a divided, polarized society.Through interviews and on the spot reporting from both impoverished communities abroad and American immigrant workplaces and neighborhoods, Bacon shows how the United States trade and economic policy abroad, in seeking to create a favorable investment climate for large corporations, creates conditions to displace communities and set migration into motion Trade policy and immigration are intimately linked, Bacon argues, and are, in fact, elements of a single economic system In particular, he analyzes NAFTA s corporate tilt as a cause of displacement and migration from Mexico and shows how criminalizing immigrant labor benefits employers For example, Bacon explains that, pre NAFTA, Oaxacan corn farmers received subsidies for their crops State owned CONASUPO markets turned the corn into tortillas and sold them, along with milk and other basic foodstuffs, at low, subsidized prices in cities Post NAFTA, several things happened the Mexican government was forced to end its subsidies for corn, which meant that farmers couldn t afford to produce it the CONASUPO system was dissolved and cheap U.S corn flooded the Mexican market, driving the price of corn sharply down Because Oaxacan farming families can t sell enough corn to buy food and supplies, many thousands migrate every year, making the perilous journey over the border into the United States only to be labeled illegal and to find that working itself has become, for them, a crime Bacon powerfully traces the development of illegal status back to slavery and shows the human cost of treating the indispensable labor of millions of migrants and the migrants themselves as illegal Illegal People argues for a sea change in the way we think, debate, and legislate around issues of migration and globalization, making a compelling case for why we need to consider immigration and migration from a globalized human rights perspective.

    One thought on “Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants”

    1. Bacon's new book does a good job of exploring the ways in which neoliberalism has affected the individual lives of immigrant workers and assessing case studies of local struggles against exploitative employers and immigration authorities. He's also especially good in explaining why attempts at instituting "comprehensive" immigration reform, particularly those that include employer sanctions and guest worker programs, are inherently exploitative and should be strenuously opposed by anyone who car [...]

    2. I absolutely love the last line of this book: "The borders between countries should be common ground where they can come together, not lines to pull them apart." Beautiful. It captures the idea of a sense of globalization based in true human community rather than exploitation. This is an excellent investigation into how globalization, migration, and labor all tangle together and affect policy decisions on the local, national, and international levels. There's so much in this book that I don't kn [...]

    3. This book is almost completely US/Mexico-centric. David Bacon is a photojournalist, and I think he should stick with the photos. I dragged myself through parts of every chapter. I was determined to finish, but my effort almost outweighed the benefit. Pros: my information and awareness of day laborers is more complete. I appreciated that he didn't try to hide his purpose and bias. I've come up with some good questions (I think?) after reading this, but it's going to be a fight to find answer disc [...]

    4. Overall, this is a great book with an important story to tell, one that goes largely unreported in the mainstream media. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bacon's work as a journalist. However, the book would have worked better as a collection of essays as the structure was a bit disjointed.

    5. Really ugly to read. Poor trajectory in the argument structure, but anecdotes and case studies are satisfying. A few really intense points made on the latent power of immigrant workers in the US and the nation state's concept of "illegal."

    6. While a much needed wake up call concerning immigration in America, David Bacon’s very pro-immigrant Illegal People reads much more like a compilation of articles on the subject rather than a coherent book on the subject.

    7. I gave this to Neela for her birthday in 2008, but truth be told, it was a bit of a chipmunk gift as I wanted to read it as well. Anyway, I started reading it during the tail end of my time in LA and finished it up in New York. Interesting book, but poorly organized.

    8. David Bacon stakes out his turf right away; he has been an immigrant rights activist and a trade union organizer.

    9. Written by a former Union Organizer, this progressive view of the miseries and unfair treatment of undocumented migrants gives needed insight into the need for immigration reform.

    10. Social and political view of immigration and migration issues. Repeats itself a lot. But a good book to use to study the issues.

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