Bernie Sanders is a Regular Cesar Chavez on Immigration

cesarI haven’t been falling for the latest attacks on Bernie Sanders’ immigration stances–whether they come from the right or Hillary Clinton’s supporters. Much like Cesar Chavez did back in the day, Bernie has a problem with cheap, exploitable labor and its effects on the labor market, fair pay, and fair working conditions. So, when he called the concept of “open borders” a Koch-brothers idea, he wasn’t all that far off the mark.

What self-serving, profiteering, union-busting corporation wouldn’t want cheap labor and dismal working conditions to drive up profits? Yeah, that does sound like the Koch Brothers, or corporate farms.

I remember as a kid how corporations, like the vegetable cannery in my hometown, were bussing in undocumented laborers from 40 miles away as cheap, exploitable labor, pushing out Mexican Americans from these jobs–agri-jobs. It was a great scheme of divide and conquer and it worked.

Now, if you’re talking about “open borders” from the extent of fixing the legal immigration system to ensure the free-flow of workers who will be treated with respect and fairness, that’s different, and Bernie Sanders, much like Hillary Clinton, supports comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship and a reformed “legal” immigration system that will ensure wages and working conditions are kept fair and even competitive. But you better explain yourself, rather than just throw the term around looking for a quote to exploit.

What many of these lib-labs are doing is asking the question rather openly, instead of getting into specifics. The term “open border” is already being used by right-wingers for the current state of immigration. What this does is bring the same answers from most Democrats:  “I support comprehensive immigration reform.”

I mean, how many of these so-called reporters or journalists have asked Hillary Clinton any tough questions about her support of immediate deportation with no due process for Central American children? How many of these lib-labs who want to suddenly talk immigration by exploiting a quote have asked anything about the immigration detention scheme that has exploded under a Democratic administration? How many want to talk Latin American relations, support of Central and South American coups, etc.?

What we need is a real discussion on Latin America. It is easily avoided because of the Middle East, Russia, and other parts “over there.” Meanwhile, political, business, drug, and military interests consort to treat people unfairly, or even kill people, in order to support or bring back right-wing extremist governments to Latin America–a scheme that is as American as, oh, I don’t know, a broken immigration system that exploits cheap labor.

So, let’s have a real discussion, rather than playing the usual finger-pointing “GOTCHA!” politics that has kept the issue of immigration a dead issue in America.

UPDATE:  Jorge Ramos at Fusion had a pretty good interview with Sanders.

5 responses to “Bernie Sanders is a Regular Cesar Chavez on Immigration

  1. Let’s stop the corporate elite from undermining the economies of poorer countries so they can then set up sweatshops. Every country in the world should have adequate wages, healthcare, pure air and water, and a chance to have an education.
    For the first time in history a world wide political revolution is actually possible.

  2. What is your context/definition for the phrase “lib-lab”? Is it Yellow Dog? Is it this? Is it the American version of that?

    Help a gabacho out here.

    • I’ve taken over the term to mean annoying liberals who think they’re doing people a favor, but in reality just take them for granted. 🙂 Liberals and labor have always needed people of color as part of their coalition, but have fallen short of incorporating them into policy-making unless they still call the shots. On issues like immigration reform, I don’t know how many conventions I’ve been to in which the non-Latino part of the coalition insist on enforcement language to sound a little tough on immigration, or insist on “Learn English!!!” as part of plank. (The dude that killed that young lady in San Francisco who is now the reason to scapegoat immigrants spoke pretty good English.) Anyway, I’ve seen too many people who have seldom spoken about immigration all of sudden take up the cause to talk up any given candidate (locally and nationally), so, I guess my use of lib-lab is just from shear annoyance. ha ha

      • That’s clear. So your impression of the people quoted in this article is that they are also off-base in their criticism, yes?

      • At first glance at the organizations represented, I think each is vying to be the next Cecilia Muñoz, who was once a reform stalwart and turned into a defender of deportations (collateral damage) once appointed to the white house. I think Bernie needs help in sharpening his delivery, but I don’t think he’s being heartless as Hillary was when the Central American kids became an issue last summer.