Immigration has been a hot button issue in American politics from the very start of the formation of the US and today the debate happens to be focusing on migration from South to North, from Mexico to the United States.
The US is home to an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, the majority from Latin America, and although everyone agrees that our immigration system is broken, there is much disagreement on how to fix it. What few politicians take into account is why most migrants tear themselves away from their homes, leave behind their families, cultures, and traditions, for a tenuous life of low wages, job insecurity, and constant fear of law enforcement and border patrol.
In a bold new book, labor journalist David Bacon lays out what he has learned about immigration from decades of working within immigrant communities in the US. The book, entitled, The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration, focuses on the devastation that American corporations have wrought south of the border under the auspices of the North America Free Trade Agreement, and the myriad ways in which immigrants are attacked once they enter the US. His book uniquely features narratives from immigrants and activists themselves, reflecting on their lives and asserting their voices and stories.
GUEST: David Bacon is an award winning photo journalist, author and immigrant rights activist who spent over 20 years working as a labor organizer. He is also a former programmer at our sister station KPFA in Berkeley
Visit David’s website at dbacon.igc.org.