Friday, May 19, 2006

What Brazilians Think

Brazil, one of the South American countries that continues to align with the US on trade issues, is apparently none too thrilled with the immigration uproar in this country. An editorial in O Globo sums up what this whole mess looks like to the outside world, particularly Latin America.

It's no surprise that President George W. Bush has drifted off course on the question of immigration. That's what happens when officials look to solve complex problems by thinking of their own survival rather than the people's interests. Faced with a divided Congress, under the weight of public opinion that demands serious action, and cornered by gigantic demonstration by immigrants that feel threatened, Bush is in search of common ground. And in his effort to please everyone, he is making Democrats, religious voters and the Latin American electorate unhappy.

On one hand, he recommends tighter policing of the borders; on the other, he proposes a law that offers illegal foreigners - numbering around 12 million - the possibility of citizenship. And he reacts to critics by affirming that the two measures are complementary and not mutually exclusive: "The United States can at the same time be a society governed by law and a society of open arms."

Another solution is to grant a three-year stay to those that go the USA to perform jobs that the Americans don't want. These temporary workers would be prohibited from gaining citizenship and would have to return to their countries.

A plan already approved by the House of Representatives is for the construction of a high-tech fence on the southern border, and to make illegal immigration a crime. The Senate already agrees with the fence, but insists on giving immigrants the possibility of citizenship.

Not even the governors of the southern states agree with the presidential decision to send 6,000 National Guard soldiers to reinforce security on the Mexican border. Wouldn't they be put to better use in Iraq?

Across the country immigrants in a variety of situations resent these proposals, which they consider prejudicial, and millions have already taken to the streets in protest. Their leaders are used to summing up their arguments in two questions. Were those that piloted planes into the World Trade Center "illegals?" And whom did the Americans turn to for rebuilding?
[Emphasis added]

In one short editorial, the writer has clearly articulated the two dynamics at work in this country. The first is election year politics and the possibility of a hamstrung chief executive for the last two years of his reign. The second is the implied hypocrisy of the American political leadership which has used fear and racism in this issue as well as others, and now is reaping the harvest of such divisive politics.

So much for our moral leadership in the world, eh?

2 Comments:

Blogger konopelli/WGG said...

You do such GOOOOOOOD work, dahlin!

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Tom - Daai Tou Laam said...

And unlike the US media, the Brasilian media actually makes the correct point that the Bushevik guest worker program is NOT A PATH to US citizenship.

5:41 AM  

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