Saturday, May 1, 2010

Not Every Human is Legal

Some immigrant rights activists in the US hold up signs that read "No Human is Illegal." The problem is that a human can be illegal. Slavery was once legal. Laws are simply laws. Many of us think that various laws are wrong. Recently in Arizona there is social outcry and support for the controversial enactment of SB 1070. The idea is to proactively crack down on illegal immigration. What is lost in this debate is the fact that the majority living in this hemisphere, as the rest of the world, are poor and illegal.

It is important to evaluate the supposed significance of law in this debate. I posted a clip from a documentary highlighting the ideas of Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto. He believes the poor of the world can be integrated into global capitalism. That argument brings up a whole different set of topics (Can and should Capitalism be saved?). Significant is his research that most poor people live extra-legally. Likely, many Mexican workers--as workers living in Mexico--were no more legally integrated as citizens there than they are as workers in the US. De Soto came up with his analysis to not just find a solution to poverty, but to also combat the appeal of Maoist revolutionaries in his country of Peru. This clip makes some interesting food for thought concerning the broader spectrum the discussion about illegal immigration lies within.

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