“Land of the free,” or is it? Maybe not for the 10 million or so undocumented folks living and working in the United States who came here for better lives and the American dream sold to them by our country and culture.
America has a long history of extorting cheap labor, from the days of slavery to the beginning of the 19th century, when European immigrants were welcomed and then exploited to work long hours in often unsafe conditions. This policy of pure capitalism, cheap raw materials and cheap labor made America the leader of the industrialized nations.
When World War I broke out and created a labor shortage, America turned to Mexico to fill the vacant jobs, mostly in agriculture, by creating a guest worker program called The Bracero Act.
Today, migrants from Mexico and Latin American countries have been crossing our borders nonstop. The U.S. government calls these people law breakers and wants to deport them and hold many of the children born here hostage.
The irony is, American business, corporations and individuals broke the law when they hired these folks to work here. America created the problem a 100 years ago.
Mike Hernandez, Los Banos