GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE DIAFERIA CALLS FOR DRAMATIC RELAXATION OF IMMIGRATION POLICIES; SAYS PROBLEM IS GLOBALIZATION, NOT IMMIGRATION; CALLS DEBATE ON THE ISSUE “IMMORAL AND UNINFORMED” UNTIL MAJOR CHANGES IN US FOREIGN POLICY ARE MADE.
Calling President Obama’s new immigration policy self-interested and cynical, Green Party Congressional candidate Joseph Diaferia is condemning any national policies aimed at stemming the flow of poor immigrants to the United States.
Diaferia, asserting that the term “illegal alien” does not exist in his
lexicon, argues that “immigration is not the problem; globalization is.” The 51-year-old Yonkers resident, is seeking to represent New York’s newly reconfigured 16th Congressional District maintains, that the globalization of capital and the United States’ extraterritorial political and economic expansion are driving the world’s poor and oppressed to seek a safe economic haven in the very country that is oppressing them.
Said Diaferia, “One repeatedly hears that we are now living in a global economy, yet only the globalization of capital is encouraged. The globalization of labor does not appear part of this equation. In fact, it is globalization, investor’s bills of rights—euphemistically known as trade agreements—and death squad economies that the US has created globally, that drive poor workers to look for whatever meager opportunities that might be found here.”
Diaferia’s statements come less than a week after President Obama
announced more lenient deportation policies with regard to undocumented young
people who were brought to this country by their parents. Diaferia cautioned immigrants against undue jubilation as this new policy directive is likely a matter of Administration posturing for election year expediency.
Diaferia continued, “Before there can be any dialogue around the issue of immigration, there must be major changes to our foreign policy. For decades, it has been continuing US policy to topple governments whose internal policies run afoul of what the cities of Washington, New York, and London have desired. As countries have taken steps to control their own economies, hence their own national wealth, they have been forcibly supplanted and replaced with more obedient regimes. Contrary to its legendary beneficence, the US has created some of the most brutal dictatorships in history, in order to perpetuate public policies that rob nations of their wealth and workers of their dignity.”
Among the dictatorships that Diaferia is referring to are (and he advises that this is not a comprehensive listing): The Duvaliers, Cedras,and various other puppet governments in Haiti; Pinochet in Chile; Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; Suharto in Indonesia; the Somozas in Nicaragua; Montt in Guatemala; Branco in Brazil; Salazar in Portugal; Pol Pot in Cambodia; Marcos in the Philippines; Abacha in Nigeria; the Shah of Iran; the apartheid regime in South Africa; and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Diaferia continued, “Granted, these individual leaders are gone, but the social orders they represented remain largely intact in whatever sanitized form they may have taken. Many Latin American countries are still subject to the terror tactics carried out by graduates of the School of the Americas all for the purpose of maintaining a system of slavery to the hegemonic power. “
Diaferia cited “rapacious globalist polices, including IMF and World Bank debt”, and the “appropriation of Third World agriculture by western corporations”, as the major sources of the poverty from which poor people are trying to emerge, and are therefore fleeing to the US.
“Let’s be frank; it is capitalist globalization that is causing this human hemorrhage. People are coming here from all over the world, but particularly from Latin America, because there are certain democratic institutions here that have enabled the working class to advance itself to a relatively—and I emphasize [slowing his diction] relatively—higher standard of living. Simply stated, people are coming to the US to escape the economic desperation that the US has imposed”, said Diaferia.
Diaferia notes that the people of Latin America may have reason to take heart, as progressive political leaders have been propelled into power by a wave of electoral victories in recent years. What’s more, Diaferia takes encouragement from events a decade ago, when the people of Venezuela turned back an attempted US coup d’état and returned Hugo Chavez to the presidency.
“Perhaps this is a sign that the people of Latin America are beginning to take control. They’re effectively saying that they have had enough of Wall Street, the World Bank and the IMF plundering their countries. But until there is a complete realignment of US policies and priorities, and until the Third World is allowed to extricate itself from the trammels of IMF/World Bank debt, any discussion on the part of US leaders on how to regulate or manage immigration, is profoundly immoral.”
Diaferia concluded with a reminder that European conquerors settled the American continents with no invitation from indigenous people, and in so doing inflicted a wholesale genocide upon them. He also cited Panama, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada, and Nicaragua as examples of Western Hemispheric nations that have been forcibly entered by US forces, presumably without invitations or the laying of welcome mats.
Diaferia inquired rhetorically, “Did US forces have to obtain visas before entering Haiti, or obtain green cards afterwards? Were Panamanians allowed a national discussion over the number of troops the US could invade their country with, or the types of incendiary devices that could be dropped on El Chorillo in Panama City? Could the Dominican Republic establish quotas governing the number of US troops that could enter their country in 1965? Did they have any say in when the US had to leave? As things presently stand, immigrants should be allowed the same access to our country as US corporations, the IMF and the US military have to their countries of origin. For right now, this is my contribution to any national discussion on immigration. To some, it may appear limited in scope, but we must change our foreign policy before there can be a fair and informed debate on matters of immigration.”
Diaferia has also said that he does not support such initiatives as the DREAM Act as it compels young people into, among other things, military service.