Immigration

Look at U.S. Economic History with Mexico to Understand Why So Many Immigrants Came Here

Wall Street banks are profiting off the rounding up of immigrants they compelled to migrate to this country in the first place.

TORONTO-JANUARY 31: Supporters holding "no more Nafta" banner during a rally to protest the proposed TPP trade agreement and NAFTA Agreement on January 31, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.
Photo Credit: arindambanerjee / Shutterstock.com

In 1994, Wall Street banks pressured Mexico to convert its national debt from the Mexican-controlled peso to the U.S.-controlled dollar.  After Mexico complied, the U.S. Federal Reserve, led by Alan Greenspan, dramatically raised interest rates on the dollar, a maneuver that virtually bankrupted Mexico.

Then, a few days before Christmas that year, the Mexican peso was devalued by over 40 percent. Overnight, everyone’s paycheck in Mexico could only buy about half of what it could buy the day before. Everyone’s life savings were cut in half, and thousands of businesses that had employed the Mexican middle class shut down.

Then the U.S. government made life harder still for people across Mexico. 

Because Mexico no longer had enough money to pay the Wall Street banks, the U.S. government put together what was ironically called the Mexican bailout. It was an ironic name because the lion’s share of the bailout money never left New York City. It merely went from the Federal Reserve over to Wall Street to cover Mexico’s debt.

And so money didn’t go to Mexico; it was sucked out of Mexico. Mexico’s banks were taken over by Wall Street banks, which quadrupled people’s monthly mortgage bills and businesses’ monthly loan charges. Minimum monthly payments on student loans and credit cards were suddenly more than 10 times higher.

In 1995, known universally in Mexico as the year of “La Crisis,” it became impossible for millions of Mexicans to work for a paycheck and support even a small family or to stay in college. So they came here, to the only place they could find jobs that would pay enough to keep their families afloat.

Now the same Wall Street elite that drained millions of bank accounts across Mexico, and seized the banks and businesses, are invested in our private immigrant prisons and getting fatter off every immigrant arrested by Donald Trump’s ICE and Border Patrol agents.

This has all been done in your name, and none of it is your fault. You and I weren’t consulted about this. That is, it’s not your fault, unless you’re a Wall Street mogul or a huge institutional investor. They’re the ones profiting off the rounding up of immigrants whom they compelled to migrate to this country in the first place. 

As our new president is so fond of tweeting, very unfair!

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