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Illegal immigration advocates... want CAFTA changed

Let's send out a big "heh indeed" to Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) and Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood) as well as to Sergio Barahona of the Central American Resource Center. They say that CAFTA will lead to increased illegal immigration. They don't want to completely stop it, nor do they wish to join with pro-borders groups to stop it, they just want to add in some protections:
[the fine advocates] maintained that the pact, known as CAFTA, would depress wages and exacerbate poverty in the region, particularly among farmers.

That, they said, would spur a move to cities, and if jobs are not plentiful enough to sustain migration, people will seek jobs outside their countries both legally and illegally.

"Guess what we're going to have? More immigrants from Central America coming to the United States," said Barahona, whose Los Angeles-based organization represents an estimated 1.5 million El Salvadorans in the United States, more than 700,000 of whom are believed to live in Southern California.

Added Becerra, "CAFTA will do nothing to improve the situation when it comes to immigration, particularly undocumented immigration..."
Full report in "CAFTA leads some to think illegal immigration could rise". I have absolutely no idea why advocates for illegal immigration would now raise questions about something that would seem to increase their ethnic power base. There must be something else going on, but what that is I don't know.

UPDATE: From "Bush seeks to ease concerns over Cafta":
The White House on Thursday offered to negotiate with congressional Democrats over enforcing labour rights provisions in a trade agreement with Central America and the Dominican Republic, the latest sign that the administration fears the proposed deal is in jeopardy...
As if you needed any more reason to oppose CAFTA, see "Former President Carter backs Cafta".

Immigration2005a · Thu, 06/09/2005 - 10:17 · Importance: 1