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A Corporate Takeover of American Borders
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August 28, 2006, 12:43 PM
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Robert Koulish writes in the Baltimore Sun and Common Dreams:

Turning over immigration powers to private companies further endangers democracy. Immigration policy, programs and current proposals are replete with references to privatization - enforcement, detention, inspections and services - that would place the fate of potential immigrants in the hands of private mercenaries and military contractors.

The Customs and Border Protection`s Expedited Removal Program has contracted with Halliburton to oversee the expansion of the federal government`s capacity to detain immigrants. Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican, has proposed deploying private "Ellis Island Centers" in foreign countries for the purpose of recruiting and managing guest workers.

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The looming presence of "virtual" technologies, mercenaries and military contractors as front-line defenders for U.S. sovereignty is cause for alarm well beyond the potential for individual human rights violations. It suggests this country`s "deciders" are less interested in physical border fences that would harm trade and impede the flow of cheap labor than in securing a system of "virtual fence" and paramilitary strategies that would facilitate wholesale control over migrants in the name of profit.

What I think we have here is a glimmering that corporate interests and the wealthy are making big money off from US immigration policy. The problem of course is that slave societies never generate true prosperity. If progressives start to really understand-and articulate- how much recent immigration policy has damaged the average American we might see real immigration reform emerge fairly rapidly.