Borders can seem to define our lives with Truman Show precision.
Being a citizen of a given country is mandatory. To move to another country is dauntingly bureaucratic or flat out illegal. Just to leave your country you need permission and a bureaucratic document. We have turned imaginary lines into concrete ones.
Irony of ironies: one of the companies building the concrete line along the Mexican border was fined $5 million for hiring “illegals” to build it.
If we’re intent on building something, how about building new global relationships founded on mutual respect and economic fairness. The globalized world is comprised of drastically unequal economies, which were not created by coincidence. This is most evident in income levels — people in “developing” countries earn a tiny fraction of what equal time and labor would be worth in “developed” ones. So no matter how hard they work, or how much local currency they save, they remain part of a vast, global underclass that can barely make a living.
The best way to resolve the immigration issues facing wealthy nations would be to create a more equal global economy. The American dollar is actually the official currency of various nations, including Ecuador, where I was born. And it is significant that one dollar in the U.S. is worth a lot more than that very same dollar in Ecuador. If the tables were turned, you might find yourself packing your bags. To truly face immigration is to face up to exploitation. Perhaps it’s time for a global currency, so as to establish an international minimum wage.
How come corporations can go global but not people? What if we want to be “multi-national” citizens? By definition, a multi-national conglomerate does not abide by only one nation’s rules. And these corporations have been influencing governments to maintain an exploitative state of affairs for their own gain. They benefit greatly from globalization — why shouldn’t we? Our current global mindset has proven inadequate to face the challenges of the networked 21st century. Instead of fighting against immigration, it would be great to fight for global cooperation.
Here are 10 things you can do: