Where the jobs are

NAFTA and Mexican immigration
On June 28, President Bush’s grand bargain with Congress over immigration reform legislation collapsed. The event is best understood not as a failure of short-term political leadership, but rather as an inevitable long-term consequence of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), the historic overhaul of hemispheric economic policies initiated by the United States, Canada and Mexico in 1994.

NAFTA’s architects allowed themselves one false assumption. They believed that as goods and services began to flow in unprecedented volume throughout the world’s largest free market, one commodity—low-wage labor—would remain largely fixed.

 

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