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Hidden immigration agenda: the architects of the Free Trade Area of the Americas are concealing their ultimate goal--to completely erase national borders throughout the Western Hemisphere.

America's borders have been a disaster for decades. Our immigration "reforms" have been a series of broken promises and betrayals. We have sown the wind and are reaping the whirlwind: our failure to effect sensible immigration controls now threatens dire consequences in social, economic, political, and national security.

The Minuteman Project, a volunteer citizen effort to patrol the Arizona-Mexico border, and the recently launched California ballot initiative proposal to create a state border patrol, reflect the desperation felt by those states on the front lines of the illegal alien invasion and their absolute frustration with the federal government's refusal to assume its constitutional obligation to police our borders and enforce our immigration laws. The Minuteman Project has demonstrated, in fact, that the federal government could protect our borders--if it chose to do so.

But, just as American citizens are reaching the point of "critical mass" on this issue, and just as politicians are beginning to realize that the restless natives will soon be after their scalps if they don't fix our broken borders, the whole matter is about to be taken out of their hands. Very few of those who are most intensely involved in trying to stop the immigration deluge seem to realize that they are about to be hit by a stealth attack that would gradually internationalize our borders and turn over our immigration policy to hemispheric bureaucrats and judges who are completely unaccountable to the U.S. electorate.

Immigration Trojan Horse

Unbeknownst to most Americans, and even many members of Congress, immigration is very much a part of the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) agreement, which the White House and its so-called free trade allies in Congress and on Wall Street are pushing furiously to enact before the end of the year.

You won't find immigration listed openly as a central component of the FTAA. That is by design. FTAA proponents know that if they publicly declared their ultimate goal--eventually to have completely open borders throughout the hemisphere--their project would never get out of the starting gate. So, since the FTAA's launch at the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas (hosted by President Bill Clinton), the immigration plan has been furtively kept in the shadows.

As the FTAA negotiators met at the crucial November 2003 Miami summit to prepare for the final push of the decade-long process, Tanya Weinberg of the South Florida Sun Sentinel appeared to be the only journalist covering the event, other than myself, who reported on this huge and glaring blackout of what would certainly be a highly inflammatory issue.

"Nobody's lobbying [on immigration at the summit] mainly because most people realize that it's something that should be brought in at least gradually," Max Castro, a left-wing researcher at the University of Miami's North-South Center, told Weinberg. "If you made that the first item on the agenda it would probably torpedo the whole thing because there are such differences in development from the north and south hemisphere."

Dan Griswold of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., agreed, telling the Sun Sentinel, "It's a very politically sensitive issue. It's hard enough tackling sugar and citrus and steel without putting immigration on the table." Hence, immigration has remained under the table, but still very much on the FTAA agenda. In fact, last September we published an article suggesting that if truth-in-labeling laws were applied to the FTAA, its supporters would have to admit that at least one accurate rendering of the FTAA acronym would be: Forced To Accept Aliens.

However, when concerned constituents contact their senators and representatives to express their concern over this aspect of the FTAA, they invariably are told that the FTAA is strictly a trade agreement and has nothing to do with immigration. The congressmen should know better. Some of them actually do know better, being fully aware of the following facts (which they actively conceal from their constituents):

* The declarations and official documents of the Summits of the Americas make explicitly clear that the FTAA is merely the lead component of a broad and ongoing process designed to bring about the social, economic, and political integration of all of the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Of course, the merger of these nations will necessitate the elimination of current national boundaries.

* Many of the leading FTAA advocates cite the open borders of the European Union (EU) as the model for our hemisphere.

* The FTAA agreement (when it is finally released) will not be a static document like the U.S. Constitution, but an ever-evolving arrangement that, like the EU, constantly transfers more and more national domestic affairs to the regional (in this case, hemispheric) authority.

* FTAA declarations and official documents are replete with calls to endorse and implement UN conventions on the rights of migrants, in order to establish binding "legal norms" that would override U.S. immigration laws.

* Following the example of rulings by tribunals of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, we can be certain that FTAA judges and bureaucrats would use their powers of interpretation to gradually expand their jurisdiction over immigration matters.

* The non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, think tanks, and institutes that have the greatest influence in the FTAA process are led by globalists and funded by foundations and government agencies that have been leading the efforts to destroy our borders for decades.

* Finally, and most importantly, many of the U.S. officials whom most Americans are counting on for protection against these dangers are actually in the forefront of promoting them. Republican and Democrat presidents (Bush, Clinton, and Bush) and a bipartisan coalition of globalists in Congress already are on record actively advocating and implementing "open border" policies even without the FTAA. What kind of protection could we expect from them against aggressive FTAA officials who claim that our immigration restrictions are unfair and/or illegal? Answer: absolutely none.

Integration and Harmonization

The first Summit of the Americas in Miami concluded with a Declaration and a Plan of Action signed by President Bill Clinton and the other hemispheric heads of state. "Our aim," the plan states, "is to strengthen the mutual confidence that contributes to the economic and social integration of our peoples."

To achieve this integration, the assembled leaders pledged to support dozens of initiatives, of which the FTAA was only the most visible and most urgent. Among other things, the plan calls for common hemispheric programs in energy, education, health care, biodiversity, climate change, foreign aid, infrastructure development, combating terrorism, narcotics interdiction, and much more. The plan pledges to "guarantee the protection of the human rights of all migrant workers and their families." The plan further states: "As economic integration in the Hemisphere proceeds, we will further secure the observance and promotion of worker rights, as defined by appropriate international conventions."

Among those conventions endorsed at subsequent FTAA summits and ministerial meetings are the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families, and similar regional conventions. In a 2001 presentation to the Organization of American States, the International Organization on Migration pointed out that the UN Convention "incorporates in one single instrument all the rights of migrants, be they civil, economic, political, social, cultural, or labor related." According to William Hyde of the International Organization on Migration, who delivered the presentation, the UN accord guarantees a broad range of rights "to all migrant workers, whatever their legal status may be." Meaning, of course, that millions of illegal aliens (or "undocumented workers," if you prefer) now in the U.S. have UN-guaranteed "rights," regardless of U.S. laws to the contrary. What rights are those'? For one, the "right to equality with nationals before the courts." Which, translated into practice, means that illegal aliens--whether from Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or China--not only could challenge in court all efforts by U.S. immigration authorities to remove them, but also expect the benefit of court-appointed (and taxpayer-funded) legal representation.

The International Organization on Migration also notes that the convention "prohibits measures of collective expulsion," which will assuredly be invoked if we decide to get serious about enforcing our laws, including deporting significant numbers of illegals now residing here. The UN migrant convention also asserts: "Each child of a migrant worker shall have the basic right of access to education on the basis of equality of treatment with nationals of the State concerned." Moreover, "migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to receive any medical care that is urgently required."

Among the powerful organizations promoting this viewpoint in the FTAA process is the mammoth International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, which claims to represent 145 million union members globally and commands a big place at the UN table. In its report, "Migration in Latin America and the Caribbean," the confederation observes:
 Within the framework of the Organization
 of American States (OAS), the
 American Declaration of the Rights
 and Duties of Man and the American
 Convention on Human Rights, when
 interpreted in their broadest sense,
 include the rights of migrant workers.
 Similarly, the Americas Summit
 System ... has recently included the
 issue of migrant workers in its agenda
 as part of the process leading to the
 establishment of the Free Trade Area
 of the Americas (FTAA).

But the FTAA designers, fully aware that even the public mention of immigration in the same breath with FTAA could spell doom for this pet project, have hidden it in conferences and documents under code words such as "labor mobility," "free movement of persons," "social integration," "trans-border movement," and the like.

So what would happen under the FTAA regime when U.S. immigration laws collide with regional and international conventions on migration? In the parlance of the globalists, we must "harmonize" U.S. laws so that they are not in discord with the "international community." Which means that eventually we would cease to have sovereign borders and our "migration" policies would be dictated by hemispheric officials representing the FTAA and international officials representing the UN and the WTO.
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Title Annotation:FTAA
Author:Jasper, William F.
Publication:The New American
Date:Jun 13, 2005
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