Mexican President Felipe Calderón, speaking at last week’s APEC summit in Lima, warned US President-elect Barack Obama against following through on his campaign pledge to consider revising the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it would send more Mexicans across US borders. “If you eliminate the benefits of free trade, you eliminate many of the opportunities for jobs and for growth for both Americans and Mexicans,” Calderón told reporters. “If you get rid of the trade and job opportunities, one of the effects, which no-one wants, would be an increase in emigration from Mexico.”
An estimated 12 million undocumented workers, many of them Mexicans, live in the United States, and each year an estimated 300,000 cross the 3,000-kilometer border. (Radio Australia, Nov. 24)
We have repeatedly argued that, by disenfranchising Mexico’s peasantry from their traditional lands, NAFTA is actually accelerating Mexican migration to the United States.