The Cruel Damage of U.S. Immigration Policy

Jan 26th, 2020 10:30 am
Talk
David Bacon

Immigration has been one of the hottest issues in the U.S. for some time.  Under President Trump it has given rise to some of the cruelest, most inhumane policies in recent memory. At this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service, author/photojournalist/political activist/union organizer David Bacon discusses the mistreatment of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and the conditions of their lives.

The decision to migrate is rarely voluntary. Free trade agreements and economic policies that exacerbate and reinforce extreme wealth disparities make it impossible for Mexicans to make a living at home. And yet when they migrate to the United States, they must grapple with criminalization, low wages, and exploitation. Now current U.S. policies are forcing these migrants to return to Mexico where they often have no support network or means to feed their families.

His latest book, In the Fields of the North (En los campos del norte) includes more than 300 photographs and 12 oral histories of farm workers. Earlier books The Right to Stay Home and Illegal People, both published by the Unitarian Universalist’s Beacon Press, discuss alternatives to forced migration and the criminalization of migrants. Previous books include Communities Without Borders with over 100 photographs and 50 narratives about transnational migrant communities, and The Children of NAFTA, an account of worker resistance on the US/Mexico border in the wake of NAFTA.  

Based in California, for more 25 years David Bacon has been documenting labor, the global economy, war and migration, and the struggle for human rights. His articles on these topics often appear in The American Prospect, The Nation, The Progressive and other journals. Bacon’s photography provides a stirring look into the lives of working people at the bottom of our society, people who grow and prepare the food we eat, who clean our houses and hotel rooms, who care for our children, and their struggles for a better life. In many ways the injustices our society inflicts on working people are concentrated with immigrants, especially those of color. You can view his photographs at http://dbacon.igc.org/  He will illustrate his talk with some of these images.

Hotel La Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15, Centro
San Miguel de Allende, GUA 37700
Mexico