Juan González, author of “Harvest of Empire,” spoke at Old Main Chapel Wednesday, March 27. His presentation addressed many points of interest, focusing mainly on Latino Americans and immigration.
He talked briefly about the new immigration policy being debated in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The new policy would essentially determine who would or would not be allowed in America. The law itself will be voted on in the summer, and by September there is a possibility that America will have a new immigration policy.
González spent much of his presentation speaking about negative connotations immigrants face, mainly those from Latin America. There were many news clips that showed news anchors talking about how Mexican immigrants are ruining America.
However, as González points out, Mexican immigrants are quite instrumental in the U.S. economy. They are, according to González, the first group of people to be brought in when the economy is not doing well, but also the first to leave once the economy is stable.
Immigration has always been a part of America’s history, no matter what group is making its way to America’s shores.
Immigrants make up a large percentage of the American population and contribute greatly to society. Yet, many Americans see immigrants as a threat to American security, which is why a common talking point for politicians is to say that the U.S. needs to secure its borders.
González, however, explains the hole in that argument. He believes that the wall separating Mexico and the U.S. will be as effective as the Great Wall of China was in keeping out the Mongols.
Another statement by anti-immigration politicians and those who are generally opposed to undocumented immigrants is, “don’t jump the line.”
This phrase refers to those who have gone through the legal process of immigration and are waiting for admittance into the U.S.
The problem with this statement is that some people have been waiting 20 years to enter the U.S. legally, González explained to the audience.
González ended his presentation with the idea of globalization. He said that in a globalized world, for capital it is necessary to have a globalized labor force.
The presentation was eye-opening and interesting. González provided the audience with new information that contributed to a more open-minded view of immigration and the policies associated with it.