All seemed relitively OK with this article until the last paragraph when the author revealed his true agenda. Libidiot-ism runs amok!

The 'dark side' of globalization

December 2, 2007

The woods of northern Vermont have become a prime avenue for the smuggling of people into the United States. This is what we learned last week with indictments against 11 people accused of operating two smuggling rings said to be the largest ever discovered in the Northeast. The smugglers are alleged to have brought in hundreds of foreigners bound for the cities of the Northeast.

The shadow of terrorism haunts all discussions of human smuggling and illegal immigration. Authorities last week said they had no reason to believe that any terrorists had snuck over the border in what they call the Swanton sector. It is a reality we must live with that people with ill intent have many ways to enter the United States, and no fence, no matter how tall, can end that threat completely.

The smuggling operations discovered in Vermont shed light on what the U.S. State Department calls the "dark side of globalization." Increased economic inequities between the haves and have-nots have propelled a huge migration of workers all around the globe. The State Department estimates that there are 120 million migrant workers worldwide. With that many people on the move, it is inevitable that many will test the borders of wealthy nations.

Those who want to crack down on illegal immigration to the United States usually focus on the cost to this country in lower wages, competition for jobs and the presence of what some see as an alien culture. The underside of the anti-immigration movement is characterized by bigotry and nativism.

But the arrival of thousands of foreigners in search of opportunity in the United States raises other concerns. Human smuggling sometimes becomes human trafficking. The smugglers recently indicted were said to have received $10,000 for each immigrant they brought across the border. It has been well-documented that predatory smugglers have engaged in the trafficking of thousands of people from all around the globe who become ensnared in forced labor or sexual slavery inside the United States.

The State Department estimates the global value of trafficked labor to be $9.5 billion. That includes children in servitude in factories in India or Latinos working in slave-like conditions on farms in Florida. Estimates are that 14,500 to 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year.

With millions of people on the move, destination nations have felt compelled to tighten their immigration laws. The need to get control of the U.S. border is a mantra repeated by the presidential candidates of both parties. And yet tightening border control has the effect of fostering what the State Department calls the "informal economy" in all destination countries — the underground of illegal workers who lack rights and a social safety net.

This informal economy includes hotel workers, restaurant workers, factory workers, farm workers. Nearly half the milk produced in Vermont is produced with the help of illegal immigrants, a reality acknowledged by the state Agency of Agriculture and Gov. James Douglas.

Breaking up smuggling rings like the one in northern Vermont is important in combating the kind of exploitation that can occur by people taking advantage of would-be immigrants. Exploitation of immigrants is an ill that deserves more attention than the broader issue of immigration. Immigration, legal and illegal, will always be with us, and certainly the American economy would suffer a crippling blow if illegal workers were suddenly forced to leave.

The people entering the United States through Vermont, New York and New Hampshire were said to have come from Korea, Pakistan, India and Central America. Humane concern for their welfare, along with U.S. security concerns, ought to be a continuing focus of law enforcement efforts.

After they are here, our focus ought to shift. Promoting an informal economy that takes advantage of an exploited class of undocumented workers is not consonant with our democratic values. Humane concern for the welfare of immigrants demands that their rights be respected and that eventually they be shown the way toward citizenship and fulfillment of the dream that brought them to America. ... /OPINION01