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PRESS RELEASES


The Real `Immigration' Issue
in the 2008 Elections

May 4, 2008 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche repeatedly stated during his recent visit to Monterrey, Mexico, that the U.S. must return to an FDR-style Good Neighbor policy with Mexico, such as helping with the completion of the PLHINO great water project in the northwest of Mexico. With millions of Mexicans about to be expelled from the U.S., and with no jobs currently awaiting them at home, it is in the vital interest of the U.S. to help create productive jobs for them with viable projects such as the PLHINO. The PLHINO project is violently resisted by the British Empire's agents, such as the vampire bat-promoting World Wildlife Fund.

Mexican-Americans in the U.S., especially in states such as California and Texas, are a central component of the electorate, and one of the essential constituencies of the Democratic Party, LaRouche also emphasized. Cross-border projects such as the PLHINO and the related NAWAPA plan, speak to their immediate interests, and of their family members on both sides of the border.

A March 2008 study by the Pew Hispanic Center on "The Hispanic Vote in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries" sheds interesting light on these demographic and voting patterns, which LaRouchePAC is now researching in depth. In the state of California's 2004 Democratic primary, Hispanic voters made up 16% of the total vote—about equal to their 14.3% share of the total national population. But in the 2008 Democratic primary, Hispanics were 30% of the total turnout—a dramatic shift due largely to Hillary Clinton's highly successful get-out-the-vote drive. Clinton beat Obama 63% to 35% among Hispanic voters in the California primary, a pattern which held across all Hispanic age, gender and income groups.

Texas was similar. In the 2004 Democratic primary, Hispanics made up 24% of the votes; in 2008, that percentage rose to 32%. And in Texas, Clinton defeated Obama among Hispanics by 66% to 32%.

As for the issues driving the Hispanic vote, 53% of all Hispanic voters in the Super Tuesday primaries said the economy was the #1 issue—even more than the 45% among non-Hispanic voters who said economics was "numero uno."

Collapse of Migrant Labor Remittances Means Millions More Will Starve Across Ibero-America

May 4 (EIRNS)—The flow of tens of billions of dollars in remittances sent home to Mexico and other Ibero-American countries by migrant workers in the United States, is drying up, according to official statistics provided by Mexico's Central Bank and a recent study issued by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). After rising at the rate of nearly 20% per year between 1994 and 2006, remittances stalled out in 2007, and in the first quarter of 2008 fell by 3%, compared to the same period in 2007.

Total remittances to Ibero-America were about $46 billion in 2007, with a little over half of that amount ($24 billion) going to Mexico. Entire communities, states, and even nations have become dependent on the flow of remittances, as genocidal free trade and globalization policies forced huge chunks of the populations of these nations (30% in the case of El Salvador; 10% in the case of Mexico) to flee to the United States in desperate search of survival for themselves, and their families back home.

Now, the collapse of the U.S. "importer of last resort" means that starvation and chaos will be visited on the nations of Ibero-America—exactly as Lyndon LaRouche warned would occur, if the insane British economic policies were not changed. A recent Bank of Mexico study reported that 86% of all remittances are used by the families back in Mexico for basic "sustenance," i.e. survival.

The recent quarterly trend in remittances sent to Mexico tells part of the story:

2Q '06 = 21%
3Q '06 = 13%
4Q '06 = 8%
1Q '07 = 3%
2Q '07 = -1%
3Q '07 = 3%
4Q '07 = 0%
1Q '08 = -3%

But the reality is actually much worse than these average figures suggest. According to the IADB, although the total dollar amount of remittances to Ibero-America has stagnated or fallen somewhat, the number of workers who send money back home "regularly" fell dramatically from 12.6 million in 2006, to 9.4 million in the first quarter of 2008—i.e., 3.2 million workers stopped sending money regularly. In percentage terms, 73% of all Ibero-American born adults in the U.S. were sending money home regularly in 2006, whereas in 2008 that had fallen to only 50%. This is a tectonic shift in economic activity of nearly 25% of the Hispanic migrants in the U.S.

According to the IADB, 3.2 million fewer remitters translates into some 10 million people back home no longer receive support for their most essential "sustenance." The agency estimates that some 2 million families will, as a result fall below the poverty line, mainly in Mexico.

Ironically, this will lead to more people trying to flee their countries to come to the United States in search of survival—at exactly the point that the economic collapse and viciously anti-immigrant policies in the U.S. are expected to lead to the expulsion from the U.S. of up to 2 million people in the near term.

The shock front has hit.

Why the Remittance Crisis? Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

May 4 (EIRNS)—About 20% of all foreign-born Hispanics employed in the U.S. were working in the construction sector in 2006; among recent arrivals (since 2000), the percentage was even higher, at 30%. Guess what happened then?

As a result of the global financial blowout, and the resulting U.S. mortgage/housing crisis, about a half-million jobs disappeared in construction between 2006 and the first quarter of 2008. Of those, Hispanics lost 324,000 jobs.

Overall, according to the IADB survey, 40% of Hispanic workers are now earning less than they did in 2007, and another 33% are earning the same. That means that nearly three-quarters of all Hispanics today earn the same or less than they did in 2007, while the price of food, gasoline, housing and other essentials has skyrocketed as a result of the hyperinflationary blowout—meaning that real wages have collapsed for 73% of these workers.

Small wonder, then, that 3 million workers can no longer send any money back home.

Add to this the rise of fascist anti-immigrant hysteria—and local and state legislation—in the U.S., and you have an explosive mix. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that fully half of the 47 million Hispanics in the U.S. (including foreign-born and U.S.-born) fear deportation either of themselves, a family member, or a friend. And the IADB says that 28% of Ibero-American born adults surveyed are thinking of returning to their countries of origin. LaRouchePAC field organizing across the U.S. indicates that the percentages of those planning to return are probably substantially higher than that, as the crisis worsens.