Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mexico's HIV Increase Linked to US Migrants

If it's not enough that the US lures migrant workers here for little pay and no insurance, and then kicks them out unceremoniously whenever "immigration" becomes a hot button issue, here's news of an even worse gift we're giving the folks who silently make our economy go 'round: increasing numbers of migrant workers are being infected with HIV and then taking it home--back to rural communities in Mexico where lack of resources, transportation and education make it a mind-numbingly difficult plague to fight.

It's pretty easy to hear how conservatives could spin this in favor of greater immigration reform ("Look! They're spreading AIDS in their own country--and presumably in ours too!"), but for the more sane among us, this offers yet another reason that a different kind of reform is necessary: one that provides not only education but opportunity to the poorest among us. For example, the opportunity to not have to leave ones family behind for months at a time to search out work; or the opportunity to not have to prostitute oneself to pay the bills. Or the opportunity to access health care when you need it, and condoms whether you think you need them or not.

Of course all this would necessitate that America start thinking of itself as a true member of the world community--not just some big brother figure that need not care what happens to our brothers and sisters to the south. My fear is that the only way we'll get that logic is when the great ills of the world come knocking on every single American's door. Seems a little moronic for a country that considers itself the greatest nation in the world, doesn't it?

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