Implications of NAFTA and undocumented immigration to the United States

Posted by on September 22, 2008

The Implications of NAFTA and undocumented immigration to the United States
A Conversation with Dr. Ann Lopez

An Environmental Leadership Program Food Tour Event
Web Conference on October 1, 2008 from 12:00 -1:00 pm EST

Space is limited!
Reserve your web conference seat now.

The Environmental Leadership Program is pleased to present a conversation with Dr. Ann Lόpez, author of The Farmworkers’ Journey and Director of The Center for Farmworker Families; a Project of the International Humanities Center at

In this web-based seminar, Dr. Lopez will discuss that as a result of market forces, NAFTA, and the withdrawal of price supports and subsidies for corn production in Mexico, Mexican farmers are vulnerable to the vagaries of an economic system in which returns on corn harvests no longer cover costs of production.  Many small farmers are forced to abandon their farms of origin, leave their family members behind, and migrate to the United States in order to survive.  She will explain how four factors are contributing to the disintegration of the sustainable farming culture of Mexico: the overturning of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, NAFTA, so-called “Green Revolution” technology, and corporate penetration.

Traditional corn varieties are being replaced with hybrid varieties and contaminated with transgenic corn strains, leading to widespread genetic erosion and unprecedented deaths and disabilities among uneducated farmers from agrochemical exposure.  Mexican farmer economic refugees of NAFTA enter California in an effort to find work to support their families. They risk dangerous, expensive human smuggler assisted border crossings. In California’s corporate agribusiness farmworkers are exploited and underpaid. These conditions and many others in the lives of migrants along each juncture of the migrant circuit from west central Mexico to central California constitute multiple human rights violations.

For more than eight years, the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) has successfully developed a national community of emerging leaders addressing some of the most difficult environmental and social issues of our time.

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