XVI. Managing Immigration Print E-mail


Include Human Rights and Economic Development of

Underdeveloped Nations in Trade Agreements



The big step the U.S. and other developed countries can take to reduce the number of refugees and immigrants applying to live in developed countries is to help developing countries meet the needs of their citizens.  The Mexican Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) have produced a document that gives a wealth of ideas on how we can accomplish that.1

Think Again MN’s research indicates that U.S. deportation policy seriously violates the human rights of immigrants in our nation and causes serious trauma for deportees as well as their families.  However, that’s not where the harm ends.  Large scale deportation of contributing members of our community will slow economic development for the nation as a whole as well as for our state.  It will remove capable hardworking people from the workforce at a time when many people in the labor force have reached retirement age.


In addition, it will involve big cost burdens to our state and local communities.  Our rough estimate of the cost of assisting the families in Minnesota which have a deported parent came to over a half billion dollars a year if the current deportation policy were to be implemented.  That did not include the increased cost to public education for additional psychologists, social workers, and special education teachers.  If anyone can help us estimate these costs, please contact Carol Woehrer - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


doctor and childHow will the harm we cause to the children of unauthorized immigrant parents affect future generations?  We know that toxic stress due to separation from a parent, disruption of family life, and a big drop in income causes changes in a person's brain that last a lifetime and can be passed on to future generations.  We don't yet know what life-long effect that will have on children born with the changes or what it will cost for mental health treatment and education to help them cope with the changes in their brain that originated with a parent's childhood experience with stress.


Given U.S. deportation policies' violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the serious harm families of deportees experience, and the high cost of providing essential services to the families, it is best for cities, counties, and states to follow policies that minimize deportation of immigrants for whom ICE does not have a federal warrent.  This would include policies that do not allow local police to ask questions about immigrant status or to assist ICE officers in the arrest of immigrants for whom ICE does not have a federal warrent.  It would aso include policies that do not allow ICE officers to interview immigrants in jails, and do not allow passing on the names and addresses of immigrants who have not been convicted of a serious crime to ICE.  If any questioning of immigrants is allowed, cities and counties should cover the cost of attorneys to advise immigrants prior to being interviewed by ICE officers and to be present to give advice during the interview.  It would be best if this legal assistance were provided on a statewide basis.

If the U.S. and other developed nations want to limit the big influx of refugees and immigrants, they need to address the causes of immigration by including human rights and the economic development of underdeveloped nations in trade agreements.  Nations must also maintain a commitment to reduce climate change which has caused increased drought in African nations and increased flooding in Asian nations.  As noted by US military briefs, changes in the availability of land suitable for farming due to climate change can lead to civil wars between tribes and factions in countries or intrusion across borders as people fight for arable land.2, 3  Because climate change and trade agreements have been big forces that have driven people from their homelands, these issues should be of central concern to cities, states, and the U.S. government.  Few people will leave their own country for a dangerous journey to a destination often unknown to them.  Hundreds of thousands and millions will leave if their life and that of their children are in danger or if they are faced with malnutrition and starvation.





1. Hansen-Kuhn, Karen and Suppan, Steve, Dr.  “Mexican civil society platform on the start of renegotiation of NAFTA.”  Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, August 31, 2017.  https://www.iatp.org/documents/mexican-civil-society-platform-start-renegotiation-nafta


2.  Parthemore, Christine, Military Expert Panel Chair and Editors:  Fetzek, Shiloh; Warrell, Caitlin E.; and Femia, Francesco.  "Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military's Mission."  Center for Climate and Security, September, 2016.



3. Fetzek, Shiloh.  "Briefer: Climate Security Risks in the Asia-Pacific – An Opportunity for U.S. Engagement."  Center for Climate and Security, No. 33, February 20. 2017.








MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon


steve simon


Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at http://mnvotes.org

How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

Think Again MN, Powered by Joomla!