05.13 – Paul Wolfowitz / International Migration

Preaching Morality, Practicing Corruption: World Bank chief involved in corruption scandal.

Over the last four weeks, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has had a rough time. While some would think his role in the Bush administration’s failed invasion and occupation of Iraq may be a cause of concern, the crime Wolfowitz is being accused of is that of nepotism. Reports, memos and statements that have now come to light show that Wolfowitz violated World Bank policies by giving his longtime partner Shaha Riza a raise of about $60,000 before she was seconded to the State Department, all on the World Bank purse.

At a World Bank-organized press briefing Liberian, Zambian and Mauritian government officials come down on Wolfowitz’s side, arguing that his anti-corruption campaigns have been a blessing for the African continent. This week we’ll ask whether Wolfowitz – and the World Bank – have in fact been a blessing or a curse for Africa and the world.

Neoliberalism, Trade and Migration.

On May 1st , International Worker’s Day, hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers along with their families, allies and supporters came out into the streets to demand legalization for all undocumented migrants, an end to raids and deportations, and the creation of sanctuary cities and states. Here in Washington D.C., the D.C. Committee for Immigrant Rights, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras, the Metro D.C. Interfaith Sanctuary Network, and the Latino Media Collective organized an all-afternoon event in Malcolm X Park for this national day of action. Next Saturday an African Immigrants Town Hall Meeting will be taking place.

However, it seems that the national migration debate is largely split between two camps–the “anti-immigrant camp” which accuses immigrants of taking away jobs and services, and the “pro-immigrant camp” which argues that migrants wouldn’t be in the US if jobs were not available to them, and thus should be allowed to stay. This week we’d like to dig deeper, to ask some basic underlying questions: WHY are people migrating? WHAT does U.S. economic policy have to do with it? How does CLASS affect the discussion on migration in the US?

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