Farming Under Occupation

Anna Lekas-Miller, Guest Blogger

Beit Ummar used to be known as the fruit basket of Palestine.

Nestled in the Hebron Mountains, the old Beit Ummar was covered in olive orchards and trees bearing brightly colored lemons, plums and dates. Lush, leafy vineyards wound their way through the meandering mountain roads, bearing robust grapes often used for the stuffed grape leaves or sweet grape syrup that the region is renowned for.

The orchards and vineyards are still there, but they are no longer vibrant with color. Like a photograph that has been leached of its saturation, the once abundant orchards and fruit trees bursting with hues of bright yellows, rich reds and warm, deep purples are now ragged, parched and covered in dust.

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Africa Specializing in Capital Exodus?

Léonce Ndikumana

Even as Africa faces severe shortages of skilled labor at home, it experiences large and increasing outflows of highly-skilled labor migration to industrialized economies in search of better job opportunities. The investments made in the training of these professionals are losses to African countries but translate into hefty gains for receiving countries.  Thus resource-starved African nations are subsidizing developed countries’ industries and social services.

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Climate Change and the Immigration Debate

Lyuba Zarsky

Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law has galvanized popular protest and reignited demands in many quarters for an overhaul of US immigration policy. For those hoping that Obama’s next big legislative battle would be over climate change, however,   the immigration firestorm could not have come at a worse time. Besides eclipsing climate change in public debate, the shadow of Congressional action on immigration scuttled the support of a key Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for a Senate climate bill. Without Lindsey, the climate bill doesn’t have a prayer.

But apart from political minefields, are immigration and climate change such separate policy issues? Not if climate change is understood, as it should be, as a problem requiring urgent action both not only to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions but also to adapt to much more volatile local and regional climatic conditions driven by global warming.

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Going Beyond Immigration Policy

Timothy A. Wise

Democratic Party leaders recently introduced their latest proposal to reform U.S. immigration policy.  The proposal, which is given little chance of passage in a polarized election year, offers carrots and sticks in an attempt to bring some semblance of order to a broken and outdated policy that has left nearly 12 million people in the United States without legal documents.

The carrots are few and shriveled: an arduous path to U.S. citizenship for those already in the country.  The sticks are large: a further crackdown on border enforcement and increased policing to catch and punish those without papers. No combination of carrots and sticks will address the immigration issue unless reform efforts also take up the agricultural, trade, and labor policies that feed migration.

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