2013-10-04 15:00:01

Democracy Now! 2013-10-04 Friday

As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as "NAFTA on steroids," and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and, until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisers reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton and Monsanto. "This is not mainly about trade," says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. "It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations."

In a few weeks, the number of undocumented immigrants deported since President Obama took office will surpass two million — more than any other president. In the time since the Senate passed the immigration reform bill in July, the Department of Homeland Security deported 100,000 people. While Democratic leaders in the House introduced a sweeping new bill proposal this week, the government shutdown and federal debt ceiling have eclipsed the issue of immigration reform. Meanwhile, major protests are planned for Saturday and Tuesday to call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. Dubbed a "National Day for Dignity and Respect," events are planned Saturday in more than 100 cities nationwide. We speak to Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, the director of Immigration and National Campaigns at the National Council of La Raza.

Earlier this week, more than 30 undocumented youth who lived in the United States as children, as well as three of their parents, were held by authorities after they attempted to re-enter the United States from Mexico at the crossing in Laredo, Texas. It is the second time in three months that undocumented immigrants have attempted to re-enter the United States through an official point of entry in an act of protest. On Monday, the activists marched across a bridge connecting Mexico to the United States wearing graduation caps and gowns, chanting "Undocumented and unafraid." We speak to two of the people released, Javier Cortés and his father, Javier Calderón, who are from Michoacán, Mexico. Cortés has lived in the United States since his family came here when he was three years old. They left the United States to visit an ailing family member in Mexico, knowing re-entering the country would be difficult.

Deportations Immigrants John Kerry The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

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