“In the era of economic immigration, it’s all connected,” said author Chad Broughton Monday at the AFL-CIO. Broughton’s new book, Boom, Bust, Exodus, describes how free trade and globalization changed the landscape of factory towns in the US and Mexico, an experience he warned may now be repeated if Congress passes the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. At Monday’s talk at the AFL-CIO, Broughton described the devastating effect on the local community when the Maytag factory in Galesburg, IL shut down and moved production to Mexico. That effect was repeated at the other end of the move, when workers in Reynosa, Mexico were paid a fraction of what those in Galesburg made, forcing the Mexican workers to live in squalid, inhumane conditions. Broughton emphasized the connections between outsourcing American production and rising levels of migration into the US, warning that recent history is about to repeat itself.
report and photo by Sivan Rosenthal