Bolivian President Evo Morales Tells Obama ‘Stop Deporting Immigrants’

Annie Correal, Feet in Two Worlds, September 21, 2010

As heads of state gathered here to attend the United Nations General Assembly, Bolivian President Evo Morales ended a speech at Hunter College on Monday by calling on President Barack Obama to stop “expelling” Latin American immigrants who are trying to eke out a living.

“Here there’s a lot of talk about policies that aim to expel immigrants,” he said. “There are deep asymmetries between countries, between continents, so of course our brothers in Latin America come here to improve their economic situation. But our brothers who come to the U.S., to Europe, to survive, to reach a better station in life, they are thrown out. What kind of policy is that?”

Morales’ message: “I call on President Obama to halt these policies that aim to deport the Latin American people here, because we all have the same rights.”

President Morales was at Hunter to promote his biography, recently translated into English. {snip} said the indigenous Morales, “It doesn’t make sense that one discriminated party would discriminate against another.”

{snip}

Evo Morales was born to a poor indigenous family in the high plains of Bolivia, and grew up to be a union organizer who represented coca farmers. His rise to power was characterized by fierce opposition, including detention and torture in Bolivia, and more recently, ridicule abroad, where he has been called a puppet of Hugo Chavez. His policies have sought to nationalize natural resources and basic services, and The New York Times described his diplomatic relationship with Washington as “tense.” In an 2009 article, the NYT said it “might be the worst in the hemisphere, except for the one with Cuba.”

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