Ellison: National Borders Create An Injustice, Illegals Are Exploited Workers

Ellison slammed trade agreements that “allow capital to travel over borders” but not people, saying national borders and corporations create an "injustice."

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Credit: Lorie Shaull

MINNEAPOLIS – U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison believes national borders create an “injustice” by not allowing the free flow of people seeking higher wages.

In an interview with social change activist Rabbi Michael Lerner, Ellison claimed America’s “prosperity is based on the want that is experienced in other parts of the world.” According to Ellison, illegal immigrants are “an exploited worker” that  are only in America “because somebody wants them to be.”

“An undocumented worker is an exploited worker,” Ellison said. “We just have to say that the 12 million undocumented people in the United States are here because somebody wants them to be. But they want them here to do the work, but they don’t want them to get any rights.”

Ellison slammed trade agreements that “allow capital to travel over borders” but not people, saying national borders and corporations create an “injustice.”

“And so corporations, certain people who get certain rights, can go back and forth across the border seeking out the lowest wages, but regular people cannot go back and forth across the border seeking out the highest wages,” Ellison said.

“What it creates is an imbalance, it creates an injustice, and it creates a need for something like a Global Marshall Plan,” Ellison said.

A Global Marshall Plan, proposed by former Vice President Al Gore in his 1992 book Earth In The Balance, would create a global “eco-social” economy that requires wealthy nations to subsidize developing nations. Ellison claimed America should be responsible for rebuilding “the part of the world that so many of us rely on to get everything from cheap flowers to cheap strawberries.”

Building on concept of a global economy, Ellison praised Lerner’s proposition of requiring corporations to obtain a global corporate charter that must be renewed every five years. Before renewal, a corporation must face a “jury of ordinary citizens” who will decide if the corporation has acted in environmentally and socially responsible ways. Ellison said he “likes the concept” because it would create a “public license to operate a corporate entity.”

“We’re in a world now where corporate responsibility is something that we are much greater need for,” Ellison said. “I don’t have a problem with the concept of a corporation, I have a problem with the lack of accountability.”

Ellison’s attack on national borders and large corporations is not new. Earlier this year, Ellison wore a shirt advocating for the elimination of national borders while participating in a parade. Ellison has also called for the federal regulation of CEO pay.

Watch parts of the interview below:


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