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Thread: Whither Mexico? (The forthcoming 'guest worker' proposal, blus other border issues)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Whither Mexico? (The forthcoming 'guest worker' proposal, blus other border issues)

    Later today, GWB will detail his latest proposal for addressing issues relating to the USA's border with Mexico and the endless stream of Mexican nationals illegally crossing northward. As of this writing, I have some ideas of what will be proposed, but I am looking for discussion on all aspects of the situation.

    Any thoughts?

    [mgk920's editorial mode = 'on']I'll start it off by saying that I am highly skeptical that anything that the USA can do on its own will work to stem that tide. We can beef up the Mexican border to the point where it is the equivelant of a super-max prison wall all the way from San Diego, CA to Brownsville, TX and have IRS-style enforcement of employment laws within the USA, but as the old Soviet Empire found out with their Iron Curtain, people and contraband were still able to cross it.

    I see the border situation as nothing more than a symptom of much more broad and endemic problems that are internal to Mexico. Right now, Mexico's #1 source of foreign exchange revenue is those $100-200 at a time remittances that expatriot Mexicans (both 'legal' and 'illegal') make to their families back home. Look in the window of any ethnic Mexican store in the USA and you will likely see a sign saying something like 'Envia su dinero a Mexico aqui' ("Send your money to Mexico here"). This is not sustainable. Also, a recent poll (this past summer) found that a solid majority of Mexicans would consider moving 'north', if given the chance. That, along with the systemic corruption and near dictatorial rule that Mexico has had for most of its existance, going all the way back to Cortéz, tells me that little is likely to change there in the forseeable future.

    I had very high hopes for Vicente Fox when he was elected El Presidente in 2000 (first non-PRI elected since the early 20th Century), but, IMHO, he has turned into a major disappointment.

    Has the time come to take a totally different tack to solving that problem? What would happen if the USA made a serious, peacefull and sincere offer to annex Mexico , bringing the USA to the Mexicans instead of having all of these Mexicans coming to the USA? After a few years of transition, the currently illegal crossings would cease, as the political and economic stability that that area so very much needs would be put in place and the ongoing and worsening violence in the border towns would end, as the reason d'etre for the drug gangs (the border crossings) would disappear. The USA itself would also be more secure, as there would be far fewer entry 'ports' to have to keep an eye on. Mexico's southern land border is far, far shorter than their land border with the USA.

    This is worth a serious thought, IMHO.[mgk920's editorial mode = 'off']

    Mike
    Last edited by mgk920; 28 Nov 2005 at 2:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Mexican immigration is very good for Chicago. I live in a Mexican neighborhood and they make very good neighbors.

    My question is, why is it a problem? If you want to talk about jobs.. well, why not try to stop jobs from going overseas rather than preventing immigrants from coming here? Seems to me that the US would be in a much better position long-term by remaining the immigrant magnet it is while fostering domestic job growth to absorb them into the workforce.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Later today, GWB will detail his latest proposal for addressing issues relating to the USA's border with Mexico and the endless stream of Mexican nationals illegally crossing northward. As of this writing, I have some ideas of what will be proposed, but I am looking for discussion on all aspects of the situation.

    Any thoughts?

    [mgk920's editorial mode = 'on']I'll start it off by saying that I am highly skeptical that anything that the USA can do on its own will work to stem that tide. We can beef up the Mexican border to the point where it is the equivelant of a super-max prison wall all the way from San Diego, CA to Brownsville, TX and have IRS-style enforcement of employment laws within the USA, but as the old Soviet Empire found out with their Iron Curtain, people and contraband were still able to cross it.

    I see the border situation as nothing more than a symptom of much more broad and endemic problems that are internal to Mexico. Right now, Mexico's #1 source of foreign exchange revenue is those $100-200 at a time remittances that expatriot Mexicans (both 'legal' and 'illegal') make to their families back home. Look in the window of any ethnic Mexican store in the USA and you will likely see a sign saying something like 'Envia su dinero a Mexico aqui' ("Send your money to Mexico here"). This is not sustainable. Also, a recent poll (this past summer) found that a solid majority of Mexicans would consider moving 'north', if given the chance. That, along with the systemic corruption and near dictatorial rule that Mexico has had for most of its existance, going all the way back to Cortéz, tells me that little is likely to change there in the forseeable future.

    I had very high hopes for Vicente Fox when he was elected in El Presidente 2000 (first non-PRI elected since the early 20th Century), but, IMHO, he has turned into a major disappointment.

    Has the time come to take a totally different tack to solving that problem? What would happen if the USA made a serious, peacefull and sincere offer to annex Mexico , bringing the USA to the Mexicans instead of having all of these Mexicans coming to the USA? After a few years of transition, the currently illegal crossings would cease, as the political and economic stability that that area so very much needs would be put in place and the ongoing and worsening violence in the border towns would end, as the reason d'etre for the drug gangs (the border crossings) would disappear. The USA itself would also be more secure, as there would be far fewer entry 'ports' to have to keep an eye on. Mexico's southern land border is far, far shorter than their land border with the USA.

    This is worth a serious thought, IMHO.[mgk920's editorial mode = 'off']

    Mike
    Wasn't NAFTA supposed to take care of this problem?
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Mexican immigration is very good for Chicago. I live in a Mexican neighborhood and they make very good neighbors.

    My question is, why is it a problem? If you want to talk about jobs.. well, why not try to stop jobs from going overseas rather than preventing immigrants from coming here? Seems to me that the US would be in a much better position long-term by remaining the immigrant magnet it is while fostering domestic job growth to absorb them into the workforce.
    Well, right now, the State of Arizona has a 'State of Emergency' in effect regarding the situation along their southern state line. Illegal migration is a *HUGE* issue in the southwestern USA right now.

    BTW, the Mexicans that I see up here in NE Wisconsin are very good neighbors, too, with an astonishing work ethic to boot. My sense (only semi-cynical) is that the biggest touchpoint regarding their presence in the eyes of the 'natives' is that they feel threatened by that work ethic.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Cyburbian GISgal's avatar
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    I would tend to agree with both mgk and jordanb. The position of th US as an "immigration magnet" is a beneficial position for the US, especially as many of the children in this country are being raised to not want many of the jobs these individuals take.

    IMHO the US economy has been primiarly fueled by immigration and immigration should continue to be encouraged. Especially in light of many baby boomers retiring starting in 2008 and a major contraction in the workforce thereafter. The US government should be trying to attract MORE foreign talent and workforce. I tend to agree with GW's postion to give a blanket citizenship to all Mexicans that have crossed the border illegally. Whether or not that is sustainable or not is another question.

    In regards to Hispanics in NE Wisconsin and a fear by the "natives" of the Hispanics increased work ethic that is a common fear in SE Wisconsin too. This should really try to be reversed. If I remeber correctly I read a census release that by 2050 Hispanics will be the majority population in the US anyway...
    “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” - Thomas Edison

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    What would happen if the USA made a serious, peacefull and sincere offer to annex Mexico , bringing the USA to the Mexicans instead of having all of these Mexicans coming to the USA? After a few years of transition, the currently illegal crossings would cease, as the political and economic stability that that area so very much needs would be put in place and the ongoing and worsening violence in the border towns would end, as the reason d'etre for the drug gangs (the border crossings) would disappear.
    The US already took the northern third of Mexico in the Mexican Cession of 1848 and the Gadsen Purchase of 1853. Ceding the entirety of Mexico to the US wouldn't please too many politicians either here or there. Right now the US enjoys the fruits of cheap Mexican laborers jumping across the border to do our landscaping, construction, and farmwork without the burden on social services that the sending country would require. The upper crust of politically-connected Mexican elites wouldn't react too kindly to being bought out.

  7. #7

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    Nah, don't you know that The Minutemen know the Truth. WE are not going to buy THEM (the Mexican elites) out. THEY are going to undertake LA RECONQUISTA.

    (Just Google the term. There are plenty of "interesting" wacky websites out there that I'm not sure Dan would want linked)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I am married to an immigrant who recently became a U.S. citizen. We went through all the legal and procedural hoops to get her in the country legally and through the permanent resident and citizenship processes. In the future perhaps one of my wife's sisters may come to the U.S.

    I encourage immigrants to come to our country and settle. LEGALLY If you come illegally, you should get your hearing and if you do not carry the day, you should be immediately deported. No one is entitled to come to this country. We have laws. We expect everyone to obey them. If you don't obey our laws you should be willing to suffer the consequences of your actions. I have disobeyed laws and was willing to pay the consequences if caught.

    Tighten up the borders. By all means amend the immigration laws so that our neighbors south of the border can come to our nation more easily. But enforce the laws. Illegal aliens are illegal. They are criminals. Criminals should not get the fast track to the bounty of our nation.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  9. #9
         
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    If you want to control immigration from south of the border then you must make employers accountable for hiring only legal workers. As long as it easy for non-documented workers to find employment then it doesn't matter what you do at the border. I have seen immigrant childern no more than 13 years old working a landscape job at the City Hall addition of a neighboring municipality. People will find a way to cross. And if you have traveled any in Mexico you can not blame them for coming. There isn't enough political will to do anything serious about the issue. Republicans like the cheap labor and Democrats are afraid of offending their minority members. An anti-immigration back-lash is building but won't become main stream until unemployment numbers increase and people see the un-documented workers as taking citizens' jobs. I lived until recently in a neighborhood with a majority of immigrants. Most were good neighbors and worked very hard. Many are truely living the American dream of home ownership and business ownership. They work multiple jobs. However, they are stressing the school system since many of their children speak english as a second language if at all and they have stressed the local hospital since most don't have jobs that include health insurrance. This is part of the hidden cost of the current policy.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally posted by Senior Jefe
    An anti-immigration back-lash is building but won't become main stream until unemployment numbers increase and people see the un-documented workers as taking citizens' jobs.
    The current anti-immigrant backlash has a lot in common with the nativist "Know-Nothing" movement of the mid-19th century, when waves of Irish, German, and Italian immigrants were flooding into the cities of the Eastern Seaboard. People claimed that the newcomers were taking jobs from native-born Americans, that they were taxing resources, that they weren't assimilating, etc etc. Others countered that they only took low-skilled jobs that natives didn't want anyway. For the Protestant Americans of the 1850s, Catholic immigrants were a threat to American culture; it was a popular belief that they pledged their allegiance to the Pope before the US. But unlike Mexican immigrants today, Germans in Pennsylvania stubbornly retained their language for generations, with Pennsylvania Dutch only trickling out of daily use in the early 20th century.

    Of course today the Mexican immigrant community can be further marginalized by restrictions on immigration. Whereas 1850s Catholic immigrants famously took over urban political life, the notion of the "illegal" immigrant ensures that he or she will be disenfranchised. In the 1850s, there were no restrictions on immigration. All you had to do was pay your way to Ellis Island.

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