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.
[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']