28 May 2006

Immigration: Don't Fence Me In

Urination upon both Democrats and Republicans concerning illegal immigration from Mexico. Neither party has even tried to come up with a workable and humane solution. I stress these two words because, in the case of US-Mexican relations, workable and humane amount to the same thing.

Consider that, if Mexico exports workers to the US, the US exports money to the families of those workers. We have already been told that the remittances from Mexican workers in the US exceeds the revenues of Mexico's state-owned oil industry. This money empowers those families to do things for themselves instead of waiting for handouts from the corrupt Mexican government. Thus, the flow of money from the US helps build a civil society in Mexico.

That's a good thing and we should encourage it with a guest-worker program that is so easy to enroll in and so helpful to enrollees that people will want to join up rather than to come to the US illegally. The catch? The US gets to collect some biometrics and issue cards so we can know who they are and where they are, and make sure that they leave when they say they will. It should also include a path to US citizenship for those who want it, as well as an option to renew for guest-worker status as long as the worker is working.

But we also need to think about other US exports to Mexico, like the $8 billion to $24 billion in drug money that goes each year to the Mexican cartels. Those cartels are extremely corrupting to the Mexican government: if they can't buy Mexican politicians with US drug money, then they can assassinate them with the US guns they buy with their drug money and smuggle south. In other words, we tend to cancel the good export - money to families - with the bad export - guns and money to the drug cartels.

Instead of doing something stupid, inhumane, unfriendly, and ultimately self-destructive like fencing the border to cut off the flow of Mexicans to the US, maybe we should try doing something to cut off the flow of US drug money and guns to Mexico. Maybe we should change US drug policy.

I have a suggestion. Legalize drugs, but provide only minimal health care to US persons who use those drugs, and stiff penalties for causing accidents or committing crimes while using them. The money we would save on Drug Enforcement and prisons would probably be enough to subsidize drug treatment facilities and medications.

If that doesn't work for you, then lower the penalties on drug sellers and increase them on drug users.

Either way would drive down the price of currently illegal drugs, which would tend to force the cartels to go legit to make money. And that would be a very good thing.

In short, rather than try to fence in Mexico, we should try to help Mexico become a better place to live, so more Mexicans will want to stay there. Rather than building good fences, the US and Mexico should try to be good neighbors.


Anonymous said...

I personally love to go and visit Mexico. Mexico offers freedoms that have long been usurped in the U.S., like setting off fireworks on the beach for any occasion, or even building a rip snorter of a bond fire. Getting smashed in a private club or restaurant w/o being asked to leave unless one is destructive and out of control. Ah! Mexico.
We are trying to help Mexico, but the people there need to understand that it is ultimately oneself that helps oneself. I believe that the Government of Mexico needs to encourage Americans or others to establish small businesses within. Big businesses are needed too, but small businesses are the backbone of a nation. With this in place it will bring people into Mexico that will help use their understanding to bring government agencies from the grass root levels into proper line, and the development of inner towns and small cities will benefit greatly. Something lacking in Mexico now. But then maybe there goes some of those freedoms I mentioned. I really don't think well intentioned Americans want to keep Mexicans from legally entering the U.S., but just want it done through proper procedures. American's are frightened that too many of what we set in place for our legal citizenry is being misused and taken advantage.
I'd love to OWN a piece of land in Mexico and maybe even start a business there, but under present Mexican laws ect., it's not advantageous and seemingly risky. Especially if one is approaching it as an individual entrepreneur. You know, sort of the American dream but in Mexico. We all cannot marry someone that is a natural born citizen either. It has to be a two way street in other words. If the citizenry of Mexico desires to come here and work freely, then I too should be able to do so in Mexico, and do so knowing I'm going to have security in my venture. Hope some of this makes sense and can be reasoned and possibly in the near future implemented.

Anonymous said...

Hold on ---oh bleeding hearts.
Mexico has enormous natural resources and people who oppress their own indigenous peoples. The Spanish killed millions of Natives to steal their lands and dishonor their culture. I say screw Mexico and most of the rest of South America. They are a bunch of greedy opportunists and will not esploit their own natural resources or create honest governments-constitutions etc. Screw em---let them go to Castro or the other Idiot in Venezuela to get their handouts. Leave the US alone. We are tired of giving you loans that you cannot pay back or protection from the other greedy bastards on the planet. Yes--forget the fence--give them severe penalties and take over the Mexical oil reserves to pay for the freeloaders that are here already.