Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mexican Solution To A Shitty Economy: Move To The USA

Before I kick off on one of my favorite topics, illegal immigration, I would like to wish everyone a great St. Patrick's Day. Now on with the show.

There is not much in this world that shocks me but one thing that does on a regular basis is complete honesty by a politician. Often I find future topics through the wonderful invention of Google news alerts; this story comes courtesy of one of those alerts.

I literally almost fell out of my chair when reading this story about the sad state of the Mexican economy. The mayor of Mexico City is quoted as saying the following: “In agreeing with Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, on the need to change Mexico’s economic model before there is a civil conflict, L√≥pez Obrador said that the only explanation for people in Mexico not having protested in light of more than 20 years of economic stagnation is because escape valves, such as immigration, have been found.”

So basically, the reason the Mexican people have not pressured their government for reform and policies that would improve their economy, is because they can go north to the United States and find a better paying job. Gee, I am no economist but that is f*cked up.

The U.S. economy and businesses are nowhere near innocent in this sordid tale. Our businesses, big and small, hunger for cheap, no questions asked, labor. While we continue to quench our thirst for cheap labor and send un-told amounts of foreign aid south to Mexico there is no incentive to change the current system of wide-spread corruption.

The other component to this equation is the fact that immigrates, legal and illegal alike, send billions and billions of dollars south to their families to Mexico. I have absolutely no problem with people providing for their families, regardless of their immigration status, but with all that money flowing south it acts as a double hit to our economy. Not only is that money not spent here in the U.S. but often immigrates, legal and illegal, place an enormous strain on a health care system, education, police, fire, and social services that can not deal with the influx. Some would say that we should just increase funding for those departments but more often then not, those who are here from Mexico do not pay taxes in to the system and we end up throwing money at the problem without any counterbalance from tax revenue.

Now I can hear people asking themselves why should I care about this? Or I live in, name a Midwest or Northeastern state; we don’t have an illegal immigration problem. Hello, open your freaking eyes!!!! The fact that we have an illegal immigration problem is just a symptom of the larger issue of not being able to control our borders. I don’t want to go off on a tangent but let me cite two examples from history. The Roman Empire finally collapsed in part to Rome’s inability to control their vast borders. The Great Wall of China was built at an enormous human cost to prevent the consistent invasion of China from the west. Remember this quote, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Something like that, it’s late and I can’t find the exact quote on the net.

The fact of the matter is that illegal immigration is everyone’s problem. The effects of migration on the Mexican economy are twofold. On one hand the pressure is removed with regard to zero economic growth since those who would draw from public aid go north, and the other effect being that those who are in the U.S. send about US$17 billion to Mexico annually.

Here in Arizona the voter recently passed Proposition 200, it states that proof of U.S. citizenship is required to vote in all elections and to receive public benefits. It was challenged in court and upheld thankfully as a valid law. Now you might ask what public aid is defined as, glad you asked. Public aid is defined as benefits that include public assistance such as food stamps, cash assistance, and housing assistance, basically anything that Arizona taxpayers pay for with the important exception of Police, Fire, Health Care and Education since those are in part funded by federal money given to Arizona. The full law is listed here if you care to read it and the “English” translation.

The hope is that this new law will serve as a deterrent to those who come north in order to collect welfare and send money south to Mexico. I don’t really believe it will work, since the state agency charged with the verification of citizenship prior to the payment of public aid is ripe with corruption and the sad fact that obtaining false documents is much too easy.

My hope for the President is that he abandons this “guest worker” program and puts forth a real plan to reform immigration and secure our borders. And for the rest of the country that has been blind or ignorant to the immigration problem, here’s your wake-up call. Next time you’re out and about on your daily routine, look around and you will be surprised by number of immigrants doing jobs that “no American wants”. The fact that we have people on public aid that contribute nothing is enough to dispute that lie, but I will save that for a slow news day. Sorry for going long but I have a vested interest in this issue since I live a mere 3 hours from the U.S./Mexican border.

Cross-posted at The Wide Awakes

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