Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thinking About Mexicans
By Alan Caruba
For some time now friends have been asking me why I haven’t written anything about the Arizona law, amnesty, illegal immigration, and Mexicans.
The problem with trying to see all sides of the problem is that, sooner or later, you have to pick a side. That is what Americans are doing in light of the recent law passed in Arizona; a law that mirrors a federal law that, quite simply, is not being enforced.
What exactly were Arizonans expected to do in light of the fact that their border with Mexico is now a war zone?
A typical bachelor, I pretty much have the same thing for lunch every day, a soft tortilla in which two thin slices of smoked turkey are placed. Thirty seconds in the microwave and about six bites later lunch is over. And every day I look at that damned tortilla and I think about Mexicans.
Not Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world, but those poor souls trekking across deserts or sneaking in any way they can because, presumably, Mexico sucks so badly that their only hope is the land of the free and the home of the brave.
There are a number of factors that encourage Mexicans to come here, not the least of which is that their per capita income is about one-third of that in the U.S. Mexico has always had an oligarchy of families that controlled the bulk of the money there and, on top of that, there are the drug lords whose income allows them to corrupt those in government positions and to kill those who oppose them.
President Felipe Calderon has made strides to improve the economy which has largely depended on its national oil company, tourism, and the billions in remittances sent home by those illegally in the United States.
Trade with the U.S. and Canada has tripled since the implementation of NAFTA in 1994 and with forty trade agreements with other nations. There are an estimated 46.1 million in its labor force. Nearly 60% are in the services sector, 25.7% are in industry, and 15.1% are in agriculture. Overall, 18.2% live below the poverty level and, in terms of their personal assets, 47% can be defined as poor.
A growing amount of agricultural harvesting in America is mechanized, but I have heard estimates that up to 80% depend on farm labor to do the hard work of picking produce. The Mexicans who cross the border often seek to make enough to send money back home and return there. Others decide not to return. A simple guest worker program is needed and long overdue. Agriculture is a huge part of our national GDP.
Arizona arrived at its decision to deal with its illegal immigration problem because of a dramatic rise in crime of every description. It did so because the federal government has paid lip service to protecting its and the other 2,000 miles of our southern border. Rasmussen Reports indicate that 59% of those polled support Arizona’s action.
What has myself and many other Americans thinking about Mexicans who are here illegally is as much a question of their attitude as of statistics. These are people whose heroes are not George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, or any other American icon. These are people who do not grow up celebrating the Fourth of July. National differences are important and should not be discounted.
Something is very wrong when illegal aliens, Mexicans and others from south of the border, feel empowered to march in the streets of our nation’s cities to demand instant citizenship. They have no right to be in the streets. They have no right to be in America.
Something is very wrong when America makes all manner of accommodation with what is essentially an invasion by millions of people who are here illegally.
The warnings against a bilingual society are based in the reality of how this undermines national cohesion. Generations of immigrants, including my own grandparents, learned to speak English. The provision of all manner of free social services costs taxpayers billions. It has distorted our educational and healthcare systems, and put an extraordinary burden on law enforcement and incarceration.
Americans are not opposed to legal immigration. They are opposed to a federal government that fails to meet its primary obligation to defend our borders and, by doing so, defend our native-born and naturalized citizens.
Politically, the current administration and the Democrat Party want to depict Republicans as racists because they want the Constitution and other applicable laws enforced. We need to see through this deception; a position designed to enhance their political power by luring Hispanics into their party by offering amnesty.
We tried amnesty in the past. It doesn’t just extend to those receiving citizenship for having broken our laws, it invites a new wave of illegal aliens. It is an extraordinarily bad idea and this is particularly true when the nation is in the midst of a financial crisis.
So, while I personally harbor no ill will toward Mexicans, I do oppose they’re being here illegally and I resent the resulting costs that must be borne by Americans. The problem is that there are anywhere from twelve to twenty million illegal aliens, including all such people, Hispanic and others, in the nation.
Other nations, including Mexico, have extremely harsh laws regarding illegal aliens. Unless and until the federal government begins to seriously enforce our laws, it puts our lives, our economy, and our nation at risk.
(c) Alan Caruba, 2010