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As Congress debates immigration policy, it might be useful to consider how the Republic of Mexico treats those who emigrate there.

A recent paper published by the Center for Security Policy discusses the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and how it deals with immigration. Suffice to say, Mexico is not nearly as welcoming as the United States of America. Yet Mexico objects to any serious effort to tighten border control and to enforce American immigration law.

Here are some highlights of Mexican immigration law (the article numbers refer to the Mexican Constitution):

1. Pursuant to Article 33, "Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country." This ban reaches participation in demonstrations and forbids public expression of political opinion.

2. Pursuant to Article 32, immigrants are denied equal employment rights, even if they emigrated lawfully are denied to immigrants, even legal ones. That article states as follows: "Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable."

3. Also according to Article 32, immigrants, foreign guest workers and naturalized citizens may not serve as military officers, crew on Mexican-flagged maritime vessels and Mexican airlines, or chiefs of seaports and airports.

4. Article 55 prohibits immigrants from becoming a Mexican congressional representative or senator. Those lawmakers must be "a Mexican citizen by birth." And according to Article 91, no immigrant can ever become a cabinet officer since they are not Mexican by birth. And Article 95 applies this rule to Mexico's Supreme Court justices.

5. Article 130 says that no immigrant, even a legal one, can become a member of the clergy in Mexico.

6. The Mexican Constitution denies immigrants property rights. Article 27 provides that "Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters."

7. Article 11 guarantees that the federal government of Mexico will protect the public against "undesirable aliens resident in the country." Moreover, private individuals are authorized to make citizen's arrests of illegal aliens and to turn them over to the authorities for prosecution.

8. According to article 33, any foreigner - not just those who have emigrated to Mexico unlawfully - may be expelled for any reason and without due process. That article states that "the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action."

I am not advocating that the United States of America adopt similar provisions in its immigration laws. However, I do not think we should take Mexico's protestations against enforcement of our existing law, and a reasonable tightening of our border security, too seriously in light of that nation's evident willingness to place the economic and political interests of its citizens ahead of any immigrant, legal or illegal. If Mexico wants its citizens to have a better shot at prosperity, then that nation needs to reform its bloated and corrupt bureaucracies and improve its economy instead of relying on a porous American border to do the job for it.

Originally posted to FlagstaffHank on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yeah... (0+ / 0-)

    and what's with the no condoms thing, seriously.</snark>

    Remember I didn't come here just to comfort the afflicted, but to afflict the comfortable.

    by Daily Prose on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:55:56 PM PDT

  •  Absolutely!! 'nuf said n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:57:31 PM PDT

  •  I agree with all that. (4+ / 0-)

    And we have to give them the resources to do so, starting with overhauling NAFTA; it is the one treaty that has greatly contributed to the increased numbers of immigrants coming here.

  •  We should never hold judge ourselves using (0+ / 0-)

    Mexico as a standard.

    I would note that Mexico is a wee bit sensitive to intermeddling from the US--hence some of those provisions.

    •  Um (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hind, Kingsmeg

      You're amazingly diplomatic here. This diary is dangerously misleading in its lack of historical context.

      I would suggest that the diarist look into the history of the Gadsden Purchase and the various Mexican conflicts of the 19th century.

      •  I am not criticizing Mexico's policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stodghie

        I am not disputing Mexico's historical reasons for having the policy it does. I am simply pointing out that what Mexico asks of the U.S., in terms of immigration policy, is not what it asks of itself.

        I do not believe that such a double standard can be justified on the grounds that Mexico's government does not accept the results of the Mexican War of 1848. That war was won by the U.S. and Mexico ceded lands north of the present border to this nation by treaties. If Mexico had not desired to do so, then it would not have signed and ratified those treaties. It could have chosen instead to accept the consequences of further military conflict with the United States.

        It is easy now to say that the Mexican War was unjustified. But the fact is, the war was fought and it was won by the United STates. It is too late for Mexico to expect any American to take seriously any claim that justice requires its citizens to be allowed willy-nilly across the international border without any serious attempt to force those emigrants to obey American immigration law.

        And aside from any historical argument Mexico may make for its policy, the reality is that its government is acting hypocritically when it asks us for liberalized immigration policies and lax border control while it tightly restricts immigration itself.

      •  Hank is a Republican (0+ / 0-)

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 07:55:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  These Provisions Also Apply to Non-Americans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stodghie

      The impact of these provisions is to discriminate against Guatemalans, Hondurans, and other Central Americans immigrating or passing through Mexico.

      Don't give Mexico a free pass because of something that happened in 1848.  That would be akin to the U.S. discriminating against people from Sweden because we were angry with the Germans and Japanese over WW2.

  •  That only applies to the 3 immigrants they had (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    hind

    last year.

    "Bin Laden determined to strike in US"- Presidential Daily Briefing - August 6, 2001

    by What were you thinking on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:10:24 PM PDT

  •  Over 500,000 Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reflectionsv37

    Live permanently in Mexico.

    •  That's what the announcer on 1640 said. (0+ / 0-)

      It's pretty funny.

      If you mention that marching around waving Mexican flags may not be the most effective protest method, you get Troll Rated.

      But one of the announcers on one of Salt Lake City's Spanish language radio stations said.

      She said, "How would we feel if all the Americans in Jalisco started marching around waving US flags?"

      I met a couple of US expatriates in Quintana Roo.  The only Mexican political matter they would ever get involved in is when the Mexican government prohibits the sale of alcohol on election days.

      •  I waving my Mexican flag right know why does (0+ / 0-)

        that upset you?

        Are my taxes illegal too?

        by americanforliberty on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:11:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  More Mexican flags = (0+ / 0-)

          more chances that Pumas will play up here some day.

          Cachun Ra Cachun Ra Goya!

          But the announcer on the Spanish speaking radio station here said that too many Mexican flags might be counterproductive.  Troll rate her if she has a Login here.

          Maybe she was sucking up to our Paleocon state attorney general Mark Shurtleff, who I am pretty sure was on the show.  He speaks fluent Spanish.

          •  I troll rate you but you are so (0+ / 0-)
            pathetic that I hope everyone sees your a goofball.

            Are my taxes illegal too?

            by americanforliberty on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 07:06:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're just mad because Lavolpe left Blanco out (0+ / 0-)

              You Troll Rated me for cracking on the Zopilotes, so you must be an Americanista.

              As for the flags, your beef is with Fabián Núñez

              Fabián Núñez, presidente de la Asamblea de California y quien participó como organizador en el movimiento del 94, asegura que aunque en aquella ocasión se distribuyeron cerca de 10 mil banderas estadounidenses, “la gente por su propia cuenta llegó con sus banderas mexicanas y centroamericanas, porque en ese tiempo ésa era una expresión ante la represión”, recuerda. “Fue una voz que se escuchó, no planeada, espontánea, pero no queremos cometer el mismo error, porque en aquél momento esto hizo que se cuestionara nuestra lealtad al país”, comenta.

    •  Not quite... (0+ / 0-)

      According to the Association of Americans Resident Abroad, approximately 1,036,300 of us live there.

  •  Latter Day Saint missionaries? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fgentile
    1. Article 130 says that no immigrant, even a legal one, can become a member of the clergy in Mexico.

    That's funny.

    The Latter Day Saint church has sent at least hundred, maybe thousands of missionaries to Mexico.

    All Latter Day Saint men are considered part of their Priesthood.

    Many LDS politicians like Orrin Hatch and Chris Cannon have sponsored legislation like the DREAM Act that is considered "Pro Immigrant".

    The LDS politicians don't want the Mexican government "misplacing" the missionaries' visa......

  •  The worst discrimation in Mexico.... (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    balancedscales
    Hidden by:
    americanforliberty

    ....against immigrants; no one is mentioning.

    Foreigners & immigrants can't play for Chivas.

    How could they deprive a law-abiding foreigner or immigrant from the pleasure of beating the Zopilotes de Amierdica?

  •  Mexican Politicians are Hypocrites (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie

    This diary is right on-point.  While I agree that we shouldn't emulate Mexico, we also shouldn't have to listen to whining and complaining by Mexican politicians.

    Mexico is very discriminatory toward immigrants.  And there are many illegal immigrants in Mexico, crossing the border from Guatemala.  Wages are higher in Mexico than Central America, and it's obviously also on the route from Central America to the United States.

    All these Mexican politicians, including Vicente Fox, need to shut the hell up.  Fix their own country first!

    •  Freedom of speech (0+ / 0-)

      is only for Americans, then?

      I don't like Fox. He is Bush Jr., as far as I am concerned, but I have a problem with someone telling the head of a sovreign nation that he should shut up.

      •  Basic Human Rights (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stodghie

        What I am saying is that Vicente Fox should enact basic human rights in his country.  

        I have no more interest in listening to him than any other foreign leader that doesn't follow basic human rights (including the right to a fair hearing before a legal immigrant is expelled from the country.)  

        I don't see any distinction between Mexico's constitution and Bush's (false) interpretation of our constitution relative to enemy combatants and Guatanamo.

  •  If You Had Been Raped (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Asak, Great Cthulhu

    ,er Invaded by foreigners, (U.S. and French) as many times as Mexico has, you would have your constitution read the way theirs does. I suggest you learn some Mexican and US/Mexican history before shooting off a half-cocked diary.

    Start with Meximilian, one of the last of the Habsburgs, who was installed as Emperor of Mexico by Napoleon II (or was it III) between 1860 - 65.

    Definitely read "So Far From God" by John S.D. Eisenhower (son of Dwight) which will give you a great deal of insight into the little US adventure in 1846, which resulted in our (US) taking the northern 1/2 of the country as the price for our de-occupying their soverign nation. That area is now known as California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. Didn't count Texas, cuz they had already split away (with US help). Like Iraq, we picked that fight.

    As far as the immigration problem... the US helped create it by supporting the economic/political system that developed in Mexico after the Revolution  in 1910-1916. We were working behind the scenes big time to make sure that our investments were safe and the "right people" were in office.

    The result was the mismanaged FUBAR you have today. ZERO job growth, population increased from 80 million to over a 100 million inless than 20 years... etc.

    Have I mentioned the entrenched, endemic corruption... the police are considered part of the criminal class... The narcos virtually run northern Mexico and own the Army....

    All this bullshit about "solving the immigration problem" will pale if we truly stop the flow across the border. It will be like a pressure cooker with no escape valve being placed on top of a blast furnace.

    Believe me, the folks who live anywhere near the border will wish we had helped the Mexicans instead of trying to act the xenophobic bunch of jingoistic racists these immigration bills show us to be. Liberals included.

    •  No Excuses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stodghie

      I have little tolerance for this sort of excuse.  Either you recognize basic human rights (including the right to a fair trial for a legal immigrant rather than expulsion from the country without a hearing), or you don't.

      •  Poland, Czech Republic & the Baltic Republics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stodghie

        Poland, the Czech Republic & the Baltic Republics were taken over by a large, mismanaged empire and later won their freedom.

        And they are doing OK now.

      •  This Ain't No Excuse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        balancedscales

        Immigrants here don't get a fair trial either... ever been in front of an immigration judge? My wife has... she had to go thru the sweet residency process ten years ago and it is even harder now.

        You ought to check out and see how easy Mexico makes it for gringo to immigrate... not hard at all... certainly much easier than we make it for them...

        Also, you can't be prez of the USA if you are not native born...

        •  we aren't moving in trying to take their jobs. (0+ / 0-)

          most or nearly all who move to mexico are retired and have the funds to do. furthermore, they are not moving in such great numbers so as to put the economy or the intrastructure in jepordy.if they were, i am sure senor fox would stop it.

          •  Lots of gringos Look for work in Mexico (0+ / 0-)

            They want the marketing, translating, sales, whatever kind of white collar better paying work they can find... many are legal, brought in by their multinational employer (I was one, but I set up a mexican engineering firm and moved on)many others are illegal... the net result is a lot of college educated Mexicans who can't work in their field...

            It's a lot easier to get a tourist visa to mexic than to the US... even if you are a poor gringo, you get in if you have a round trip ticket... You oughta see what nice middle class and wealthy Mexicans have to do to get and keep their visas... and if the Mexico City US Embassy gives them a visa, they can still be turned away when they get LA because our friendly Homeland Security folks don't like the way they look or answer questions...

            By the way, you mean to tell me you're willing to work cattle, wash dishes, pick strawberries, work a roofing crew in the summer, etc. if there are no more undocumented workers?

            And as for Lameculos Fox, the Bush de Mexico, he already done ruined the economy, at least what was left of it... dumb a..hole won the election on promises of real change... ha ha ha... all he changed was who is getting the vast river of money the politicians steal every new administration... plus he's done his best to destroy the social safety net that provided some minimum of health care, etc. for the vast majority of Mexicans on the bottom end of the economy....

            I can hardly wait to see what happens here when interest rates go higher, we have more layoffs by major corporations and the pension plans screw all the retirees... The Mexicans watched their whole economy jump in the toilet in 1980, when someone lifted the sewer lid in 1988, the peso had gone numerous devaluations, banks has unilaterally raised interest rates on home mortgages to 60%... there was damn near a revolutin. Could be another one...  

            •  Timeshares (0+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              Hidden by:
              americanforliberty

              In the tourist areas of Quintana Roo, Americans work in tourist businesses, sell timeshares, tend bar, etc.  But then a few Europeans do the same thing.

              Then there's Zinha, Franco, Caballero & Gaitan.......

              By the way, you mean to tell me you're willing to work cattle, wash dishes, pick strawberries, work a roofing crew in the summer, etc. if there are no more undocumented workers?

              When I was in high school, I was an office building janitor.

              Around here, Polynesians do the kind of jobs you mentioned.  

            •  well i was traveling to mexico frequently during (0+ / 0-)

              the problem with pesos. i have a business friend in mexico city who does not much care for mr. fox. i am thinking it is possible that the mayor of mexico city just might be elected president. south america is swinging left it seems.

            •  i would also say on the subject of americans (0+ / 0-)

              working in mexico that it is very difficult for them to do so unless they do something like investing on the computer. some work for international companies who have offices there. and the proportion of americans working in mexico is overall very negligble compared to the numbers in the usa.

              •  If You Haven't Been There (0+ / 0-)

                Don't think you know anything about Mexico until you have lived there at least 5 years... which is long enough to realize you know nothing. There's a guy here on Kos who's living and working in Mexico as a graphic designer... damfino if he's legal or not... I was down there with my family when the magazine I was editing folded due to the 95 devaluation... I ended up translating, freelancing, being an international correspondent... even interviewed the Mexican Attorney General and I was illegal as hell... lots of gringos work under the radar on tourist visas...

    •  You say that like it's a bad thing (0+ / 0-)

      [snark]You're complaining about not having Utah be part of your country?[/snark]

      That's how I handle the Aztlan.net types.  "OK, fine.  You want to repeal Guadalupe Hidalgo?  Well, you'll be stuck with Utah!  Ha, ha!"

      Do you think that AMLO will make a difference?

    •  Out-friggin-standing! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Asak, balancedscales

      It's about time someone spoke out about US-Mexican history.

      Any American who views Mexicans as "foreigners" misses a crucial point that Mexicans will never cede: Half of their country is under US occupation.  These people aren't "infiltrating our country" so much as they are "moving within their own country".

      Whether or not we agree with that isn't relevant: Mexico is a nation who lost half their sovereignty because a bunch of illegal immigrants wanted to own slaves (FUCK the Alamo), and because a hostile neighbor wanted to steal more land.  All that matters is that if we approach Mexico with a "stay out of our patch" attitude, then we'll never achieve any cooperation from their government, nor any sympathy from their people.

      Is Mexico's immigration policy unfair?  Perhaps by our own subjectgive and unique standards.  But then again, the US hasn't been invaded, occupied, plundered, and pillaged to any degree remotely resembling what we have done to Mexico.

      Ironically, one of the most charming things that I encountered in Puebla and Oaxaca was the bewilderment most Mexicans express towards their northern confederates going to America--every Mexican I talked to in both of those states were incapable of understanding why anyone would want to move TO the US.

      Can't say I disagree, given our image of violence, intolerance, crime, political thuggery and insatiable greed.  And despite their "unfair" immigrations laws, I do very much look forward to retiring to Oaxaca.

      Cthulhu 4 Preznit -- Why vote for petty evil?

      by Great Cthulhu on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:42:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Great Cthulhu, balancedscales

        My wife never wanted to come here (USA)... we are here because this is where I can make a living... As soon as we have a lttile more money and our business organized, we are outta here...If the damn border wasn't so difficult and dangerous, a lot of the folks who are here w/o documents would be heading back home to be with their families... Now they stay here and send for their families, or abandon them.

      •  well the spanish were hell on the indian empires (0+ / 0-)

        whose land this really is. they won by conquest and war just like mexico did with spain. so what's the deal? conquest and war have resulted in the change of land ownership since before the time of christ. that doesn't make mexico special. maybe based on that premise, spain should ask for her empire back and england should say they want their colonies back. huh?

        •  hmm, let's work our way through this falacy (0+ / 0-)

          well the spanish were hell on the indian empires whose land this really is. they won by conquest and war just like mexico did with spain.

          The "Indians" were here first.  They're the original inhabitants, and all others are invaders.  If being first means being the indig, then no one--not even Spain--has a claim.

          conquest and war have resulted in the change of land ownership since before the time of christ.

          People have been invading and stealing lands from indigenous peoples since before Christ.  So?  Does that make it right?  Even you don't think so.  Or, at least, I hope you're not rightarded enough to think so.

          maybe based on that premise, spain should ask for her empire back and england should say they want their colonies back. huh?

          Maybe we should stop with the strawmen and understand that we're talking about Mexico and the US, and that all that matters in the immigration debate is that Mexicans--in my view, rightly--view the US as recent invaders, and that maybe we should have a bit more respect for their point of view if we want to work a realistic solution to this hot-button issue.

          Cthulhu 4 Preznit -- Why vote for petty evil?

          by Great Cthulhu on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 09:29:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i have respect for americans and my country. (0+ / 0-)

            especially when i see her under constant criticism. i don't much respect the politicans. the usa is just one more country in the world. i have more of an issue with our economic policies toward central and south america. i have a problem with nafta. and respect goes both ways if not for the government then for the people. and i am talking issues here. please don't start that retarded inuendo. it isn't  fitting.

            as for conquest, what i think doesn't much matter. i am talking about history. conquest isn't right, but who said the ways of the world are right. to try and use that as an excuse for the heated rhetoric is not appropriate.

          •  Let me get this straight . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stodghie

            We are supposed to give credence to some crackpot notion that our victory in the Mexican War (one hundred and fifty-eight years ago) somehow renders our territorial claim to the American Southwest invalid? We're supposed to "discuss" what OUR law on immigration is with Mexico, to make sure Mexico is "comfortable" with it, because Mexico is still pissed off that it lost that war?

            Come on. The reality is this. Too many people are violating American immigration law. Those people are taking jobs from Americans that need them. They are driving wages down, imposing huge economic costs on cities and towns and counties and states, and fomenting disrespect for law and a loss of confidence in our government's ability to defend our borders. And, maybe most importantly, some of those people illegally crossing our borders may mean to do this country harm.

            Lawful immigration is to be celebrated and we should do all we can to welcome lawful immigrants while encouraging them to fully integrate themselves into our culture and society. Unlawful immigration, on the other hand, must be discouraged and stopped, no matter what country the unlawful immigrant called home before crossing our border.

            •  You Need to Get Real (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Great Cthulhu, balancedscales
              1. We should be looking at this thing from a larger and realistic perspective.. and keeping in mind why it is hypocritcal for us to tell Mexicans to go back to mexico when our entire West and Southwest were Mexico not so long ago... because we invaded and took it...

              I recall we are supporting Israel who we helped "Take back their Biblical Homeland" from which they had been absent 1000 years.

              I am NOT advocating we give anything back. I am advocating you keep these things in mind.

              1. The reality is that US jobs are going overseas because the world is changing... China and India are two of the major reasons... Our government helped set up this whole economic boondoggle that is enriching the Multinational Corporations.
              1. The Mexicans and Central Americans who come here looking to do our shit work are doing work that our own folks won't do even if you pay them $5.00/hour more than the Mexicans work for. You call yourself Flaggstaff Hank... that mean you live in Flagstaff?

              If so, why don't you see how many of your fellow "Americans" are willing to work on a roofing crew in
              Phoenix this coming summer?

              As for the security/crime argument... that is the best reason for documenting these folks... it will make it easier to separate the few bad apples from the truckloads of good ones.

              Raise the Minmimum wage to $10/Hour. Make it easy to report violations, with string penalties for violations and let the market work. Make it apply to every kind of work, including agriculture and restaurants (McDonalds).

              I know my kids won't work for less than $10/hour. And they sure won't do what the Mexicans are willing to do for that money. Let's see how many of our barstool warriors and drive time philosophers who bitch and moan about the illegals are willing to work if the pay is better.

              Plus, if we truly stop the migration from the south and block the economic escape valve that is keeping Mexico from falling into a bloody revolution, a revolution that the US has helped sow the seeds of over the last 75 years, then you won't believe the shitstorm that will come across our southern border.

              •  you are asking us to make you comfortable and (0+ / 0-)

                the it is basically screw americans. so sorry, but that won't fly.

                •  Can You Read? (0+ / 0-)

                  Are you capable of understanding a cogent argument about the reality of a situation instead of looking at it through the meme filter you insist on wearing?

                  1. There are a lot of jobs in this country that it is damn near impossible to get anyone who lives here to do... The minimum wage is too low, Kennedy wants to raise it to $7.75 (a  joke) and I guarantee you the majority of jobs the undocumented workers are getting are the shit jobs.

                  If they get moved up, it's because they work their asses off and show up. The problem is the abuse they have to take. That's why I advocate a $10/hr. minimum and strict enforcement of the wage laws... then we'll see how many "real americans" show up for the chicken plucking and roof tarring.

                  We've been screwed by our own government and the free trade agreements and laws governing multinational business practices.

                  It's not for my comfort.. I live in a house on an island...

                  •  yeah, right, sure! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    balancedscales

                    Between 1980 and 2000 legal and illegal immigration reduced annual earnings by 4% and 7.4% for those without high school diplomas. source: George Borgas at JFK School of Government, Harvard University. From the Center for Immigration Studies(2000). The net cost per illegal worker after taxes and services cost over a lifetime is $55,200 which would be paid by american tax payers.

                    Steven A Camarota wrote for the MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE on 2/20/05

                    "When public opinion polls generally show must Americans , including Hispanics, want less immigration, legal and illegal, those in positions of authority in this country generally sing the praises of mass migration. One reason elites like immigration so much is that they do not face the job competition that lower income Americans face."

                    "When businesses say immigrants only take jobs Americans don't want, what they really mean is that given what they would like to pay and how they would like to treat their workers, they cannot find enough Americans."

                    "Improving job opportunies for the poorest American workers and increasing the productivity of the economy are both sound public policy goals."

                    "Reducing the level of legal and illegal immigration now running 1.5 million a year would do both."

                    Poll Report, NEGATIVE POPULATION GROWTH(3/2003): 68% of polled Americans believe US should set goal of completely halting illegal immigration.

                    We cannot afford ongoing, nonending illegal immigration. Period! And your little jibes about my background and attitude are sad. I wrote an article for HUD during the Clinton years on removing stigma in real estate transactions involving minorities. I took some heat from the "good ole boys" in my field for that one. I was Chairman of a Non Profit that supplied mortgage assistance from the state and most of our clients were Hispanic. When I see the lack of understanding and hostility towards those of us who don't agree with your arguments, the only result is a larger divide. And by looking at the polls, I think the divide will become greater. If you advocated a program for those here for a long period and serious border controls to stop the flow of illegal immigration, I think you would be a very positive response. But I don't think that will happen.

                    •  What Do You Call Serious Controls? (0+ / 0-)

                      A 700 Mile Wall?  

                      I do not advocate ongoing, unending ILLEGAL immigration. I advocate setting up a documentation program for people who want to come here to work in job fields where there are proven labor shortages...
                      You know how much the government loves to gather statistics... they can gather them for the workers as well... AT THE SAME TIME, raise the minimum wage, so that whoever is working is paid a living wage, ENFORCE that wage, and let's see how many US born and bred want the jobs. The way we control our borders is by documenting who's coming in... The Mexicans and Central Americans are all used to waiting in lines to get permits, etc. The great majority are law abiding people who want to get ahead of the grinding poverty they are trapped in in their home countries. Here's where you need to read to find out why that's so and why the US has a big hand in that poverty.

                      I also suggest you read David Niewert's Tuesday post on his Orcinus blog. http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/

                      As for unlimited immigration... the only way to stop the immigration is to get busy and rewrite NAFTA and other trade agreeements to encourage the multinationals to bring jobs back to Mexico from China, plus encourage the Mexican government to get serious about solving their idustrial infratsructure and education problems. I was an editor for a McGraw-Hill construction magazine aimed at the Mexican and South American construction markets during the 90's.

                      We were suckered into NAFTA. So was Mexico. NAFTA by itself might have worked, but then we recognized China and the multinationals moved the jobs there almost overnight. I interviewed the heads of the Inter-American Development Bank and other international finance organizations. They told me they had billions ready for Mexico to rebuild its physical infrastructure; the highways, etc., needed to allow industrial construction further south where the great majority of the illegals come from. The mexican government refused the money because they did not want to submit to the oversight.

                      NAFTA also opened the door for our Agri Multinationals to enter the Mexican markets and production chains. Small farmers cannot afford the patented seeds and they cannot compete with the large scale farms... just like here. So they leave the land and head north to work.

                      Most Mexicans would just as soon not have to leave their country and embark on a dangerous trek north, where they have to pay several thousand dollars to a coyote to get them across the line and who may leave them robbed, raped or dead. Most want to work a while and return. The tight border controls discourage that, because they know they won't be able to get back if they go home for a few months.

                      This a complex problemn with deep roots, multiple causes and no easy solutions. We need to start think of Mexico and The US as one integrtaed economic system at the worker level. This means higher minimum wages and job creation in both countries. The systems are integrated as far as the banks and multinationals are concerned.  

                      •  miguel, i totally agree with about nafta. (0+ / 0-)

                        i also agree that it is a complex problem. i do know that stopping the influx of illegal immigrants by a variety of means is a beginning and not the end. all of the comments about minimun wage, nafta, and the workers being shafted get no argument from me. what i want is an end to the endless stream, and i want these other changes just as much.

                        i'll return to your comments this weekend and make an effort to review your suggested items.

              •  A reply (0+ / 0-)

                I'll reply to your points and questions in turn.

                1. I consider Mexico's sovereignty over the Guadalupe-Hidalgo and Gadsden Purchase lands prior to the Mexican War irrelevant to the immigration debate and I think most other Americans do, too. Whether Mexico likes it or not, and whether Mexican citizens like it or not, those lands were ceded (in the case of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo) or sold (in the case of the Gadsden Purchase) to the United States of America by the Republic of Mexico. Mexico could have continued fighting the United States if it did not wish to agree to the terms that settled the Mexican War. This immigration debate is not about the justice or morality of the Mexican War. That war is a matter of history and it is undisputed and indisputable, as a matter of politics and international law, that the lands ceded or sold by Mexico to the United States as a means of settling the Mexican War are subject to American sovereignty. That sovereignty plainly includes the right to control the international border.
                1. This debate is not about "free trade," outsourcing, or the competitive advantage of nations in the labor market. It is, in my view, about three things: (a) the imperative of having a society in which ALL immigrants are assimilated fully into American political, economic, and social culture; (b) the national security need to assure that no terrorist who may do this nation and its people harm crosses the border; © the importance of providing employment opportunities to American citizens first, lawful immigrants second, and to guest workers here pursuant to permission third; and (d) the vital significance of rewarding people who obey the law as they emigrate here and of punishing people who disobey the law.

                That someone coming from Mexico across the border illegally has a tough life in Mexico and that Mexico provides few economic opportunities is not an excuse for lawbreaking. If someone has a claim to be a refugee or for asylum, let them make the claim. I am confident it will be considered fairly. Otherwise, do what our law requires and don't come into our country without permission.

                The argument that illegal immigrants do jobs that Americans won't take is, to be blunt, bullshit. Americans don't take those jobs now because (1) employers won't hire them, since illegals can be paid much less - less, even, than minimum wage, and (2) many Americans think that, because illegals take those jobs, the jobs are beneath them - an attitude that is racist, arrogant, and entitled. That attitude will change if the ability of employers to exploit illegal labor is taken away.

                1. I do not live in Flagstaff, but I do live in a state heavily affected by illegal immigration. The sheer volume of such unlawful immigration is placing enormous fiscal burdens on our cities and counties and school districts. The federal government does next to nothing to alleviate those burdens, the consequences of which is reduced public services and increased tax obligations to many citizens of this country and to those who are not citizens but who are legally entitled to reside and work here. The fiscal burden of illegal immigration that falls on American communities cannot be ameliorated without significantly stricter controls on unlawful border crossings and illegal employment of aliens.
                1. I agree that the minimum wage should be raised, but the benefits of that increase are unlikely to flow to illegal immigrants in any case because they are hired for the reason that they can be exploited and have little legal recourse without fear of deportation. Therefore this suggestion, while worthy as a matter of economic and social justice, is unlikely to have any significant positive impact on the immigration crisis affecting our nation.
                1. If Mexico is facing the prospect of social and political instability as a result of its poor economic management and corrupt government, then that is its own problem. We should use our armed forces, supplemented as necessary if appropriate, to defend our borders and prevent such unrest from causing tumult in our nation. Any person who attempts to cross the border illegally should, if caught, be deported immediately. Any employer who hires an illegal immigrant should be substantially fined for the first offense, with responsible individual managers jailed for subsequent offenses. Mexico should be told in no uncertain terms that any failure to keep unrest within its own country will be met by the use of American forces to maintain border security, including conditions south of the border that will promote that status. We are not responsible for Mexico's problems and no amount of historical Mexican suspicion of the United States changes that reality. That said, I support increased economic aid to Mexico, tied to a mandatory and rapid program of government reform aimed at weeding out entrenched bureaucrats, corruption, and one-party rule and at promoting a rational, uniform system of law and judicial process improvement and reform.
  •  *I just have one question* (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie

    Where is the right wing media on this? Can you imagine their reaction if the head of any other country, let's say France, were to work up the nerve to try to dictate our immigration policies and border security strategy?

  •  Mixed Feelings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie

    There's a lot to like about Mexico and Mexicans, but their economic and political culture aren't in my estimation among them.

    While I am a Mayflower descendant (raised lower-middle class, thank you) and my ancestral lines were all here by about 1830, my wife's grandparents were all born in Italy, one of our daughters is a naturalized citizen (adopted from Vietnam).  I am not native fluent but speak Spanish serviceably (as well as half a dozen other languages) and at least three "Hispanic" nations (Spain, Chile and Uruguay) are on my short list of countries I'm considering emigrating to if the Pugs are still running everything in 2007.  I also have cousins who emigrated to Brazil and inter-married with Brazilians of mixed heritage, and my kids by my choice (as in "I moved from one town to another and I pay private school tuition") attend a school with a very considerable Spanish (and African-American) populations.  So before lecturing me about racism, just bite me.

    But here are my "issues."

    First, as an American considering emigration, I'm less than thrilled to be lectured on the right to a green card on the part of anyone who has evaded detection here for any length of time, if their country of origin would kick me out on my ass were I to try to emigrate there (and without investing some huge sum of money that I don't have).

    Second, the people who gush about how boundaries are meaningless and start humming the tune to "Imagine" -- well, at a certain hyper-idealistic level I have some sympathy, but if you're gonna start about how it's all patriarchy and private property and fascism and blah blah blah, can I move into your house next week, with my family and a bunch of my friends?  No?  Then shut up with that shit, please.

    I have a fundamental problem with "all-or-nothing."  In other words, I don't think one has to favor legalizing everyone (or everyone minus a few murderers and other vicious criminals) who has managed to enter the country and remain here longer than a few weeks.  Or everyone who has crossed the border and dropped a baby on U.S. soil.  Nor am I saying that no one should be permitted to immigrate here.

    But if we're gonna have open borders, then I hope you're prepared my friends for the huge onslaught who will come here until our economy craters (as it may, quite apart from immigration issues).  I may be wrong, but often I feel that "open borders" advocates are nearly all (1) people who employ, or who want to employ, labor at coolie wages; (2) people sufficiently well-to-do that they think that negative economic impacts from UNLIMITED AND UNCONTROLLED immigration will not reach them; (3) undocumented aliens unlawfully in the US; and (4) people in parts of Merka that, as yet, have not had a heavy influx of recent, as-yet-unassimilated immigrants (I think 80 percent of the illegal and recent legal immigrants are in 8 or 10 states).

    Also, while much hoo-ha was made about people waving Mexican flags in the recent demonstrations, let me ask this:  is there, or is there not, a view held by some significant portion of the Mexican and Mexican-American and indeed the broader Latina communities in the US that what ought to happen is that non-Latinos should be displaced -- by violence, if immigration in large numbers doesn't bring it about without overt violence -- from some significant swath of the US, reaching from Texas to California, with those territories to become autonomous or independent of the US?

    What was the Mexican population of the lands appropriated by the US in the 1830s?  Just curious.  If you are Mexican or of Mexican descent, and think that the results of the Mexican war ought to be overturned and non-Mexicans expelled from parts of what are now the US, would I (a Southerner) be justified in saying, hey, it's time to revisit the War of Yankee Aggression (and hey, I wouldn't expel any blacks, but there are definitely some Yankees Dixie could do without)??

    If your view is that a racial or, indeed, racist Mexican nationalist movement aimed at "reconquering" parts of the US is not only a great idea, but one that all non-racist (huh?) progressive types should champion, well apart from my own disagreement with the program, d'ya think your'e gonna sell it to the Merkan masses?  

    I don't think the extremist view is held by all or necessarily most Mexicans or Latinos presently in the US, but I don't think it's a de minimus proportion, either.  Whatever the numbers, I think it's entirely honorable to fashion your ownindividual immigration policy, taking into account your own estimation of the intentions of the largest single immigrant group, obviously the Mexicans, currently within our borders.

    Finally, if your policy is anything less than "anyone who wants to come here should be able to," give or take actual murderers and child molesters, giving a thinly veneered amnesty (green cards for all, or nearly all, of the between 8 and 30 million undocumented people now in the US) basically says that we are abandoning all efforts to control immigration, except perhaps as to the aforementioned rapist/murderers.  All ya gotta do is get here, hide out a while, and every couple of years there will be a "green card jubilee" and there's your green card.

    I don't ignore nor deprecate for a nanosecond that we are, indeed a nation of immigrants, nor the contributions made in the past and that continue to be made by immigrants, and that on balance immigration has been (and indeed continues to be) a blessing for those already here, as well as (by and large, with all recognition of hardships, obstacles, racism, etc.) for the immigrants themselves.

    However, if one is not prepared to advocate anyone getting here receiving a green card, then two things should be noted.  First, speaking just for myself, Tom Tancredo is I think correct in saying that having immigration laws (and Border Patrol and whatever INS is now called in the "Reich Security" apparatus) is bullshit and an unjustifiable waste of taxpayer dollars if there be no intent to enforce those laws.  Why pay for immigration courts if anyone here, or here for a year or two, gets a green card automatically?

    The other thing is that if we intend to continue to have any numerical limits on immigration from year to year, whatever we do regarding the many millions of people here now in violation of our laws matters, and matters greatly.  I don't minimize, and indeed I am not at all comfortable with the consequences, but the influx within the past ten years or so has been so huge, that any "solution" aimed in part at preserving one attribute of national sovereignty (the right to decide who gets to immigrate here and stay) either must involve sending more than a tiny number of actual criminals back to their countries of origin, or will completely lack any credibility.

    For years, of course, immigration policy favored European whites and disfavored anyone else.  One could ask, should Muslims from societies that impose Sharia law, and in which the idea of separation of Mosque and state is not only not honored, but viewed as an abomination, be welcome (and without some individual demonstration that they do not share those views) be welcomed without differentiation from others who might wish to come?  (I'm uncertain how I would answer that question, but if you don't want a fundamentalist from Alabama living next door, perhaps a Pakistani who believes an unchaste woman should absolutely die might be an even shittier neighbor).

    If the proximity of Mexico, and the undeniably large difficulties of physically stopping would-be immigrants from crossing the border, mandates a particularized policy for that nation, well we're re-introducing a quota of sorts, albeit not one favoring white Europeans.  If we want to do that, let's do it deliberately.

    I read here and there that the far-right of far-right elites in Merka have brought about, and intend to continue to promote, virtually unchecked immigration here from Mexico, as it raises inter-ethnic frictions that distract people from the great evils that AmeriKills and BushCo are up to (it's a cousin to the "Southern strategy" of splitting off whites from blacks in the South) and in addition to providing cheap labor, will tend over time to reduce workers' (and environmentalists') expectations to the level of "just a little bit better than Mexico."  I would not like to live in a society as politically corrupt and oligarchic as Mexico's, and as (immigration aside) our own country alas is tending in that direction anyway (more corruption, less economic parity, a handful of people own 90% of everything) I'm not sure it makes me a thoroughly evil person if I have some second thoughts about permitting a very large, or indeed wholly unlimited number of people for whom any improvement over Mexican social, educational, health, and economic standards seems like Paradise to come here.  Having said that, I'm by no means comfortable turning them away, either, I promise.

    "We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky . . . and lost amidst the subway crowds, I try to catch your eye." (L. Cohen)

    by proudtinfoilhat on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 05:15:20 PM PDT

  •  No link, no useful citation. (0+ / 0-)

    Has the smell of...astroturf.

    We're all Helens now. :)

    by cskendrick on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:09:04 PM PDT

    •  Here it is (0+ / 0-)

      Go to www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/Mexicos_Glass_House.pdf.

      Hope this helps.

      BTW, what does astroturf smell like, and what does that have to do with this diary anyway?

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