Batten Down! The Mexicans Are Coming!
Source: Open Talk Magazine 04/02/2011 00:52:00
Now that is a highly un-politically correct statement to make! Perhaps it is a declaration a little too late after the horse has bolted the stables. In the fourteenth century, a similar cry had gone up throughout Europe and Asia regarding a different people—the Turks. Then, the clarion call – ‘The Turks Are Coming’ struck terror in the hearts of Europeans and Asians alike. And come they did, at its height, the Ottoman Empire spread across entire Europe, parts of Africa and Eurasia. From 1299 A.D. to 1683 A.D., the Turks were the world’s first Superpower (Yes, somebody has done it before you did). During that period, everything was ‘Turkishified’; which included language, culture, and law. While the Turkish onslaught was driven by force of arms, a similar more benign movement is seemingly engulfing southern American states. We are talking about a ‘Mexican Wave’ (not the football crowd antic) in which much of the demography of Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida is being ‘Mexicanized’. In fact, in some parts of Florida as the late Samuel Huntington observes in his book “Who Are We?” you do not have to know English to get along; Spanish is just fine.
All this might sound highly offensive, alarmist and downright prejudiced but the facts on the ground are worth recounting. The U.S.-Mexican international border runs for 3,169 kilometers over deserts, mountains and rivers. The border witnesses over half a million of illegal crossings into the U.S. every year. To stem the flow of illegal migrants from Mexico, a Secure Fence Act was enacted in 2006 that put into place a sophisticated barrier extending over 1,100 kilometers with helicopter patrols, border patrol and virtual fencing being deployed. America employs over 10,000 agents reinforced by the National Guard to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, to no avail. Just as the Great Wall of China could not stop invaders and nor has the Israeli Wall made their Palestine problem go away; so has America’s Mexican problem prevailed.
What has this resulted in? Other than a Huntingtonesque demographic invasion, illegal immigration has added to the law and order problem in all southern states of America. Mexican criminal gangs have today made Phoenix a kidnapping-for-ransom capital of the United States. Drug trade that previously used to flow from Latin America now has made Mexico as the chief transshipment point before entering the U.S. Mexican drug cartels have now become so powerful and violent that they have openly started challenging the might of the Mexican state. So bad has become the situation that the Mexican government has been forced to call in the Mexican Army to stem the loss of territorial control. Meanwhile, the Mexicans keep on coming.
Why? Because Mexico is economics stupid! The state of underdevelopment of Mexico is the chief cause for illegal immigration. Leftist theorists blame America’s prosperity for the problem! According to them Mexico’s underdevelopment is rooted in its colonial past that reduced chances of indigenous development. While America developed exponentially, it created a ‘Two tier dependency’ that made Mexico dependent upon America leading to large scale migrations from Mexico to the United States. More so, the cheap labor that Mexicans provide is the bottom line for American employers; though the recent economic downturn has been effective in reducing the flow of immigrants. Conservatives blame lax American domestic laws that allow employers of illegal migrants to get away cheaply in case prosecution.
Don’t blame us for everything says the Mexican government; your drug problem is because of your drug habit. Reform your young, don’t put easy money in their hands and there will be no drug smuggling. Fine linear logic—except it isn’t human! Their more substantive claim is the fact that America’s Second Amendment has made it easy for Mexican criminal gangs to acquire sophisticated arms which make it that much more difficult for Mexico to tamp the gangs down. With the latest Supreme Court ruling on the right to bear arms, gun control advocates are going to find it even more difficult to hustle through tougher gun control laws; which mean the drug cartels will continue to brandish their assault weaponry.
So is there a case for battening down? Let’s view this from a humanist perspective. Think about it! Can America, a nation of immigrants consisting of settlers escaping from religious persecution, deny the same rights to others who are fleeing economic distress? America today has roughly 12 million Mexicans out of which about half are illegal entrants. So what do we do with the six million? A Final Solution? (Incidentally Hitler did six million Jews in). Hunt the down through tougher laws and enforcement regimes? Don’t we already have draconian stipulations existing under the Homeland Security Act that are transforming America into a Police State? Do we wish more of the same without any guarantee of success? In that case what would happen to the vaunted American freedoms?
Solutions? Well there are many, sealing the borders is not one of them. The adage ‘good fences make good neighbors’ works when both neighbors have the same social class and standing. Stronger border controls only encourages Mexicans to stay a lot longer inside the U.S. than they planned previously. Gun control is definitely a solution, and so is reviewing the Second Amendment. The answer lies not in just policing but in improving the economic conditions within Mexico. Therefore, the way forward is to strengthen economic integration. Improving the actual movement of goods through border checkpoints and increasing the support to education programs in Mexico are some solutions that could be tried. Idealistic? Unrealistic? How will you know unless you try it out? In any case the fencing and the patrolling has not worked being a loss to the exchequer of hundreds of millions of dollars!