mind the gap

***Note to my reading friends…This will be my only post in this area.  Please feel free to duke it out in the comments***

The problem of immigration control has been a hot button issue lately.  My Life Group ended up having a great conversation about it last night.  In other words I had a bit of a rant about it.  This is a rare post in that I rarely reveal how I feel about hot button political issues.  I expect that many will disagree and some will agree but here is how I propose America and Americans handled this issue.

First, lets be honest about the problem.  This is about a 90% US/Mexico relations issue.  We don’t see Russians trying to rebuild the land bridge to Alaska or Canadians trying to come and steel our hockey secrets.

Instead of sending National Guard troops to the boarder, maybe we should send diplomats who are willing to re-write some provisions in NAFTA.  One of the promises of NAFTA is that it would better the economy and raises the GDP of all countries involved.  However, there have been a few very clear benefactors of NAFTA.  The USA and Canada.  Mexico has lost.   Mexico has essentially become the cheap labor reserve for the United States. Your new Jetta, that Blackberry, your t-shirt were all produced in things called Free Trade Zones in Mexico and South America.  These are places where these products can be made outside the law of the particular country that they are in.  Which means: low pay, harsh conditions and long hours.

I have heard many people say that the real issue here is employers hiring undocumented workers.  I don’t know, why aren’t we asking, “why are these people willing to risk everything to cross our boarder?”  Employers that break the law should get prosecuted.  But this is not the end all to illegal immigration.

Let’s put this in a little bit different terms.  If you were rich and taken care of, bills are paid, no debt, college is paid for the kids and weddings are taken care of, you would be set right?  But what if you had a brother who lost his job, his house got foreclosed on and your brother turned to crime to feed his family, would it be in your benefit or detriment to help your brother out? I think very obviously it would benefit you to help your brother out.  If you help your brother then the family doesn’t learn that crime is a way to provide for your family.  The family sees that someone cares for them and is grateful.  Your relations become better, and you give your brother a better opportunity to get a job.

It seems like if this scenario was played out in an actual family there would be some dysfunction if the wealthier did not help out the one in need.

My point is that there is a mutual benefit to countries who enter agreements that are close to equal economic partners.

I’m not going to argue the pros and cons of NAFTA but it does seem like with the current illegal immigration issues that America is facing, something has failed.

We need to help close the financial gap between the US and Mexico.  The European Union does this whenever a new country is brought into the EU.  There is a theory that it is to the mutual benefit of both parties that there is not a huge financial gap between the countries.  I agree.


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  • Thomas Lazo

    HOW DARE YOU SHARE A VALID OPINION!!!!1111 just kidding man, good post. There’s a great book called “west of the west” by Mark Arax, and in the chapter called “the summer of the death of hilario guzman” you really see the third world poverty that many mexican immigrants end up in in the central valley. As i was reading it i was amazed that despite the quality of life in America, it was still preferable for them than in Mexico. if we have the opportunity to aid a bordering nation on whom we rely greatly, that should take more precedence than the occasional symbolic action and soundbite give it.