So -- essentially -- what this article suggests is that the US doesn't have the right to police its own borders in the manner in which it chooses.
Again, I repeat:
I understand NAFTA and other trade programs are designed to encourage and mandate free trade and more financial fluidity between nations. I understand that Mexico's economy practically is on the brink of collapse. And I understand that many of these workers are trying to feed their families. But who has the right to suggest the US cannot police -- and PROTECT -- its borders? Ultimately, the President has that right. And by President, I mean Bush, not Fox. A Mexican President filing a lawsuit in the US against the US policing its own borders is as ludicrous as electing Snap, Crackle and Pop, respectively, as heads of the House, Senate and Supreme Court. If you're foreign-born and in this country illegally (or are related to people who are), you will likely believe this is a human rights issue; if you are not foreign-born and, for the most part, do not know or have family that is in this country illegally, you likely see this as a political issue. It is both. However, the problem is that it is a political issue first and foremost.
Point of fact: if the Mexican government is concerned about the welfare of its people dying in their quest to reach American soil, here's a tip: prevent them from crossing into American territory. Here's another tip: if they are on American soil, they're US property, and they can be detained, shot on sight, imprisoned, or simply tossed back over the fence. So in either case, if the Mexican government cares so much about these people, perhaps it should expend some effort in insuring they are safe and secure and remain on Mexican soil.
It's fairly clear that Mexican officials are decrying the US decision to deploy National Guard troops at these border crossings because they want these people easing into and out of the US; if migrant workers can enter and exit the US easily, they can earn good wages (in US dollars) and spend it in Mexico. For every dollar Juan and Maria make in the US, that's a Mexican dollar saved by the Mexican government (ie welfare). More importantly, that's one dollar less a Mexican has to earn by stealing in order to pay to food and clothe and house his family. In that, I'm not suggesting that Mexicans are criminals or immoral; what I am suggesting is that if a man has a family to support and no job, he will eventually find a way to provide for them, even if it means risking his life (by crossing the Rio Grande under threat of high-powered rifles with crosshairs aiming at him) or by committing crime.
The simple fact is that whatever treaties, be it NAFTA or any other trade agreements, are in place, they cannot supercede the US need to protect its own borders. As for a possible amnesty program, any Republican that supports same will be voted out of office; this nation gives amnesty to delinquent taxpayers (hint: only some -- whereas some, like Survivor Richard Hatch get tossed in prison for failure to pay taxes). It doesn't give amnesty to people who are, essentially, squatters. And the fact that they -- on both sides of the border -- are demanding the US not protect its own borders is somewhat sickening. Frankly, this is one of the few times I've consciously believed that if John Kerry were our President this would be a different situation -- as in I expect he would have already begun discussing some sort of amnesty program. Bush -- being the right combination of stupid and stubborn, will not budge simply because people are pointing fingers and complaining -- he's used to that. And to be fair, I think Bill Clinton as President would be in the same position; he wouldn't budge either, simply because he couldn't care less what a bunch of non-voters think. But either way, the bottom line is that the US doesn't need more immigration reform (ahem: John McCain, wake up time). What it needs is more enforcement of current immigration law and better recognition (and respect) for its own borders.
Finally, with respect to my solution for this problem, it seems to me that a major impetus for migrant workers to risk their lives and cross into the US is to support their families. Consult the above-linked CNN article for the following:
Waiting to cross in Ciudad Juarez was Juan Canche, 36, who traveled 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) to the border from the southern Mexican town of Izamal, where he had left his wife, five children and mother.It seems to me that if today's migrant workers began practicing safe sex, or anal sex, or a combination thereof, then Juan and Maria wouldn't have five kids by the time they were 36 and need to cross a polluted, dangerous river only to be met by US marshals with high-powered rifles and bad attitudes. It seems, rather than encouraging looser borders, perhaps the Mexican government should encourage its young people to investigate tighter quarters.
Now that's a solution I can live with.