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Thursday, May 25, 2006

COLUMN: WHY THE BORDER WALL WON'T WORK

If there was any doubt that the $1.9 billion that President Bush wants to spend to build a wall and post 6,000 more troops along the U.S.-Mexico border will not do much to solve the immigration problem, a new study shows that about half of all undocumented workers in the United States have entered the country legally and overstayed their visas. Read the column in The Miami Herald.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You wrote: “The only way to prevent more Latin Americans from moving to the United States in coming years will be to start narrowing the income gap between the United States and its southern neighbors.” Hooray – finally someone in the mainstream press advocates for what will work and what is right for us to do!

We Americans have often looked for the “quick policy fix” which frequently results in a waste of human and monetary resources. Unfortunately for us, real solutions tend to be unsexy or politically unpalatable.

Thanks for your column – I read it frequently.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous ProudCubanAmerican said...

It is ironic to me that this entire illegal immigrant debate is based on the premise that the United States must do something.

Where is the responsibility of the corruption-infested, hypocritical government in Mexico that fiercely protects its southern border with central america but provides maps for the illegals to cross into the USA?

Can someone please give me an answer to that? Please?

And as to your conclusion that a wall/fence won't work because 1/2 the 12 million illegal immigrants came with visas: That leaves 6 million who still crossed where a wall/fence might have prevented them.

And, oh by the way, the wall is working in Israel. So don't knock it until we try it.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

Cuban-American- yes, the United States must do something, because they are partially to blame for this situation. The problem is BINATIONAL.

As far as migration from Mexico, this system has grown to tremendous proportions partly due to decades of recruitment/importation of Mexican labor. This is not new- it started since the late 19th century, and MILLIONS of Mexican laborers were imported during the World Wars. After that, they continued to work in many sectors regardless of being "undocumented," and the social networks grew.

The government of Mexico has used immigration as a crutch- politicians aren't doing enough to do away with the inequalities of the country. This is true, and Mexico needs to address this problem.

In regards to Southern Mexico, it is pretty much still run old colonial style-it is the poorest region of Mexico- the wars that ravaged Central America(U.S. involvement) created new links to the U.S., thousands of refugees coming into Mexico. Now it is calculated that there are over 100,000 people coming through yearly trying to get to the U.S. Not only does Mexico have to deal with Central Americans, but Cubans(Lots of Mexicans of Cuban descent in Veracruz and Yucatan), and now South Americans- many Argentines and Brazilians. They are all over the country, and many use Mexico as a way to try to enter the U.S.- when they can't they stay. Also, in Southern Mexico, they don't even treat THEIR OWN right...The immigration problem in Mexico is pretty serious as well and growing, and humanitarian concerns need to be addressed at that border...

Inn regards to the wall, the U.S.-Mexico border is huge...comparing it to the Israeli wall is almost comical. The whole country alone fits inside a corner of Texas.

I agree with Oppenheimer- I am a border resident, very familiar with both the U.S. and Mexico, with the histories of both countries in relation to immigration. They need to offer better work opportunities, decrease the income gap, and cover the holes that NAFTA is leaving in the countryside.

One of the requirements for free trade was that Mexico had to cut its subsidies for peasants- Mexico also now imports more corn(amongst other imports) from the US than it produces in Mexico, and ironically, these displaced Mexican farmers are the ones coming to work in the U.S. IN AGRICULTURE.
How is that helping any?
IMF "development" policies also directed this "development" towards focusing on FISCAL reform and making cuts on education/social reform. Now they are claiming more money should be invested in education/the social sector...

This problem is a combination of problems, and very complex...

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building a wall, increasing ICE/boarder agents, stiffer penalties for employers who hire illegals and most important of all enforce laws (including deportation orders) at all levels of government will dramatically reduce the amount of illegal immigrants in this country.

Slapping on the U.S. the responsibility to improve the economic environment of Mexico, or any other Latin American country, is ridiculous. How do you suggest the income gap between the US and Mexico is reduced? Are Mexicans, in Mexico, entitled to U.S. taxpayer hand-outs? Should we pay them to stay in Mexico? Should the U.S. amend NAFTA and self-impose tariffs on our exports to Mexico. Maybe add that money as a benefit to any remittance made from an illegal to their families in Mexico.

The reality is narrowing the income gap alone will never stop the influx of illegals to the U.S. They will come for political reasons, they will come for better schools, they will come for the safety of their families, they will come for better healthcare. The list is endless.

The grass is always greener on the U.S. side.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Orlando said...

Then lets build the wall to keep the other half out that does not come here legally.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Jose said...

Oye Oppenhiemier, porque siempre estas echandole al pais en caul estas viviendo y defendiendo los Mejicanos? Eres un mamerto.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous ProudCubanAmerican said...

Dear Lili,

With all due respect, to say the United States is to blame for illegal immigration is symptomatic of a culture that blames the USA for everything.

We're to blame for 9-11 because we made the muslims crazy by defending Israel's right to exist.

We're partially to blame for the Tsunami in Indonesia because we didn't fund early detection devices.

We're partially to blame for everybody's bad day because, what the heck, the USA is a great scapegoat. Give me a break.

Do you think Mexico is to blame for the immigration problem on its southern border? Will you please say that or do you simply lay blame on the USA and nowhere else?

As for your other rebutal points ... get back in the kitchen and cook something and leave serious subjects to insightful people.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you people even know how many illeagal immigrants work in the U.S????? in my town if all illeagal immigrants were to stop working no one would have a buisness because there wouldnt be anyone to work

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just let it go there are going to be illeagals getting in to the U.S one way or another

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

proudcubanamerican...
...go back to cuba where nobody should have let you out.

2:26 PM  

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