Tags: Mexico | Encourages | Illegal | Immigration

Mexico Encourages Illegal Immigration

Thursday, 26 February 2004 12:00 AM

In virtually every debate about illegal immigration, the other country primarily involved in this American problem – Mexico – is never held to account, despite its role in actually encouraging its citizens to break into the United States. What is equally less known about this problem is that Mexico does this despite its potential to care for its own citizens.

As I document in my new book,

On the surface, Mexico is indeed laden with extreme poverty. A great many of its citizens live in squalor, and the infrastructure to provide for the population does not exist on the scale it exists in America.

"Anyone who has been to a Mexican border town is immediately overwhelmed by the Third World - the oppressive dirt, decay, too many underfed children," writes Brenda Walker for VDARE.com.

What is not widely know is, it doesn't have to be this way.

One of the most common misconceptions is that Mexico is a poor nation. Mexico has a lot of poverty, yes, but it's not "poor." In terms of the potential to obliterate much of that poverty, Mexico has one of the greatest capacities in all of the Americas to do just that. It is rich in natural resources and, should it decide to tap those resources, could eradicate much of its own destitution.

"Mexico is the richest nation in Latin America when measured by GDP, and by a wide margin: in 2001, Mexico's GDP was the highest in Latin America, a substantial 22.5 percent more than runner-up Brazil," writes Walker. "When GDP per capita is the gauge, Mexico is second only behind Argentina."

Why so much poverty? Why isn't Mexico City doing more to alleviate the suffering? Why are so many Mexican migrants risking life, limb and capture to sneak into the United States? Why aren't there more opportunities for them at home?

Simple. The country's oligarchic elite won't allow that to happen.

For one thing, Mexico's financial infrastructure is woefully inadequate. Mexico's tax collections only amount to about 14 percent of the country's gross domestic product. That compares to 25-28 percent of GDP in the U.S.

"Basically," writes economist Gary Hufbauer of the Institute for International Economics, "the wealthy classes do not want to tax themselves, period."

"Basic social services and infrastructure are awfully lean for a country that wants to move ahead," Hufbauer says. "While I'm not usually an advocate for larger government, Mexico is a country where public investment, done wisely, could pay huge dividends."

Others argue Mexico, by adequately tapping its own financial and physical resources, could do what other economic powerhouses have done – invest its way to success, by building up its industrial infrastructure and educating its own workforce.

Such investment would require money, however. And it's much easier for Mexico to freeload off a willing wealthy neighbor. One like the United States.

And by doing so, Mexico actually reaps financial benefits.

"The immigration scam is very successful: the rulers export their unemployment to the United States and get back billions in remittance cash annually — 2003 is on track to rack up a record $11 billion," writes Walker.

And, led by Mexican President Vincente Fox, Mexico takes some sort of perverse pride in exporting its poverty. The elites there know poor Mexican migrants will be provided for in our country.

They know Mexican children will be cared for and educated. They know medical needs will be met, and they know other basic amenities of life will be supplied.

More importantly, they know they won't have to pay for it.

U.S. politicians who have recently announced a new plan to allow more illegal aliens to find work here are essentially following similar policies embraced by their predecessors – policies which allow Mexican leaders to escape the responsibility they have to provide for their own people.

It's past time for Mexico to grow up and stop mooching from its more successful neighbors. The longer we allow Mexico to freeload, the longer its people will suffer.

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In virtually every debate about illegal immigration, the other country primarily involved in this American problem - Mexico - is never held to account, despite its role in actually encouraging its citizens to break into the United States. What is equally less known about...
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2004-00-26
Thursday, 26 February 2004 12:00 AM
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