January 12, 2004

Viva Mexico!

The arguments for and against President Bush's immigration proposals are all over the map, so to speak. Frankly, they bore me, as both sides seem to lean towards their own completely unrealistic solutions. The "Right" fringe wants to close the borders and throw all the non-citizens out. The "Left" fringe wants some sort of utopia that effectively would do away with borders or any concept of citizenship requirements. Neither is practical or possible.

Personally, while I would lean towards a principled law and order solution, the simple fact of the matter is that there is not now, nor is there ever likely to be, the political will to round up 7-9 million people, deport them, and then monitor the borders closely enough to keep them out. And that's not even considering the potential destabilizing impact to Mexico if we actually tried to do it, which strongly argues against doing anything rash. I have no sympathy for the businesses, agribusinesses and other pampered folks who depend on cheap, undocumented workers to do tasks they may now have to pay a fair wage to get done.

But I do have a modest proposal that would make almost all of the current arguments moot. Let's incorporate Mexico into the United States. Since Mexico has a little more than 1/3 the population of the US, but a little less than 1/4 the area, lets compromise and turn it into 15 states, number 51 though 65. Before you close your mind completely to this, look at the advantages.

1. The whole argument about illegal aliens disappears for about 95% of all immigrants in this country today.

2. The biggest part of the INS can be redirected towards real immigration and terrorism problems.

3. The length of the land border we would have to protect shrinks from about 2,000 miles down to less than 500 (Mexico's border with Guatemala and Belize).

4. It would be a great positive for many, many Mexicans, raising their standard of living very quickly, with labor and environmental laws in the US applied broadly across "the border."

5. Complaints about losing jobs to foreigners because of unfair labor laws and bad environmental practices as a result of NAFTA can be done away with.

6. As part of the USA, the mass migration of the unemployed to El Norte would probably diminish considerably.

7. We can drop the huge amounts of hypocricy that currently dominate any rational discussion of the problems and their solutions.

8. We'll get to see a sort of transnational progressivism implemented according to the rule of law, maintaining the values we cherish, instead of having it imposed on us by illiberal utopian statists.

9. We'll get a few more days off each year, starting with Cinco de Mayo.

10. We can deal with Canada in about 15 years if we can make it work with Mexico.

I'm sure there are some negative aspects of such a bold move, but remember, we have absorbed a predominantly Spanish-speaking independent country before, and I don't think Texas worked out all that badly.

Posted by Charles Austin at January 12, 2004 08:16 PM

Point #4 might be a problem.
Think of the West/East Germanies unification. East Germany is an enviromental and monetary blackhole for West Germany. The pollution in Mexico City is far worse than Los Angles's worst years.
It would be interesting to see how the ACLU would handle the religious symbols in government buildings.
If #10 ever happened would Spanish/French fluency be mandated in the US and English Canada and English/French in the former Mexico and last but not least English/Spanish in Quebec?

Posted by: Bill at 09:23 PM

Mezcal and Cancun make up for Tijuana.

Posted by: Tanya at 09:16 AM

At the time of Texas independence, American ranchers actually outnumbered Spanish-speaking Mexicans by about 4-1, so I don't know if you're analogy really works.

Then again, what you're talking about is going to happen eventually, and the process will most likely be very disruptive. Take a look at some Robert Kaplan stuff -- he predicts by sometime later this century that Mexico and the U.S. will become one country. . .

Posted by: Eric at 02:00 PM