A Liberal Perspective On Illegal Immigration
I've lived in California for 24 years. I've always taken the most liberal line on immigration, without much question. I supported amnesty for undocumented workers and I marched against California's propositions that made it harder for immigrants to receive social services. My patriotism is rooted in their perspective; their appreciation for how good life is in America serves as a valuable check on all those who complain that life was better 50 years ago or life is better in France today.Read the whole thing.
But my preset acceptance has been a blindness. Liberals like me have ignored the way the steady trickle of new Americans has become a massive repopulation program, primarily from Mexico. During the 1970s, 120,000 Mexicans came to the U.S. every year. During the 1980s, it was about 200,000 a year. During the 1990s, it was 350,000 a year. Today, it's estimated at 485,000—every year. One out of every eight Mexican-born adults is now living in the U.S.
I no longer think it's okay to give the Mexican government a free pass. Pushing its poor towards the U.S. seems to have become Mexico's primary social policy. The migration rate is the highest from the areas with the poorest people. But the Mexican government has not pushed money into those areas to ease the conditions that force Mexicans to leave. It's doing the opposite; the World Bank says those states are receiving the least government help.
This has been a threefold victory for the Mexican government. First, it eliminates the financial concern of how to care for these people. Second, the citizens who would be the angriest about the government's inadequacies keep leaving the country. Those who would vote, protest, stage walkouts, and revolt—instead keep voting with their feet. Which in turn protects The Powers That Be. And third, as a reward for watching entire communities empty out, they receive a huge influx of cash.
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