So I have been thinking lately about immigration. Illegal immigration, that is.
This is a hot button issue for some, so I know I might be taking some chances in saying what I believe, but I am just going to forge ahead.
There are so many reasons why I feel this issue is a problem that needs to be addressed.
But as I was thinking about my "points" I wondered why in the world we do not hold Mexico more responsible for taking care of its people. They have the capability to become a First World country, but for some reason, many of their citizens live in Third World conditions.
Their government is beyond corrupt. Power is in the hands of mainly a few prominent families, and they, like most people who hold power, are not about to share. The country contains some of the largest oil reserves in the world, and they still cannot provide decent medical care, jobs, or schooling for the vast majority of their citizens, especially indigenous peoples. Partly this is because they will not open up their oil market to private investors, so it just stays ineptly run by the same government.
Mexico accepts aid from our government, as well as its second largest import, American money sent back to relatives from workers here. Is that really a position of pride for the Mexican people? I am sure, absolutely positive in fact, that if they could stay within their country, earn a decent living and be with their families, they would do so in a heartbeat.
Also, not much mention is made of the fact that Mexico has been known to treat brutally and force the repatriation of Guatemalans or Salvadorans who enter their country seeking a better life of their own. It seems that this policy is in hope of appeasing the United States to the benefit of its own citizens, which is disingenious at best. I find it troubling that they seem to expect an open door policy from the United States, yet themselves keep their southern border heavily guarded and patrolled.
I think the United States should lean more heavily on Mexico to try and help its people stay within their country. Because it is their country, and as we all know, the United States has no monopoly on patriotism.
But then comes in the cynical side, does the United States truly want Mexicans to stay in Mexico, or are American businesss too addicted to cheap labor? The American government is fully aware of the false Social Security numbers used in shady "documentation" but until recently, turned a blind eye. Illegal immigrants are difficult, if not impossible, to unionize. Thus they are forced to accept whatever wages and working conditions the businesses that hire them dictate. And no matter how low we think their wages are, it is more than they would earn in their home country. Yet with all this, I do not believe that US businesses should hire them. If no one hired them, they would cease to come here.
For those that are here, I believe that a key issue is assimilation. The "us" versus "them" mentality is no good for either side. Yes, if they stay in the country long enough, they will assimilate. They will have no choice, since their children eventually will become more and more Americanized the longer the family lives here. Intermarriage between the two cultures is huge, and will likely only increase. Hubba-hubba himself is half Latino, with his mother being Latina and his father white.
But as far as the new arrivals, who are going to come here as long as their own government fails to provide for them and employers here pay them, need to become a part of our culture, not exist on the outside of it. Which in certain areas, is all too easy to do. In the city of Santa Ana, a person could easily exist without having to speak a word of English. That, I think, does everyone a disservice. I think that being bilingual is an asset, no matter what your native language. They need to feel invested in America and its future, which for all practical purposes, is their future.
Most of these people are decent and hard working. They just want a better life, and if the situation were reversed, I myself would probably migrate in order to help my children live a better life. I don't think many people have looked at it from this perspective. And for those that think that overturning a corrupt government is easy, we only have to look at our own government, rife with lobbyists and insiders, to see that it is not a piece of cake. Even more difficult when the population is poor and poorly educated.
Illegal immigration is a many-sided issue which has no easy answer. If it did, it would have been fixed a long time ago.
I've got no easy answer here, that's for sure.