June 6, 2006

Wall good for Mexico?

I thought this was interesting: Is the tide finally turning in Mexico? | The San Diego Union-Tribune

...When I was in Mexico last fall, after dozens of visits over the years, people on every political and social level confirmed these accusations, complaining to me of Fox's failures. Forty families still own 60 percent of Mexico. There are no voluntary organizations, no civic involvement, no family foundations – and thus, no accountability, allowing corruption to flourish. Mexico gains $28 billion from oil revenue and $20 billion from immigrant remittances. There is virtually no industrialization, no small business, no real chance at individual entrepreneurship. Under Fox, it has created only one-tenth of the 1 million jobs needed.

Ah, but there are new voices of change, of reason, of self-awareness in Mexico, in place of the hoary anti-gringo rants: the beginnings of a transformation of the debate.

The same week of the Fox visit, for instance, The New York Times ran a stunning article headlined “Some in Mexico See Border Wall as Opportunity.” It quotes men such as Jorge Santibanez, president of the College of the Northern Border, saying: “For too long, Mexico has boasted about immigrants leaving, calling them national heroes, instead of describing them as actors in a national tragedy; and it has boasted about the growth in remittances as an indicator of success, when it is really an indicator of failure.”

Other prominent Mexicans were quoted as saying, for instance, the formerly unthinkable: that a wall would be the “best thing that could happen for Mexico”; the “porous border” allowed “elected officials to avoid creating jobs.”...

It's frustrating, because the current immigration crisis is an opportunity, a chance to do the right thing. A number of right things. One of which is to force reform onto Mexico. Helping them would be helping us. To paraphrase Alfred Sloan, what's good for the hemisphere is good for America....

Posted by John Weidner at June 6, 2006 8:07 AM
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