Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Why is it so difficult for so many Americans to see that our prosperity and quality of life is more than just a little influenced by our neighbors to the south? I find it so distasteful that middle-class Americans can sit around and disparage Mexican immigrants as “drags on the health and educational system” with so little regard for the facts.

Where I live, there are lots of Mexican immigrants and many of them are here illegally. I don’t condone their lack of regard for the law but I really can’t blame them. If I were born on the wrong side of an arbitrary geographic boundary and was condemned to a life of poverty while those on the other side enjoyed much greater comforts and opportunities, I think I would be deeply motivated to cross over, especially if I had children for whom I wanted to provide modern healthcare and a solid education.

Granted, some illegal immigrants make trouble and for that, they also make headlines. They become the lighting-rods in the evidence-seeking mission of those who wish to highlight the burden that illegal immigrants place on our institutions. However, the published facts suggest that they tend to make trouble at exactly the same rate as the rest of those in the lower socio-economic strata of the American public. As is true with legal residents, the vast majority are hard working, honest, tax-paying cogs in the wheel of American industry.

Mexico has a vast and hungry work force that could greatly benefit America. We need to recognize this and embrace them on fair terms that will allow them to prosper in the manner that we have all prospered over the past several decades. The disparity of wealth and comfort between our two adjacent populations is untenable in the long run. As such, we must choose between facilitating an orderly marriage between American opportunity and Mexican need or letting the two sides continue to find each other in the chaotic and inefficient market of illegal immigration.

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