The il­le­gal-alien po­si­tion­ing sys­tem

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

So, it’s come to this: The Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing giv­ing would-be il­le­gal border crossers ac­cess to the Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem for safety rea­sons. That’s right: GPS gad­gets for il­le­gals. “The lo­ca­tors would be given to mi­grants who are think­ing of cross­ing the border, and would give U.S. Border Pa­trol agents the lo­ca­tion of those in trou­ble,” the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported Jan. 5. Call it the nor­mal­iza­tion of law­break­ing. In some re­spects, this is per­fectly em­blem­atic of the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment’s approach to the il­le­gal ex­port of its cit­i­zens. It re­gards the ex­o­dus of its poor­est cit­i­zens north­ward as a right of sorts, sub­ject to reg­u­la­tion, as though the coun­try’s eco­nomic in­ad­e­quacy were some­one else’s fault. Con­ve­niently, Mex­ico takes a very dif­fer­ent, hos­tile view to­ward the il­le­gal Gu­atemalans, Sal­vado­rans and Hon- du­rans who settle in Mex­ico. But that’s an­other story.

This U.S.-law-doesn’t-ap­ply at­ti­tude has been in ev­i­dence in­creas­ingly in re­cent years. Re­call that in 2004-05, the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment took heat for print­ing and dis­tribut­ing il­lus­trated guides that show il­le­gals how to cross in­hos­pitable border ter­rain, how to be in­con­spic­u­ous in the United States and what to do if caught by the Border Pa­trol. Those guides show bla- tant dis­re­spect for U.S. law.

But Mex­ico’s de­fend­ers as­sert that the cur­rent prob­lems are the fault of the United States and its sup­posed inat­ten­tion to hu­man rights. Here’s one Je­sus Torre- blanca of the Com­mis­sion for the At­ten­tion of Mi­grants in Mex­ico’s state of Pue­bla ex­plain­ing to the AP that the cal­lous United States is the real prob­lem: “The U.S. gov­ern­ment has ev­ery right to pro­tect its borders any­way it sees neces- sary. The only thing that we ask is that they re­spect hu­man rights.” No word on whether Mex­ico will dis­con­tinue its own ag­gres­sive anti-il­le­gal-alien approach to its own il­le­gals for rea­sons of con­sis­tency.

The short story is this: Mex­ico can­not sus­tain a vi­brant enough econ­omy to keep its poor­est em­ployed. So it re­lies upon il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion as a safety valve. With­out it, Mex­ico’s cur­rent po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic ar­range­ments would be thrown into tur­moil.

The Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment should in­vest the money it would spend on GPS for il­le­gals on eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­grams, such as a mi­cro-credit bank. Ad­dress­ing the root of the prob­lem — poverty — would be most ben­e­fi­cial for Mex­ico in the long run. But Mex­ico would rather ex­port its cit­i­zens il­le­gally than do any­thing truly con­struc­tive about the prob­lem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.