Manufacturers of poverty….and immigrants
A few months ago my friend Pablo Kleinman, invited me to do a radio interview at Univision in Los Angeles. Pablo is someone who was educated in Europe and the USA so, I immediately accepted knowing that the event would be a real interesting experience.
The goal of the interview was to explore the reasons why the southwest states of the USA, which use to be part of Mexico, are so rich and Mexico so poor and underdeveloped. It was a real tough job to find answers to an unquestionable reality: the states of California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas etc report a GNP close to 4 trillion dollars while my country of Mexico can only show less than a trillion.
I received another invitation from Pablo for a new interview. It took me some time to decide whether to participate because of the complexity of the subject now suggested by Pablo: the new immigration law approved by Arizona.
This law is controversial for many reasons. Perhaps the most important one can be found in the appearance of the attorney general before congress to explain why he was about to file a suit against Arizona to block this new law. When one of the senators asked him if he had already read the text of the law, in an unbelievable and shameful way he answered that he had not.
In other words, the attorney general of the USA was about to file a law suit against a law in which he did not know its content.
Well, I have read the law so I know what is in it, but besides that, I want to share other credentials I have which I feel give me the right to express a responsible opinion about it. I was born and grew up in Sonora—the Mexican state border with Arizona—I have been legally residing in Arizona for years and I have always interacted between Sonora and Arizona. For five years I attended college at Tec of Monterrey in a city 100 miles south of Laredo Texas. During college vacations we use to drive Monterrey, Laredo, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Las Cruces, Nogales and then to my home town of Hermosillo. So, I know the border.
I married an Arizonan and I have 3 daughters who were born in Arizona. They married kids from Arizona and it is where they now live. For five generations my family has been a cattle exporter and we have crossed our cattle through all the Arizona—Sonora ports of entrance for more than 100 years. In a partnership with my friend from Sinaloa, Adolfo Clouthier, I participated in a company marketing Mexican produce all over the USA headquartered it in Nogales, Arizona. I was governor Bours’ representative in the US residing in Phoenix with big responsibilities about all kind of relations between Sonora and Arizona.
I am not a lawyer but, in my intellectual formation I had a big influence from a couple of real bright jurists. My father who had a degree of international law from the University of Brussels and my uncle Gilberto Valenzuela, who was jurist of the Mexican Supreme Court and also a jurist of the International Court at Holland. Someone whose life is described in a book title: “Gilberto Valenzuela, a life devoted to the principle of legality.” So, I strongly believe that countries with no rule of law are condemned to failure.
As a free market economist I believe that supply and demand will always meet, legally or illegally. And the most dramatic example of it, is the insane war that my country is fighting against an enemy which they will never subdue; the war against drugs. However, I also think, like my good friend Alberto Mansueti say in his book; ‘The Bad Laws’; some countries have only real bad laws. But my purpose is not to analyze the legal aspect of the problem; we have another one much more grave and important.
A few weeks ago the Mexican Secretary of State made a real irresponsible affirmation. “The only root of this problem is the refusal of the USA to approve a new immigration reform.” Oh, that sounds very simple. What about the one implemented in 1986? Through that process the USA legalized more than 10 million people and was the problem solved, no? Twenty years later the USA has another 20 million undocumented people who, running away from their countries, entered the US illegally and some experts say, in the background are another few million waiting, making this situation a very profitably business for international mafias
The real problem is not to come up with a new immigration reform to document those millions of people. We can find the real problem just asking a question. Why in the last 30 years 40 million people left their countries to, illegally, enter the USA?
A few years ago Tony Blair said something really wise. You can measure the greatness of countries by keeping track of the people leaving them, or people arriving in them. If that is the case, we can affirm that we come from midget countries. We come from countries where they don’t want to build the conditions to make their economies grow, the conditions to create jobs because, when people don’t find them, they are pushed to go to the USA. We are manufacturers of poverty and misery.
But we have political leaders showing up in Washington scolding congress, because they are not opening the doors for the people we are expelling from our countries because of our corruption, ineptitude and insecurity.
Blind with fear and irresponsibility we charge against bad gringos, racists, bullies, unjust. But we don’t see that we are the ones providing those miserable human beings as the raw material to build this tragedy. I can’t understand those masses of people, from all over Latin America, wearing the war paint to, without respecting the rule of law, demand some imaginary rights when in their countries never had the freedom to do the same thing against the tyrants who expelled them. I can’t understand why the whole Latin America’s GNP is less than 20% of the USA, and the only solution we have is to demand aggressively that the gringos take the many poor people we manufacture and expel.
We Mexicans will never get it. The new Arizona law doesn’t penalize immigration. The law only authorizes and gives the tools to the police force to secure the rule of law. If people enter the USA without the kind of requirements the law demands, they became outlaws and should be prosecuted.
The only thing that Arizona has done, is to approved the laws they consider necessary to promote a civilize way of living for their societies. The only difference with Mexico is that they do enforce the rule of law and we don’t know the meaning of those words.
The political correct people in Mexico City went so far, in the middle of their ignorance, to glorify delinquents who penetrate the USA breaking the law, they are just that, criminals.
Why don’t we abandon that role of beggars armed with big sticks? Why don’t we take down that flag of imaginary racism and stop barking to the moon on the water? If we want to find the causes and solutions to this sad and painful problem, we just have to take a look of our faces in the mirror, then make an act of contrition and stop manufacturing poor people and a lot of migrants invading the USA out of desperation.