T Nation

The Wall


#1

Any thoughts on "The Wall" proposed to be constructed on our Southern Border.

Mexico Retaliates for Border Wall Plan By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer
Tue Dec 20, 3:23 PM ET

MEXICO CITY - The Mexican government, angered by a U.S. proposal to extend a wall along the border to keep out migrants, has struck back with radio ads urging Mexican workers to denounce rights violations in the United States.

Facing a growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment north of the border, the Mexican government is also hiring an American public relations firm to improve its image.

Mexican President Vicente Fox denounced the U.S. measures, passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, as "shameful" and his foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez, said Monday the wall was "stupid."

It's hard to underestimate the ill-feeling the proposal has generated in Mexico, where editorial pages are dominated by cartoons of Uncle Sam putting up walls bearing anti-Mexican messages.

Many Mexicans, especially those who have spent time working in the U.S., feel the proposal is a slap in the face to those who work hard and contribute to the U.S. economy.

Fernando Robledo, 42, of the western state of Zacatecas, says the proposals could stem migration and disrupt families by breaking cross-border ties.

"When people heard this, it worried everybody, because this will affect everybody in some way, and their families," Robledo said. "They were incredulous. How could they do this, propose something like this?"

Robledo, whose son and mother are U.S. citizens, predicted the measure "would unleash conflict within the United States" as small businesses fail for lack of workers.

He said many Mexicans felt betrayed by the anti-immigrant sentiment.

"We learned to believe in the United States. We have a binational life," he said of Zacatecas, a state that has been sending migrants north for more than a century. "It isn't just a feeling of rejection. It's against what we see as part of our life, our culture, our territory."

The government is scrambling to fight on two fronts. On Monday, it announced it had hired Allyn & Company, a Dallas-based public relations company to help improve Mexico's image and stem the immigration backlash.

"If people in the U.S. and Canada had an accurate view of the success of democracy, political stability and economic prosperity in Mexico, it would improve their views on specific bilateral issues like immigration and border security," Rob Allyn, president of the PR firm, told The Associated Press Tuesday.

Jose Luis Soberanes, head of the government's National Human Rights Commission, suggested Mexico go further.

"I would expect more energetic reactions from our authorities," Soberanes told local media. "It's preferable to have a more demanding government, more confrontation with the United States."

Mexico has also said it is recruiting U.S. church, community and business groups to oppose the proposal.

And the government has stepped up its defense of migrants, airing a series of radio spots here aimed at migrants returning home for the holidays.

"Had a labor accident in the United State? You have rights ... Call," reads the ad, sponsored by Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, which has helped migrants bring compensation suits in the United States.

The sense of dread connected with the measures is hardly restricted to Mexico. Immigrant advocacy and aid groups in the United States are worried about provisions of the House bill that upgrade unlawful presence in the United States from a civil offense to a felony.

"This is a sad foreshadowing," said immigrants rights activist Kathryn Rodriguez of the Derechos Humanos coalition in Tucson, Ariz. She fears the bill could expose those who help sick or dying migrants to criminal prosecution.

The House bill, passed on a 239-182 vote, would also enlist military and local law enforcement to help stop illegal entrants and require employers to verify the legal status of their workers.

Mexicans are outraged by the proposed measures, especially the extension of the border wall, which many liken to the Berlin Wall. Some are urging their government to fight it fiercely.

"Our president should oppose that wall and make them stop it, at all costs," said Martin Vazquez, 26, at the Mexico City airport as he returned from his job as a hotel worker in Las Vegas. "More than just insulting, it's terrible."


Associated Press reporter Victor Bermudez contributed to this report from Mexico City.



#2

I don't think the wall is the solution.

Mexico has a terrible economy and people will continue to flood across the border one way or another.


#3

I'm all for a wall. The higher and thicker the better. No one is telling folks to stay in Mexico - I think the message is - come in through the front door instead of crawling in the windows.

The protestations from El Presidente Fox should be signal enough that the wall is a very good thing.


#4

If the wall actually succeeded it would make many areas of US agriculture less competitive.


#5

Agreed.


#6

Construction and business as well.


#7

We definitely need to stem the tide of illegal immigration, but I don't think the wall is the answer. If the agriculture and construction businesses need these people, then simply change the law and allow them to come here and work legally. Its hypocrisy to state that our economy needs them, and make them come here illegally to contribute.

Ironically, if they do build the wall, I bet the lowest bid contractor uses undocumented Mexicans to build it.


#8

Don't just build a wall, put up mine fields, and we got to get tougher with Mexico and force them to build their own wall and to enforce border patrol, bring some troops from "liberating" some 3rd world country and put them on the border with order to shoot to kill.


#9

I'm going to have to concur, immigration is touchy. I think we have to find a way to make it easier and legal for these migrant workers, as opposed to illegal and dangerous. It could benefit the government and agriculture.


#10

I personally agree w/ X. Yes the illegal immigrants are a large part of the construction, agriculture, and landscaping. If we shut out the illeagals , we would have some higher prices on new housing quick it would cripple our economy. We really need the illeagals, and i think its kind of funny but up until this point, i thought that politicians realized this, so their hasn't been any major efforts ( border patrol? you have to be kidding ) to stop them.

Here is what we can do about it, but its not going to be universally accepted :

  1. More foreign aid to Mexico for job creation - Yah haha not going to happen

  2. Encouraging factories to move over the border to mexico, to give them more jobs.

2 is the only viable solution , but i don't beleive it is a good one. Basically , market forces should decide who moves their factories over, we've already done this with textiles, hopefully we will get some industrial moved over as well.

The american worker is being replaced by the mexican worker the americans are just going to have to be more skilled in high-tech , foreign languages ,engineering, computer science ect , to take an over-education approach like the asian countries to eventually make up for this.


#11

So , im for keeping things as they are, neither of the solutions will work that ihave posted , and im not really for this wall either.


#12

Number one will never work. You think a government as corrupt as Mexico will do anything with foreign aid that will benefit the public? Guess again. They want illegals. The second largest income stream into Mexico is money being mailed from the U.S. to Mexico via Mexican nationals. Foreign aid will do nothing.

Number 2 is already being done on a huge scale. COme to El Paso, TX if you need to see proof that there are not enough factories to keep everyone employed.

The American worker is a lazy, overfed, underworked lump of fatty shit. He is being replaced by people that are hungrier and willing to work harder. The american worker must either adapt to the changing economy, or remain unemployed.

This isn't the first time that there has been a huge shift in jobs. People adapt - or they starve.


#13

If we could magically stop illegal immigration and illegal workers we would pay more for vegetables etc. but we would also reap a huge benefit in emergency room bills, education etc.

We are not saving money by having illegals do this work under the table. We are just shifting the costs to other areas of our economy.


#14

This is why the american government grants amnesty to the illeagals every so often. Our government w/ all of its problems isn't stupid but its just not practical to present a cynical viewpoint like letting the illeagals just do their thing it will look decidedly unamerican.


#15

RJ :

  1. I said that my first solution wouldn't be feasible you are basically saying the same think that i said that it would be $$ down the toilet.

  2. I don't beleive in any economic encouragement/incentives for companies to move factories over, but i do support the NAFTA style trade agreements. This would shift the majority of high priced American factory jobs to mexico and latin americo, because of their close proximity to the U.S. , and b/c it is cheap labor. When these company's financial analysts decide that it is cheaper they will do that on their own.

Basically, from what we lose in jobs from factories moving over the border we gain by getting cheaper goods so its not really a loss IMO.


#16

I'm with you on that. The galling part is that the Mexican government takes such a strident stance on this when IT is the cause of the problems in the first place. It refuses to take responsibility for cleaning up its own mess of an economy and actively promotes people illegally immigrating to the U.S. to then send money back home.


#17

My point is that the border cities are cram-packed with U.S. factories hiring Mexican workers, and it doesn't seem to be a deterrent to illegal immigration.

I agree. I think NAFTA is a win/win in most every industry with the exception of agricultural products. But that is a totally different topic.


#18

Yes if you are correct that we have shifted over for the most part then there isnt a heck of a lot more that we can do that would benefit us as much as the mexicans. More factories in mexico = more jobs in mexico = less people having a need to come over. Im sure that international companies and manufacturing companies will plant their businesses in these latin american countries more than ever. The WTO stuff that is trying to reduce trade barriers is a good thing IMHO , it will make the move to help this process along.

On a side note , although it may not be totally a good thing, we probably should also quit funding columbia's war on coke so their own people can be coca farmers.


#19

Okay, yet another minor proof I'm not the ultra-liberal people think I am.

While it is true that the US is dependent on illegal workers at the current time, it is similar to an addiction. There may be pain and suffering during withdrawal, but it will be better for you in the long run to get through it.

Perhaps such economic pain will force you to develop ways to manage the border effectively and to manage immigration effectively. You probably need a way to allow legal migration to take pace at a rate somewhat similar to that of illegal migration.

Whatever the case, the US is not duty bound to offer a free ride to everyone that can find their way into the country. Take appropriate steps to secure the border, if that means a wall so be it, and then take appropriate steps to welcome and integrate all of your past immigrants, legal or otherwise, before it is too late.


#20

As a guy who people thinks ( what fightingirish said anyway) is overwhelmingly conservative, who has given a more " liberal " opinion on this thread i have to disagree vroom :wink: