(Counterpoint: The following is a guest editorial submitted by Barbara Carrasco. Occasionally, I will publish counterpoints submitted by readers to my blog. To be considered for a counterpoint, please send me your comments in an article fashion on topical topics that I am covering on my blog. As I have written many times before, we learn from the perspectives of others. Although I may not agree with someone’s perspective their opinion matters and should be considered in order to have a proper debate. Counterpoints may not necessarily represent the views of Martin Paredes and are published in their entirety as submitted by the author.)
Author: Barbara Carrasco
Although immigration is not at the top of the list for most Americans in this election, it is a major issue for El Pasoans, as we are a border city and directly affected by those crossing illegally.
I will discuss effects on Mexico because the majority of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border are from Mexico.
Focus on illegal immigration is on those who successfully cross our borders and the unfair and unjust treatment received once here. Never has any real focus been given to victims of illegal immigration across our border. The victims I refer to are (1) those that are not fortunate to make the journey; (2) disintegration of the family and its true origin; (3) effects of emigration on communities in Mexico; and finally (4) Mexico’s reason for not wanting illegal immigration enforced or construction of a “wall.”
Would-be illegal immigrants face kidnapping, murder, rape, and others are forced to carry drugs into the U.S. The desert areas subject travelers to heat, exhaustion and dehydration. Many are victims of extortion by their smugglers.
The Heritage Foundation stated that one of every five individuals wanting to cross illegally are female and 60% will experience sexual abuse. Amnesty International explains that women and unaccompanied children are especially vulnerable and “face serious risk of trafficking and sexual assault by criminals.”
Hundreds of people die every year attempting to cross the border into the U.S. In 2010, 72 bodies of potential illegal immigrants were lined up and executed. They were found 90 miles from the U.S. border. In April of 2011 several mass graves of slaughtered bodies were discovered in the same area as those in 2010.
Hundreds of remains of would-be illegal immigrants are stored at the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office awaiting identification. These individuals were attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and met their unfortunate death.
According to an analysis by the Washington office on Latin America, approximately five migrants die every four days.
Our open borders contribute to the atrocities perpetrated upon would-be illegal immigrants. Little, if any, attention, media coverage or importance is given to those who lost their lives or were abused on their journey.
The facts are that the starting point of broken families is Mexico.
Catholic priest Samuel Fernandez describes the situation: “Yes, they have raised their lives a bit economically, but it is a pity, the divided houses we have here. The people morally, psychologically, have many problems. The families lose control, they lose unity, and they lose the sense of being families. Every year more people leave. Every year the towns are more and more alone.”
Alan Wall states: “This siren call of American wages, in addition to skewing the job market here in Mexico, exacerbates family disintegration, which is on the increase here in Mexico, immigration definitely being a factor.”
Our open borders are the catalyst for broken families in Mexico.
Many towns in rural Mexico have been depopulated. As Mario Garcia, mayor of a small community in Zacatecas state has bemoaned: “People have one thing in mind, and that is to go to the United States.”
Zacatecas farmer Pedro Chavez observes, “The people here can make more money by staying at home and waiting for a check from the United States, so many of them do not work. At least they do not want to work in Mexico.” (Jobs Mexicans won`t do?)
In 1992 the American Public Health Association studied migration-related HIV epidemic in western Mexico. They concluded “Migrant Mexican women’s commitment to an illusion of fidelity will hinder HIV prevention initiatives targeted toward them.”
UNICEF and SU-SSC studied the impact of migration on children left behind. They are at great risk to drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, psychosocial problems and violent behavior. Sentiments expressed by priest Fernandez.
Our open borders are ruining people’s lives, destroying communities and contributing to the destruction of children’s futures.
MEXICO’S FIGHT FOR OPEN BORDERS
In 1998, then-independent senator Adolfo Aguilar Zinser observed that “The government`s (Mexico’s) economic policy is dependent on unlimited emigration to the United States.
In 2000 President Vicente Fox called illegal immigrants “heroes for their remittances to Mexico of over $1B a month and has stated that they are indispensable to creating a modern and prosperous country.” The Mexican government acknowledges that remittances received from illegal immigrants are the country`s third-highest source of revenue. In 2012 remittances totaled $22.4 billion.
Vicente Fox made migration a priority during his administration. In 2001 he proposed a four-point migration plan to President Bush which included, among other provisions, legalization of illegal immigrants in the U.S. and included proposed changes to our laws which would exempt Mexican immigrants from U.S. visa ceilings! (Imagine the U.S. proposing changes to the Mexican laws)
To ensure the flow of billions of dollars continue, and in an apparent attempt to decrease the difficulty and the stress of living in the U.S. illegally, Mexico issues matricula consular cards which allows them to open bank accounts and rent apartments.
Vicente Fox believes that Mexicans have a right to cross the border at will and unimpeded, find employment and be given legal status. The reality is, these illegal immigrants are used to “prop” the Mexican economy and consequently the Mexican government is not inclined to assist us in controlling illegal immigration. It is mindboggling that millions upon millions of uneducated and unskilled illegal immigrants are a crucial element of the backbone of Mexico. A study by Reymundo Campos-Vazquez and Horacio Sobarzo confirms that “Mexican migrants to the United States do not originate from the best-educated and wealthiest segments of the population.”
By encouraging illegal immigration, Mexico is absolving itself of its responsibility to its citizens. There is no requisite, urgency or motivation on the part of Mexico to provide for the health and welfare of its poor, uneducated and unemployed. To this end, the U.S. has become an enabler and is complicit in exacerbating Mexico’s internal problems and robbing them of a healthy functioning nation. According to the Monterrey Institute of Technology, in 2010 53 million Mexicans were living in poverty – half the country’s population.
It is difficult to adequately to describe the actions of the Mexican government regarding their poor, unskilled and individuals. They are called “heroes” yet encouraged to abandon their country in order to save it! Shouldn’t that be the Mexican government’s role…to create an environment that improves the economy and educates their citizens?
With Mexico’s aggressive recruitment of U.S. companies and their suppliers, and a growing number of companies actually moving to their shores, one would believe that Mexico would be laser focused on educating their youth and be working to prevent immigration to the U.S.
It is easy to label people like me, and millions upon millions like me, as “racist” and anti-immigrant”. This is simply not true. It is a falsehood. Let’s forget about political correctness, and call it what it is. It’s a boldface “lie”. It’s an effort to shut us up. Illegal immigration has many moving parts that are ignored. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away nor does it render them nonexistent.
Mexico has condoned illegal immigration for decades and our administration by its actions, or inaction, also condones it. Both countries share guilt in the murders, deaths of individuals who didn’t have the strength to endure the harsh elements, and the abuse of females along the treacherous journey to enter our borders illegally.
When facing a problem, it is imperative that all moving parts be considered if one is sincere in finding a solution. It is obvious neither country, because of their respective political reasons, is serious about illegal immigration.
The free-flow-open-porous borders’ mentality is destroying communities, ruining people’s lives, getting people murdered and pitting two countries against each other. These are just a few of the consequences of the free-flow-open-porous borders’ mentality.