Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Still in Mexico

Well, I'm still in Mexico, now in the state of Veracruz in the most
difficult to pronounce city in spanish, Coatzacoalcos. Seems like
a nice enough place, or the hotel is nice anyway. I haven't gone out
this evening, since it seems like there's no place I could go that I
wouldn't get into some kind of trouble.

During my 3 hours in the car this morning I watched the countryside
and the people, and it seems pretty empty. My driver was quizing me
about costs in the US, and he said he wanted to go to the US to work.
I hope I talked him out of it, but more likely I talked him into it. I'm
no salesman.

I was really struck by a billboard for mexico's team in the world cup,
that said that the population of mexico is 100 million people, and they
support their team. If there is 11 million illegal aliens in the US and most
are mexican...that's 10% of the population of mexico is in the US. It's like
a plague or a war, every person must be thinking can I do better in US,
and if your job is to drive gringos around southern mexico, the answer
appears to be yes.

Another striking feature are the military checkpoints, 3 between
villahermosa and coatza. I asked the driver what those are for and he
said "para gente illegal". I hate checkpoints in the US for drunk drivers
or seatbelts or whatever, but it is worse when the guys stopping the cars
have assault weapons and are covered by a guy in a bunker. WTF.

I really have no answer for the illegal immigrant problem. It's strange,
but I have less problem with the people moving to the US to make a better
life for their family than I do with people going to the US for a job and returning
home without paying taxes (when I worked in colombia I paid taxes). I just
want the immigrants to learn english and become 'americans'. we also need
some way to control the flow, with a wall and a mexican Ellis Island. At
the end of the 19th century not everyone was allowed into the US, they
were sorted and some rejected at Ellis Island, after being presorted by having
to cross the ocean.

Here's my proposition:
-First build a wall
-Create a guest worker program for the migrant workers so I can have my $1
lettuce, this will remove a big percentage of the illegals, they can come, work, pay taxes
and go home.
-on the mexican side create a reception area for immigrants where we can sort
out the diseased and the criminals, then they can walk across the border in safety
to a border town.
- If "walkon" immigrants keep their nose clean and pay their taxes, after 7 years
they can apply for citizenship, or after military service.

Of course this plan doesn't work, it will just create a huge wave of immigrants sneaking
into mexico to get into the US. Whatever we do, first build the wall then we can look
at the next step. A lottery? Easier entrance for the best and brightest from the rest
of the world?


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