TCS Daily


Forget the Border, Fix Mexico

By Austin Bay - May 17, 2006 12:00 AM

The year was 1993. A friend of mine who worked at a hospital in Texas' Rio Grande Valley -- a short ride from Mexico -- described "the baby predicament."

Here's a sketch of his story: At the first indications of impending birth, a pregnant Mexican woman crosses the border in a car. As her labor begins in earnest, her driver drops her off at the hospital. The doctors confront an immediate challenge: A baby is definitely being born. In the typical case, the soon-to-be mother has had no prenatal care. However, she has had a plan -- her child will be born in the United States, come political hell in Washington or high water in the Rio Grande.

"I'm in a legal and moral bind," my friend continued. Denial of services has potentially severe legal consequences. No one wants a patient to die or suffer. "But," he said, "we have medical costs. And the doctors suspect she's in the U.S. illegally. What do you do?"

"You help her and her child," I replied.

"That's right," my friend agreed. "But this happens at the hospital every day. We don't have the funds for this. Where's the limit?"

I said I didn't know. And I still don't. I suspect the child born in my friend's hospital is now a U.S. citizen, meaning the mother's ploy worked. Why did she do it? No doubt a few women pulling this trick seek an economic or legal gain for themselves, but the most likely reason the mother crossed the border to give birth was to give her child a shot at a better life in the United States, the land of liberty and economic opportunity. That's a hard slap at Mexico, and a deserved slap.

I didn't ask my friend about his hospital's role in documentation. This was a conversation at a college reunion, not an investigation.

"Where's the limit?" leads to another question: "Who's at fault?" Even if a lawyer made the case the mother's action was "borderline" legal, she certainly jinxed the immigration system. An angry voter might also blame the hospital for providing a birth certificate. A smart cop might finger the driver who dumped her at the curb. Politicians of various stripes will bewail "the broken system" and scream about "lack of leadership."

In 1993, Ann Richards -- a liberal Democrat -- was governor of Texas. Democrats controlled the Texas legislature. Bill Clinton, a liberal of sorts, was president, and Democrats controlled both branches of Congress. The Simpson-Mazzoli immigration reform bill -- a bipartisan bill -- had been in effect since 1986. That bill didn't solve the immigration crisis. Critics blame lack of enforcement. In 2006, Republicans are in charge in Texas and in Washington, and the immigration crisis continues.

What's changed since 1993? In 2006, the United States, Mexico and "points further south" have larger populations. That means there are more people in the United States and more people -- with and without proper papers -- looking for work. The power of narcotrafficantes along the U.S.-Mexico border has grown. The gang violence spills across the border, increasing tensions.

Today, the United States is more security conscious -- 9-11 did that. New security concerns have a subsidiary effect: an increased emphasis on immigrant assimilation. Most new Americans learn English and salute the flag. However, radical "multiculturalists" (many drawing paychecks at U.S. universities) urge separatism. Their abrasive identity politics lacks political traction, but they have media pizzazz. One suspects they want to exacerbate existing problems.

Putting 6,000 National Guardsman on border duty, as President Bush proposes, will only minimally enhance security. As a symbol of long-term intent to improve U.S. security, however, a troop deployment may lead to a political compromise in Washington.

But no Washington compromise will solve the problem. The real "broken systems" are the corrupt economies to the south. Mexico's leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador agrees, calling illegal immigration to the United States "Mexico's disgrace." However, his prescription is more statist economics policies. That's wrong. Mexico needs freer markets, but a free market needs an honest judiciary.

The long-term solution lies in expanding economic and political opportunity in Mexico. That's what NAFTA was really about -- evolving Mexico. In the short term, however, that doesn't pay bills at the border hospital.

Austin Bay is a syndicated columnist and TCS Daily contributing writer.

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10 Comments

A nation's national IQ equates with its potential to create wealth
I know this will irk the sun-revolves-around-the-earth crowd, but the average IQ of Mexico is 87, and so nothing will enable her to create something other than a Third World society.

So, Mexicans will continue to try to enter America until our own national IQ drops to the point where America will no longer look economically desirable.

The other point missing from the article is that there is a dominant element within the Chicano elite that favors reconquista, the annexing of the Southwest into Mexico. This, in and of itself, will bring this elite to agitate politically to circumvent any attempt to end Mexican illegal immigration.

I agree!
I was just remarking to my wife last night that the real problem is Mexico's corrupt government. I was against deportation, until the thought occurred to me--why not round up illegals, particularly Mexicans, who are nearby and about half or more of the problem, and send them home? Then, have President Bush meet with President Fox and tell him that Mexico needs to improve its own economy and offer more opportunities to its own citizens!

It is Mexico's problem, rather than ours. Their citizens come here looking for a better life. Mexico can offer them a better life if they stay home, if the corrupt politicians would do the right thing.

I am just about ready to back a deportation plan. Non-citizens ought to be in their own countries, working. If those countries want to succeed, they must address their own problems, rather than allowing the USA to solve them for them.

If those countries were serious about "opportunity", they would glady welcome experts from the USA to their countries to help them turn things around. Instead, they bash us, and continue to dump their citizens onto our soil.

I am not heartless or unsympathetic, but clearly we are attacking the wrong problem--that the USA can provide what their countries of origin cannot. The real problem is that those countries, even ones rich in resources, siphon off the riches and leave the citizens in poverty. Why do we condone this as if it were inevitable and unchangeable?

Just another 3rd-world culture.
The federal government of Mexico is rife with corruption. Sending its unwanted citizens north to get them out of its hair has worked in the past, and plans are for it to succeed in the future.

Will Mexico remain a third-world society for the forseeable future? Sure.

Mexico's constant use of the US as its safety valve rather than form an effective government for the Mexican people has worked well in the past. At least for the Mexican elite.

MINOR CORRECTION: MEXICAN IMMIGRANT IQs AVERAGE 89
The low average IQs of Mexicans is likely their heavy dependence on corn and corn oil and the scarcity of olive, flax, canola and fish oils as well as meat and fish in the diet. And no dubt their prior habit of killing off the leadership of conquered peoples, mand women and child, served to reducle the prevalence leadership quality IQs in the general population. Much of this can be reversed by the additin of fish oils to the diet 2 recent English studies shows. Naturaly, this will be fougth tooth and nail by both the American and Mexican governments for fear of the resultss which it is certain to do.

NAFTA WAS REALLY ABOUT INTEGRATING CANADA, THE US, & CENTRAL AMERICA INTO ONE GOVERNMENTAL UNIT
NAFTA WAS REALLY ABOUT INTEGRATING CANADA, THE US, & CENTRAL AMERICA INTO ONE GOVERNMENTAL UNIT
Mexico needs expanding economic and political opportunity but, as Russia and China or even the EU show, far more than freer markets, an honest judiciary, the rule of law and less corruption is needed. Since nothing relevant has changed in Mexico, NAFTA was not about expanding economic and political opportunity in Mexico.
NAFTA was really about integrating North America from Canada and Alaska to the Panama-South America border into one economic and then one governmental unit, like the EU; then extending it to South America (completing one leg of the Trilateral Commission dream).
That’s why our borders remain as porous as politically possible; why the immigration laws as to illegal immigrants and their employers are not enforced; why we do not educate either our own or our immigrants: 46% of Americans 16-64 are functionally illiterate says a 1997 OECD study (if they can read at all, they cannot make sense of what they read, and hence ignore written material); and much the same is true for many of our college graduates who, if they read, read only what they must.
Our college faculties, governments, religions, NGOs, and media have been infiltrated by the power of other people’s money supplied by those who control corporations and their creatures: the foundations, universities, and governments. Note that the leadership of all but government of these entities are self-selecting and democratic, which makes them the very worst form of tyranny: winner take all.
So indeed no Washington compromise will solve the problem. The Mexican, Canadian, and American government leaders have agreed on a common goal: a unified , educated but intellectually hobbled and ignorant populace to serve as indentured but well fed servants on the unified government plantation, with plans for eventual integration with the EU and the East into a one-world government.
However, the gathering storm of private schools, especially home schools, the internet, online education, and Christian fundamentalists may and likely will prevent such loss of freedom. We pray.

Austin Bay needs to think bigger.
Mexico should be intergrated state-by-state to the USA (so the USA would have 80+ states).

I call this USAv3: http://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2006/04/03/usa-version-3/

An unintelligible rant
which simply illustrates that you know nothing whatsoever of NAFTA and the Free Trade Agreement which preceded it.

fix messico??????????
problem with that. the powers that be in mexico those with money and power. like it just the way it is. I think I've figured out what the slugs in senate and our joke of a president have in mind to stop all the illegal aliens. America will just become the northern province of messico. When that happens, there will no longer be a reason for anyone to want to come here.
BRILLIANT PLAN YOU MORONS
.............Radlad..............

No Subject
The average IQ of Mexico is 94, the same as Ireland and most of Eastern Europe, higher than Portugal, but please, don't let facts get in the way of your racism.

Excess heat fries the brain...
It's way too hot & dry in Mexico & some Southwestern States to expect much in the way of genius IQs. Even big sombreros aren't efficient at dissipating that much heat.

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