Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The other day while my daughter and I were watching the large demonstrations supporting illegal immigration, I jokingly said to her that the only solution I could see was to make Mexico the 51st state (and maybe 52nd too).

I guess I'm not the only one who considered that idea!
In fact, they're leaving Mexico because its corrupt and thuggish political culture stifles economic growth and opportunity. The people there are smart and hardworking, after all, and they tend to do just fine when they get here. They're leaving because being smart and hardworking is enough to get you ahead in the United States, but not in Mexico. And I suspect that if the Reconquista advocates somehow did get their way, and the Southwest United States became a new Northern Mexico, we'd soon have illegal immigrants crossing over into Kansas and Oklahoma for opportunity, because the Mexican political culture would have ruined things in Arizona and Texas just like it's already ruined them further south.

So maybe we've been thinking about this the wrong way. Instead of worrying about Mexicans invading America, maybe what we need is for the United States to annex Mexico.

Mexico has all the necessary ingredients to become a productive state. Due to the corruption Glenn talks about, its big problem is that it has never supported a middle class. There are the very poor and the very rich and not much in between. Those who are very poor are the ones who cross our border in the hopes of improving the lives of themselves and their families--hence the U.S. is doing all the work of creating Mexico's middle class. The only problem is that once here, it is hard to go back to what Mexico has to offer for those in the middle class.

As Glenn notes, the solution should be that we demand reform from the Mexican government. The corruption that perverts their political culture must cease, because that is what is driving people out of the country. It is in the benefit of the current political culture to encourage immigration--particularly illegal-- to the U.S. because it takes them off the hook to have to reform and improve the institutions and working climate for their own citizens.

The last thing we want is for Mexico to go the Hugo Chavez route. I suspect that if we had a border with Venezuela, the illegal immigrant problem would be ten times worse as people fled the policies being implemented by that "elected" dictator. There is already too much poverty to the south of us.

We should begin to structure our interactions with our closest neighbor to promote the changes that will bring more opportunities to Mexicans and improve the lot of the average Mexican. Mexican government officials seem to have no compunction at all about telling us how to structure our immigration policy and how we should be dealing with their citizens here illegally.

It is definitely time we returned the favor -- and demand some reciprocity; as well as both political and economic reform in our southern neighbor. Those three areas must be included in any comprehensive plan to deal with illegal immigration, because for once, they actually deal with the "root cause" of the problem we are facing.

When Mexico make the changes necessary to support their own people who want to better themselves and have normal lives--I predict that that they will quite naturally become a genuine "51st state".

Illegal immigrants are only people who are desperate for life and liberty; and to pursue their own happiness. With our help, there is no reason those things can't also be found south of the border.

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