Democrats are torn individually (a state I share). On one side, they favor helping those in need, which inclines them to look sympathetically on immigrants; plus they’re relatively open to a multicultural, multiracial society. I know that when I look at today’s Mexicans and Central Americans, they seem to me fundamentally the same as my grandparents seeking a better life in America.
Read more...via krugman.blogs.nytimes.com
Also read the first two comments.
Basically, US immigration debates lack a broader context. First of all, immigrants go to the US because of non-existent or way-to-low-paying jobs here, and the US has to take some responsibility (along with multinational corporations and, yes, Mexican elites) for that state of affairs.
Second, by focusing so single-mindedly on the narco war, the US is not only not doing anything to help, but is actually exacerbating problems.Money to boost Mexican infrastructure, education in areas that it is lacking(e.g. access to and training in use of computers and the internet skills, aid in areas that would improve/restore food self-sufficiency, investment in small local businesses, etc., would be beneficial, if given in the context of the Mexican point of view. I believe this is what the European Union did for Spain and perhaps Portugal in order to bring them to the point where all concerned would benefit from their entry into the EU.
Third, Americans operate in the context that all Mexicans WANT to migrate to the US and somehow if we opened the borders 100 million Mexicans would suddenly appear on US doorsteps. That won't happen. Even without an improvement in Mexican circumstances, most Mexicans who do go to the US go to work, not to become US citizens. If they could move more easily between countries, they'd come home more often. Many wouldn't go at all if they could make a decent living here, particularly in agricultural areas.
Fourth, regarding health care: There is more accessible, and I would argue in many ways better and more affordable health care available here for middle-class and higher income Mexicans than there is in the US. In fact for Mexicans who work in the formal economy there is a good government program. Problems among the poor center on the cost of medications because basic clinic and hospital services are available. This is another area where assistance might be welcome.
Improvement in Mexico's circumstances, but NOT according to US interpretation of need, but rather MEXICAN interpretation of need, would do wonders for both countries.