By Alan Caruba
It no doubt strikes a lot of Americans as odd that a U.S. Marine reservist, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a 25 year old California native who had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, was arrested in March for illegally entering Mexico when he made a wrong turn in Tijuana. Being in possession of registered firearms, about which he informed the customs officials, didn’t help. He is still in jail while awaiting a court judgment.
The fact is that Mexico’s illegal immigration laws are a lot tougher than those of the U.S. Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be jailed for ten years. Visa violators can be sentenced for six-year terms and Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered to be criminals.
It doesn’t end there. Under Mexican law, foreigners can be deported if they are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests”, violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy”, or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance.” This applies to their dependents as well.
Somehow, though, thousands of “migrants” from nations to the south of Mexico are passing through to get to our border and are, in the process, no less illegal in Mexico than here. That has changed, however. On July 9, the Examiner reported that Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had met with Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina and they held a joint press conference to “officially announce an agreement to make it easier for those making the illegal journey to the United States from Central American, to cross into Mexico.” They will be issued a “Regional Visitor’s Card” that allows them to stay in Mexico for 72 hours, just long enough to make it to the U.S. border. The arrangement will include Belize as well. No doubt it will be extended to San Salvador and Honduras.
I have no doubt this has the blessing of the White House. The result is a deliberate program to alter the demographic map of America, increasing the number of Hispanics. It is an illegal assault on the nation, a “transformation” few Americans could ever imagine.
The popular notion is that it has been Mexico’s rural poor that have been eager to come here. The fifth largest country in the Americas, it has a population of more than 113 million and one of the world’s largest economies as the tenth largest oil producer in the world and the largest producer of silver. Mexico is home to the sixth largest electronics industry in the world and it produces the most automobiles of any North American nation. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler have had plants in Mexico since the 1930s and Nissan and Volkswagen built plants there in the 1960s.
Mexico is regarded as a firmly established upper middle-income nation, but somewhere between 35% to 46% of the population, about 52 million persons, are regarded to be living in extreme to moderate poverty. It is that population that represents the bulk of the illegal aliens who enter the U.S. They send remittances back to Mexico estimated to be $25 billion, but that represents 0.2% of its GDP.
In 2004 the Center for Immigration Studies released a study that found that illegal alien households were estimated to use $2,700 in services than they pay in taxes, creating a fiscal burden of nearly $10.4 billion on the 2002 federal budget. That, no doubt, has increased over the past decade. Among the federal costs are Medicaid, treatment for the uninsured, food assistance programs, the federal prison and court systems, and federal aid to schools. Illegals generally lack a level of education and hold jobs that represent low levels of skill.
To put it mildly, Mexico is happy to export its own citizens to become illegal aliens in the United States and now, thanks to President Obama’s policies, so do Honduras, San Salvador, and Guatemala. It's worth noting that the children of illegals are awarded American citizenship at birth under current law.
In 2005, writing in The Washington Times on “Border policy perplexities, Stephen Johnson, a senior policy analyst for Latin America at the Heritage Foundation, noted that “Mexican oligarchs see free movement northward as a safety valve to relieve pressure from a million workers entering Mexico’s labor force with no job prospects. Rather than liberalize their economy to end corrupt monopolies, strengthen property rights and establish the rule of law, they would rather keep things as they are and merely ship their jobless, poorly educated throngs north.”
With 92 million Americans out of work or who have ceased looking, it is little wonder that there is little sympathy for Mexicans and others who illegally enter the nation. Even so, there is outrage that so many are now children and that President Obama could not stir himself from a schedule of fund raisers to visit the border or one of the detention centers to house them.
According to a 2012 estimate of the Homeland Security Department, there were approximately 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. by the end of 2011. As reported in The Washington Times in March 2012, “Of the current illegal population, only 14% have entered the U.S. since 2005. That means the vast majority have been in the country for years, putting down the kind of roots that immigrant-rights advocates say should earn them the change to achieve citizenship. Those favoring stricter enforcement balk at that, saying it amounts to rewarding those who have broken the law the longest.”
Mexicans still account for most of the illegal aliens at 6.8 million or 59%. If they were living illegally in Mexico, they would be deported. Moreover, illegals from other nations such as China and from the Mideast are also passing through without the Mexican legal system taking any notice of them.
The current “humanitarian crisis” has sharpened the political divisions between those who want to build a big wall to keep out all illegals and those who want to extend amnesty to those who have been living here for several years. The recent defeat of the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, (R-VA) has signaled the growing opposition to policies that facilitate illegal immigration.
What is clear, however, is that Mexico, in addition to its double standard regarding aliens who enter it, is now actively engaging what should be called an act of war.
America is already in deep financial debt. It cannot afford to absorb and pay for thousands of illegal aliens. Laws have to be changed. Fences need to be built and the border needs aggressive patrol. The alternative is to begin referring to the United States of America as the Estados Unidos.
© Alan Caruba, 2014