By David Ramírez
Illegal immigration has been a constant in North American history since the 16th century, starting with the European migrants from England, Germany and the Netherlands; the most notorious group in recent history being the Mexicans. However, unlike any other migrant group, the Mexicans are the only group of migrants who come from a contiguous nation with whom the U.S. shares its borders. For the present article, let us first realize and assimilate that the responsibility for every Mexican person lies first with the Mexican government and its people. The fact that there are probably nearly 11.5 million Mexican-born people, most of them illegally, in the United States; and 22.3 million of Mexican-descent speaks of the failure of Mexico and Mexicans to provide for our people. That represents roughly altogether 33% of Mexico’s current population, and a little less than Canada’s total current population: Basically a country within a country.
You’re categorically an idiot if you think this is a source of pride if you happen to be Mexican.
The reasons for Mexico’s failure to provide for its people are many and varied, but it has not helped any when its very government has cooperated with the ruling elites of the United States and other developed nations to establish “Free-trade” agreements that have worsened the rural economies of Mexicans, in the presence of cheaper imports. Most Mexicans who have migrated have done so from southern Mexico’s rural areas in recent memory, which boasts the largest numbers of native indigenous communities in the country.
The effects this has had on the United States are both positive and negative.
The winners of the positive effects have been those employers who have taken advantage of undocumented Mexican lower cost of labor. The losers have been the U.S. Americans who have been replaced by the undocumented Mexicans, and whose wages have been depressed because of their presence. Goods and service providers using the undocumented labor force therefore maximize their profits.
In addition to lower cost of labor to be had, plus it being a source of ghost-stealth-black-market employment, employers are not responsible to pay into the system for benefits paid to legal employers: So more savings, more money to them.
In addition to the above, undocumented Mexicans are still consumer of goods and services that generate tax revenue at the state and federal level, to which many undocumented Mexicans have no recourse to deduct from their tax declarations. According to a report by Las Vegas Review Journal, in 2004 the amount of unclaimed taxes was $8 billion dollars, most of which is suspected to come from undocumented workers.
Compare that with the estimated $11.2 billion dollars paid taxes by undocumented workers in 2010.
According to what was reported by Amanda Sakuma in MSNBC in 2014, “undocumented immigrants have collectively paid as much as $13 billion into the system while only receiving $1 billion in benefits in return” (My emphasis)—while at the same time keeping the program for retirement income for elderly U.S. Americans afloat.
Besides these benefits the U.S. coffers receive from mostly undocumented Mexican workers, Mexicans living in the U.S. (legally or illegally) have been sending back to Mexico above $22 billion dollars every year since 2009, making it one of the main three sources of income for Mexico’s GDP.
Of all people, the Neocons—the very defenders of Free Market Economies without government intervention—should have a better appreciation of the free movement of labor from one nation to another generated by unfettered demand. However, the irony of it all is that they are not appreciative. In fact, they are the ones who call on bigger government (more money, more bureaucracy) to seal off the U.S.-Mexican border!
So much of a double-standard or outright hypocrisy!
There is no doubt that every time a Mexican crosses the U.S.-Mexico border without the proper permissions, it represents an infraction of U.S. Law. But at the same time, there should not be any doubt in anybody’s mind that the Mexican and U.S. institutions and industries that reap the benefits from their crossing are, while not breaking the law themselves from their crossing, most morally corrupt in perpetuating this abuse for decades on end.
The fact that there is no real interest to change the status quo should be more than a telling sign that the powers that be see it more as a benefit to keep things as they are. There was a period during the Clinton years that the United States population was favorable to seek an easy path to normalization of undocumented workers. Promises were made during Clinton, and during Bush; but like the Healthcare act for nearly 100 years, it really never took priority. Politicians may say it is complicated, but in the end—as with the physical health of the nation of actual U.S. citizens—humans are not really important to the U.S. government and its Wall Street bosses.
Other things are more important, obviously. Like increasing the military budget, so we can kill other human beings with impunity half-way-around the world—while making a killing in profits, and sticking the bill to the U.S. Tax Payer and their children and grandchildren. Like allowing Wall Street steal trillions of dollars and with it the dreams and lives of millions of U.S. Americans. Like allowing countless industries destroy the environment, both at home and around the world.
Yes! Screw you all! Courtesy of the U.S. Senate, Congress, the Supreme Court and the President of the United States. (Please picture them all giving you the finger over and over with a huge grin plastered through their faces)
Have a nice day!
Mexicans? And American-as-apple-pie granny not able to pay for her prescription? Or what about the single mother of two (black or white), working overtime at McDonald’s, not able to pay the heating bill in the midst of a freezing winter? Human beings? Pardon my French, but Who the fouque are they??
Bullets, killer-drones, high-risk derivatives, unsustainable loans, environment-killing chemicals galore… We got you covered folks!! (Wink, smile, two thumbs up).
It is undeniable that the marginalization of undocumented Mexicans do bring other unseeming consequences for U.S. society expressed in crime rates, but it would be wrong to think that the vast majority—hired as service workers who prepare your food and have access to your private homes and businesses, nannies who take care of your children, etc. — are harmful criminal individuals. The high demand of low-skilled, low-paid, labor at all levels of U.S. Society practically affecting most industries could not be possible if this sector of the population was thought out as intrinsically dangerous. Otherwise, they would not be hirable at all if U.S. employers thought them as dangerous.
The fact is and the fact remains that undocumented labor is on high demand, and the group who was least affected in job-losses since 2007.
Pro-immigrant advocacy groups fail to mention all of the above in a steady and forceful fashion, which permit manipulative troglodytes such as Donald Trump to get away with his lies. These advocacy groups and personalities, like Jorge Ramos, use a very weak and soft-peddle strategies that they are eaten alive by their xenophobic opponents such as Ann Coulter.
Besides that all of Trump’s and Coulter’s lies can be categorically refuted, it is important to note that their words are carefully crafted to appeal to a sector of the population which is seeking to blame its own economic disgraces on a target population; economic disgraces provoked by the very 1-percenters such as Trump himself. Besides being baseless, it is a most coward act to attack an unrepresented and unprotected population.
One the one hand, the Mexican government is in no position to demand a better treatment or even a resolution to the plight of illegal Mexicans living in the U.S., when it itself never had any real interest to improve the lives of those Mexicans who chose to cross the border because they were pushed by the very economic policies it adopted, a crossing which represents a high risk to their lives, claiming 6,000 lives since 1998.
The sad end-tail of this story is that the real losers are the undocumented workers, who have to live day in and day out in constant fear of being deported, which would cut them off from their families in the U.S. and a way to provide for their loved ones back home.
Where will all this lead to? Who knows!
The fact is that people keep crossing the border illegally; the fact is that they keep being hired; the fact is that they make their lives here and have children; and the fact is that they keep spending and add to the economy; the fact is that some of them do become dangerous criminals. And none of this could be possible if it were not for the American employer not been able to pass on a good bargain that undocumented labor represents.
And I say this with the utmost sincerity. If U.S. Americans were truly intolerant as a whole, none of this would have happened. Undocumented workers simply would not be hired. Period.
Having worked for the meat and manufacturing industries myself in an administrative capacity, there have been many times over that managers and supervisors come up to me and express their admiration for the Mexican work ethic, even preferred over other ethnic groups; not only they represent an economic value, but also a qualitative one.
So for Trump to have said that Mexico has sent its worst, he can shove it where the sun does not shine, simply because the Anglo-American employers who hire them think otherwise. And the Mexican government and the Mexican people should stop acting all righteously indignant and with crocodile-tears, because this is what we have lost thanks to the stupidity of our political leaders and the greed of our empresarios. We should be embarrassed and with the tail between our legs beyond belief because they the gringos have really benefited from this human potential and we have not.
In the end sum of things, America has gained more than what it has lost; but I guess xenophobe Bible-thumping/Christmas-loving Ann Coulter and her ilk would never thank Jesus for that; would they?