From the Comments: Do Mexicans make good immigrants (to the US)?

Jacques (re-read his updated bioresponds to a thought by longtime reader John:

John: If I did not know better, I would think you are patronizing me. God will make you fall off your bikes if you do. Don’t say you were not warned.

The policies in existence for the past thirty years have gotten this country the worst of several immigration worlds: A large population that sinks into illegality because it or its parents committed a small misdemeanor. (A population that is illegal will quickly start competing with others in ways that cannot be resisted, among other things.) And it’s growing and it’s forbidden to have a stake in this country’s future, or in any country’s future. The current conservative alternative is to “close the border.” That’s a useless blowhard dream. Most illegals now just get a tourist visa, come by plane and stay. (It’s not a legend, I know some.) Do you really want a police state with no tourism at all? There used to be one. It was called the Soviet Union.

I am arguing that few Mexicans want to live in the US, first. Second, the few who do make good immigrant as compared to almost (almost) everyone else. Look into your heart: Is it the case that you really want to stop all immigration? That’s another discussion we could have, just not today and not until you declare yourself.

I repeat that the European Union has been operating for at least twenty years on the model I propose for Mexicans and for Americans only: Free movement, no path to citizenship. The EU suffers from many ills but , remarkably, that is not one of them. The strong anti-immigrant sentiment there that you read about is directed almost entirely at illegal immigrants and at refugees who are not natural neighbors of the EU, and against people who have no intention of going home ever.

No one in France is bitter about the English couple who came to open a pub. No one is disturbed by the so-called Polish plumbers in England who stay long enough to save for a down payment on a house in Poland.

I really hate to use the word (OMG, I do!) but many native-born Americans who are afraid of immigration seem to lack a basic form of sensitivity: Pulling up roots, leaving many relatives behind, learning a new language, being routinely patronized, is both very difficult and emotionally costly. Very few people want to endure this if they can avoid it. (The privilege of living say, in Detroit, does not always make up for it.) If you let them go back and forth, Mexicans will mostly not stay and will return to Mexico where, for one thing, they already know the language.

Fences don’t always make good neighbors. Fences are often so bad they make you lose control of what you wish to control. Bad fences are worth than no fences.

OK, John I have now chastised you much beyond what your own sins required. It’s just that you gave me an opportunity and I took it. Almost everything I hear in the US today about immigration is error-ridden, uninformed and downright childish.

This comes from Jacques’ post on Mexican immigration from a few months back, and is worth highlighting given all of the demagoguery to be found in the US presidential election (on both sides of the aisle).

PS: Michelangelo also provided this link in the thread. It’s well worth the read.

3 thoughts on “From the Comments: Do Mexicans make good immigrants (to the US)?

  1. Heh. I write about immigration enough so I won’t comment too much. I will however clarify that open borders does not mean that (1) foreigners should have easy access to citizenship/welfare services or that (2) private discrimination should not be allowed.

  2. I would note that entering Mexico illegally carries hash penalties when and if they are imposed. I think as long as the immigrants are going straight through to America, a blind eye is turned by the Mexican authorities. There is a double standard in place by both governments.
    As long as an immigrant has enough respect for the country they want to live in to follow their laws, I have no problem with it. When they break our laws from the start and jump in line in front of thousands who try to come he legally, I have no respect for their intentions. JMHO.

  3. John:

    ” jump in line in front of thousands who try to come he legally, …”

    I am not sure what you mean here. I suspect (suspect) that the statement implies that there exists an orderly process of emigration to the US that is available to those who are now coming in illegally. In fact, there is no such orderly process. The belief that there is is widespread including among those who make the relevant laws but it’s erroneous. Here is a valid generalization:

    There is currently no legal way for a married Mexican citizen to emigrate to the US. Same for an Irish citizen,except a lottery (A lottery, you read this right!)

Please keep it civil

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