Monday | May 19, 2003
Our friends in Mexico
Today's New York Times has the following editorial:
The gruesome deaths in Texas last week of 19 undocumented migrant workers stuffed in an airless trailer truck and the White House's cancellation of its Cinco de Mayo party earlier in the month may seem like unrelated events. They are. Yet both say a lot about the dreary state of Mexican-American relations and President Bush's unfulfilled promise of a new golden age in neighborly ties.
The immigrants' deaths were a heinous crime by a human-smuggling ring, the kind that has led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people over the past decade. It is a reminder that Vicente Fox and George Bush have failed to deliver on their ambitious pledge to craft a landmark immigration agreement that would make it easier for the United States to fill its labor needs without forcing young Mexicans to run a deadly gantlet in the desert.
Before 9/11, the Bush Administration lavished a ridiculous amount of time and attention on Mexico and it's president Vincente Fox After 9/11, we forgot all about them, except to bully them on various issues.
The Mexicans like to say they are"so far from God, so close to the United States" for a reason. We have to change the relationship between our countries for a secure border. Not with the unmanned drones and white racists patrolling the border, armed and more than ready to shoot illegals.
I see Mexican workers all around me. In the bars, in the stores, in my neighborhood and for the most part, they seem to be stable people with families. Hardly the scourge of America. The only reason so many of them are treated like cattle is that we willfully deny the role they play in our economy. We want and need Mexican workers in the US. Yet we pretend that we do not for reasons racial and political.
And until we can control our Mexican border, any attempt at security a miserable joke. Again, we cannot defend the US by ourselves and if we alienate Mexico, all the color alerts are reduced to a joke. Mexico needs a stake in the health and security of the United States without being prodded or bullied. A true coalition of the willing would have Mexico standing right beside us, not irritated at our behavior. As long as we treat Mexico as a cheap joke, a lackey, our security will be illusory. Because they will have no incentive to help us maintain it while they clamor for the low-wage jobs we offer them without thought.
Steve GilliardPosted May 19, 2003 09:33 AM | Comments (77)