Immigration Discussion

We had an interesting discussion on immigration, from the Mexican perspective.  This is a very complicated issue; one that I have not reached my own conclusions on yet (as I mentioned late last week).  However Pastor Kim made some compelling arguments for why the current immigration policy is ineffective.  Below are the notes I took from his presentation.  I’m curious to know what y’all think…

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Operation Gatekeeper (1994 → same as NAFTA)
•    Militarization of the US / Mexican boarder
•    Creating walls in boarder towns where people tend to cross
•    The walls are created from old helicopter landing pads, used in Vietnam & Iraq

Prior to NAFTA, about 250,000 Mexicans / year crossing illegally
Post NAFTA, over 500,000 Mexicans / year crossing illegally

There are more undocumented Mexicans in the US than ever before.  Once Mexicans cross the boarder, they stay in the US.  It’s too risky to go back & forth for seasonal work; like Mexicans used to do prior to NAFTA.

Agricultural workers
•    In the US – 53% undocumented
•    In California – 90% undocumented

Mexico considers the boarder the result of an unjust war of aggression, instigated by the United States.

“Coyotes” charge $3,000 to facilitate the safe passage of an undocumented worker from Mexico to the US.

The flow of immigration traffic
•    comes up from the south of Mexico (campesino-saturated states)
•    arrives in Altar, MX
•    continues through the desert (2 hour drive) and cross in Sasabe or Nogales
•    walk around the “Minutemen” camp and immigration office into the desert mountains
•    walk an additional 6-7 days through the mountainous desert
•    arrive in Tucson.

Peak crossing months are January – May.
•    2,000 migrants cross per day during that period

It’s impossible to take enough water into the desert mountains, because it’s too heavy.

1994 – present → 4,000 people have died trying to cross the boarder

Some of the people who report illegal immigrants to the boarder patrol are actually people who hire them.  They’ll get 13 days work out of the immigrant, and then turn them over to the authorities before they have to give them their two-week paycheck.

“A Day Without Mexican” → mockumentary film

Mexico pays 50% of its budget to service debt to the IMF & World Bank

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