Legal immigrants have been welcomed to the United States for centuries. At the sametime a high rate of illegal immigration from Mexico has been tolerated for many years. After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 however, the number and countries of origin for illegal immigrants coming to America from Mexico has raised concern for our national security and the safety of our citizens. The question being debated in Congress is how to gain better control of U.S. borders and stop the flow of illegal immigrants. There are basically two sides of the debate: those favoring closed borders and absolute control of all immigration as more important than the economy; and those favoring controlled access, but more open borders to allow foreign workers into the U.S. economy to provide for a perceived labor shortage.
The paper was written to stress importance the forces for and against more stringent immigration controls, and the impact on U.S. and Mexican government relationships.
The author also neglected to address a third debate – over the fact that subversive, revolutionary and criminal organizations are undermining US authority, denouncing US sovereignty, and intend to take back perceived “stolen” real estate supposedly belonging to Mexico. In reality, Spain has more claim than Mexico. I will address this later in this essay.
The Statue of Liberty has been a symbol to welcome immigrants, inscribed with, in part:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost [tossed] to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
|West Indies Immigrant
Our nation was established by European immigrants. Alexander Hamilton
, the first Secretary of Treasury of the United States was an immigrant from the West Indies.
Initially there was little in immigration policy of the newly established government, just as it was not necessary to declare in regulation or legislation that English was the established language. It was not necessary. The only rule was that foreigners, or immigrants, could not hold high level elected offices in the government. However, like Hamilton, there were those who were appointed by elected officials because of their expertise in the area of which they became responsible.
Six years after the US Constitution was ratified, Congress passed the first immigration legislation, called The Naturalization Act of 1795
that restricted citizenship to free white persons
who reside in the United States for five years and renounce their allegiance to their former country
. Importation of slaves was prohibited in 1808. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act
restricted Chinese immigration.
In 1921, The Quota Act
limited annual European immigration to 3 percent of number of a nationality group in the United States in 1910
. The Johnson-Reed Act
of 1924 reduced the 1921 Quota Act of 3 percent to 2 percent of 1890 populations, excluding the huge numbers of immigrants to the U.S. between the years 1890 and 1910 from the calculation. That reduction of legal immigrants of 40% ended the mass immigration of the Industrial Revolution
and during the Great Western Expansion of the 1800s
In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act
eliminated the nationality quota system and replaced it with a total restrictive amount regardless of where they came from to 120,000 annually, from the Western Hemisphere and 170,000 from the rest of the world. It was also the first law in an effort to control immigration from Latin America and to increase Border Patrol in order to protect the border from uninvited intruders. Since that legislation, the amount of illegal immigrants has risen steadily over the decades. In 1986, Congress attempted to reinforce the border with the Immigration Reform and Control Act
. During that time the amount of Border Patrol officers and personnel was increased and penalties were established against U.S. employers hiring illegal immigrants.
Immigration reform legislation passed and was signed into law was by President Bill Clinton in 1996, which targeted illegal immigrants from Mexico, the primary country of origin. The legislation added 10,000 Border Patrol agents and added physical barrier fences in certain high traffic areas near major border cities. The law only addressed illegal immigrants crossing the border, not legal immigrants whose permits expired and continued to remain in the United States.
As Mr. Skinner wrote:
In many ways, the U.S. is a victim of globalization and its own free society and hugely successful economy. [until recent years] …
In Mexico, the overall economy improved since the economic collapse of 1995-1996 and distribution of wealth has widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Technically speaking, there is not a true “middle class” in Mexico. Therefore, the average Mexican is under-educated despite government established schools. This has also instrumental in the problems faced with illegal immigrants in the United States. Most illegal immigrants come from Mexico, and some other national illegal immigrants cross the border from Mexico. It has become and remains a national security issue, as well as a law enforcement issue since the drug cartels have taken advantage of the situation and established themselves north of the Mexico-U.S. border.
On Mexico’s part, the corruption of Mexican law enforcement and government officials has compounded the problem and thus illegal immigrants have made their way from Guatemala and other Latin American nations. In 1996, it was estimated that there were five million illegal immigrants in the United States. That number rose to 11 million in when President Clinton signed the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The most illegal immigrants are concentrated in California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia; however, the immigration issue has become a problem everywhere in the United States. While the building of a fence across the 2,000 border has been established and approved, it was never completed because of one issue upon another. The need for a fence extending completely across the southern border of the United States is due to the success of the one built in California.
President Fox of Mexico was elected in July of 2000 and was the first democratically elected president of Mexico in 71 years. Before Fox, Mexico was an authoritarian government
. The Mexican government has not been helpful in solving the illegal immigrant situation of the United States, indeed, they have argued against and condemned our policies of removing illegal immigrants, specifically Mexicans, publicly calling our policies racist.
As Human Eventsreported:
That’s too bad, because Mexico, which annually deports more illegal aliens than the United States does, has much to teach us about how it handles the immigration issue. Under Mexican law, it is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico. … The Mexican constitution strictly defines the rights of citizens — and the denial of many fundamental rights to non-citizens, illegal and illegal. Under the constitution, the Ley General de Población, or General Law on Population, spells out specifically the country’s immigration policy. … If the United States adopted such statutes, Mexico no doubt would denounce it as a manifestation of American racism and bigotry. … Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society … Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country … Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons … Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law … Let’s call Mexico’s bluff on its unwarranted interference in U.S. immigration policy. Let’s propose, just to make a point, that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) member nations standardize their immigration laws by using Mexico’s own law as a model.
President Obama has increased the problem more than any other president by using back-door policies not approved by Congress in order to provide amnesty to illegal aliens
. Associated Press
Currently, illegal immigrants must leave the country before they can ask the government to waive a three- to 10-year ban on legally coming back to the U.S. The length of the ban depends on how long they have lived in the U.S. without permission.
President Reagan tried amnesty during his tenure in office, but it only increased the amount of illegal immigrants with the thought that if they could stay long enough in the United States without becoming deported – they could remain as citizens of the United States or shadow citizens.
Obama has called for an overhaul of the immigration system that would provide a path to legal status for the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. But even when the House and Senate were both in Democratic hands, he could not muster the votes needed to pass that plan. The prospects are even weaker now that the House is under Republican control.
President Felipe Calderon
took President Fox’s place as Mexico’s president. He has consistently undermined and chastised the United States for taking any measures to secure our borders – yet, he, like President Fox, has Mexican laws that are more draconian than most immigration laws. He publicly bashes the United States and then gets billions of dollars in foreign aid – on top of the billions of dollars poured into the Mexican economy by Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) sending US dollars via Western Union to their Mexican relatives. President Bush fared no better
and kissed the rump
of Mexico’s executive leadership. Mexico’s hypocrisy
and ideology that the United States has part of Mexico’s stolen real estate is also another issue.
The state of Arizona
had to take matters in its own hands because the federal government has not enforced its own immigration laws and sides with Mexico’s anti-US rhetoric. There are 8.5 million Mexican-born people in the United States and three million are uninvited. Approximately 3 million Mexicans settle in US permanently
and about 150,000 are undocumented. Mexican immigrants are concentrated with 78% living in four states
and nearly half of that amount in California (Mexifornia).
Literally, the United States is being invaded
. Many other countries would have considered what Mexico does as acts of war; Mexican organizations here in the United States, subversive elements
with the gist of their ideology being Reconquista
rhetoric, are actively demonstrating in an effort to overthrow US authority. Yet, the federal government does not take it seriously, and instead target Tea Party movement people in favor of a constitutional government and reformation back to a constitutional republic.
Mexico lost territories in 1848 because of a revolution by Republic of Texas – not officially a state, but considered a territory of the United States. Despite their propaganda, there were Mexican-Americans who fought at the Alamo and against the Mexican army invasion. Historically, it is a farce. Mexicans are a breed of Spanish and Native Americans – Mayans and Aztec cultures who sacrificed via mass murder daily toward the end of their civilization. The official language of Mexico is Spanish – not Mayan or Aztec. Mexican culture, constantly in revolution and constantly threatening it, wants to not come to United States to assimilate, but to overtake – Elena Poniatowska, Venezuelan journal El Imparcial, July 3rd, 2001:
The people of the poor, the lice-ridden and the cucarachas are advancing in the United States, a country that wants to speak Spanish because 33.4 million Hispanics impose their culture…Mexico is recovering the territories ceded to the United States with migratory tactics… [This phenomenon] fills me with jubilation, because the Hispanics can have a growing force between Patagonia and Alaska.
Columnist Carlos Loret de Mola, Excelsior, Mexico City, 1982:
You cannot give me a similar example of such a large migratory wave by an ant-like multitude, stubborn, unarmed, and carried on in the face of the most powerful and best-armed nation on earth…. [The migrant invasion]seems to be slowly returning [the southwestern United States] to the jurisdiction of Mexico without the firing of a single shot, nor requiring the least diplomatic action, by means of a steady, spontaneous, and uninterrupted occupation.
Other Latin American nations have looked upon Mexico as “resentful losers
”. Today they are winners because they are invading the United States without firing a single revolutionary shot. It is because of the American value of tolerance and charitable mindset of helping the unfortunate – all used against them.
In the face of the silent Reconquista of the United States, we confront a new linguistic phenomenon.
Yet, it was the Spanish, not the English that conquered them long before the English arrived on the shores of the Atlantic seaboard of North America. The Mexican immigrants have become Fifth Column
. Clearly, they are domestic enemies of the United States. They deny the authority of the United States. They deny the use of our language and insist that Americans learn Spanish and become a bi-lingual nation. The Mexican government constantly interferes with US immigration laws. Therefore, the Mexican government is using the subversive elements of Hispanic organizations to fulfill their goal of Reconquista
– and out national leadership just shake their hands, smile, and provide them will billions of taxpayer dollars. It is no different than the sell out to the Chinese communist government.
One great hope that came out of the Zapatista March was that generated by the “alliance” that was forged by some of us in the Chicano/Mexicano Delegation and our brothers and sisters in Mexico. The delegation met with officials of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD) in Mexico City and discussed strategies that will increase our influence in the United States and further our collective efforts of “acercamiento.”
The Mexican government authorizes an elite law enforcement team called Grupo Beta
who protects illegal immigrants as they sneak into the US via corrupt Mexican officials and criminals. Meanwhile, US Minutemen organization aiding Border Patrol agents are denounced by the President of Mexico (Fox and present) calling them “migrant-hunting groups”. They do not apprehend illegal immigrants, just report incidents to Border Patrol officials in an effort to assist. They have also been denounced by citizens and officials of the United States government concerning their efforts to help secure our borders. The Minutemen have produced videos proving that uniformed Mexican law enforcement and soldiers were crossing the border with the illegal immigrants, apparently protecting them.
This occurred during the Bush administration – and nothing was done. Rep. Tom Tancredo
declared that Mexican drug cartels were crossing the border with automatic weapons and other weaponry, as well as renegade Mexican troops which amounted to an act of war
– requested that President Bush deploy troops there. No action was taken.
It has also been proposed that Mexicans in the U.S. vote in Mexican elections in designated electoral districts in the United States. Under this proposal, California, for example, might have seats in the Mexican Congress, specifically representing Mexicans residing in that state. … Meanwhile, another of Mexico’s three major parties, the leftist PRD, urges the designation of the entire United States as the sixth Mexican electoral district.
…the triumphant Western allies after the First World War made two mistakes, which in combination were fatal. First, they gave the defeated Germans the motive for revenge, by imposing terribly harsh penalties on them, and second—insanely—they gave them the opportunity for revenge, by failing to enforce the surrender terms when Hitler began to violate them in the 1930s. Yet the fact that the victors’ inexcusable follies enabled Germany to initiate a devastating war against Europe did not change the fact that Germany had initiated the war and had to be beaten.
In the same way, by wresting vast territories from Mexico in 1848 we gave the Mexicans the motive for revenge, and then, 120 years later, we insanely gave them the opportunity, by letting Mexicans immigrate en masse into the very lands that our ancestors had taken from theirs, and also by adopting a view of ourselves as a guilty nation deserving of being overrun by cultural aliens.
WE gave them the opportunity, THEY took it, and now THEY are dictating terms to us and overriding our culture and traditions – and even the Constitution.
Because the U.S. has been silent and passive, Castañeda, in the manner of all bullies and conquistadors, tells us to heed Mexico. The time is long since passed for us to reverse this drama, and make Mexico heed the United States. But for us to do this, we must recognize that the Mexicans are not coming here merely as individuals seeking economic opportunities, but as a nation, expressing their national identity and collective will. Even more important, we must revive our own largely forgotten and forbidden sense that we ourselves are a nation, not just a bunch of consumers and bearers of individual rights, and have the right to defend our nation as a nation.
in the United States has not helped the situation. Illegal immigration has raised the cost of law enforcement expense
. Waves of illegal immigrants has caused environmental problems
on US public and private lands along the Mexican border, in one area alone in Arizona, 45 abandoned cars were found and enough trash to fill 723 large garbage bags with over 18,000 pounds of garbage collected in two months. It is a no-brainer to understand the serious issue of national security
and the importation of terrorist organizations and individuals. Illegal immigrants to not undergo medical exam for infectious diseases like legal immigrants – so there is a national health issue involved as well.
- Illegal immigration hurts the investment climate. [Jacobe, Dennis. “Investors Believe Illegal Immigration Is Hurting The U.S. Economic Climate: Eight In 10 Investors Say The Government Should Do More To Stop Illegal Immigration.” Gallup Poll Briefing (2006): 1-4. Business Source Complete. Web. 25 Oct. 2012]
- Cost taxpayers by using government services like public education and medical services. [Jacobe, Dennis. “Investors Believe Illegal Immigration Is Hurting The U.S. Economic Climate: Eight In 10 Investors Say The Government Should Do More To Stop Illegal Immigration.” Gallup Poll Briefing (2006): 1-4. Business Source Complete. Web. 25 Oct. 2012]
- The cost of crime from drug cartels and Hispanic-Chicano gangs.
As long as Mexico’s 53% of its population remain in poverty, there will be those who will try to come to the United States. Ironically, the Reconquista and Aztlan crowd want to turn the US into an annex of Mexico – instead of assimilating the success of the United States and its reasons into Mexico. Unemployment in Mexico is about 40% with NO government unemployment benefits. There is little welfare benefit programs.
Based upon the above, Mexicans will continue to enter US illegally as long as the Mexican government continues its poor record of domestic affairs. So, why isn’t the United States government leadership addressing this and taking this in consideration when discussing anything with Mexico? Why provide them aid when it certainly shows that the Mexican people are not benefiting Where is that billions of US dollars going to? Mexican government and Mexican society’s elite? It is certainly not for the benefit of its poorer people, or improved their lot in life.
This issue has dragged on for decades, and any action taken has not worked – so leadership in Congress and the White House requires to take a hard look at the situation and come up with better and more viable plans to solve the problem and disregard the racial discrimination unfair charges from the radicals. It is also time to hit employers who hire illegals with stiff fines, which will also reduce the cost of enforcing immigration laws. Walmart
alone, in 2005, was fined $11 million for having hundreds of illegal immigrants in its stores. This was mainly contractual workers and Walmart claimed ignorance. The federal government
picks and chooses who it busts
when searching for illegal immigrants employed in the US. It refuses to allow states to aid federal
law enforcement with trained individuals. Out of 404,849 deported illegal aliens, 24% were repeat offenders.
And, if you think Democrats are the only problem, think again: In 2004, the Bush administration levied NO fines for US companies employing undocumented workers versus Bill Clinton’s administration collecting $3.49 million in fines from 890 companies in 1999.
It is not a partisan issue. It is a national security problem. It is a foreign invasion.
Hispanic people have contributed greatly over the decades to the United States in several ways. I certainly appreciate their cuisine and regularly have a supply of tortillas in the house for my favorite dishes, along with Italian and traditional American foods. I served proudly in the military with fellow Americans of Hispanic descent, as well as Native Americans, and Americans whose ancestors came from somewhere else. However, we were unified not just in our uniforms we wore, but the fact that we were Americans.
We do not ask for much — just obey our laws, respect our traditions, and think American not pockets of multinationalism.
This article was written with objectiveness in mind. Too often, people justify their criminal or wrongful acts or mask it by declaring accusers or those who disagree with being racist. It has become too often a phenomenon in today’s American political arena; and instead of unification, it only divides the nation.
Immigrants are welcome – if they obey and adhere to immigration law and set standards as well as quotas — established for a reason.