Losing our vision for the future
Posted on Tuesday, February 05th 2013 at 09:55 am
Immigration reform is finally on the table. Frankly we should have dealt with this years ago when President Bush tried to push a solution with the help of Senators McCain and Feingold. They couldn't get bi-partisan traction because the unions oppose regularization (most people forget that Cesar Chavez and the farm workers union opposed migrant workers) and those on the right fearful about open borders. You could also throw in those that benefit from the status quo; employers taking advantage of cheap labor and the handlers of the illegals who benefit financially. The underlying issue behind illegal immigration is the lack of opportunity in Mexico; most immigrants primarily are here is for work. We have not done a good job working with Mexico to develop a strong trading partner and economic opportunities. Instead of manufacturing our products in China where often they steal our patents and manufacture knock offs, we should be manufacturing those products in Mexico. We currently import 75% of our fruits and vegetables that we consume during the winter from Mexico. Mexico is extraordinarily blessed with natural resources like oil, mineral and agricultural wealth. And as Mark Steyn put forth in "America Alone" unlike Europe whose immigrants don't share their historic faith and values, Mexican immigrants do share our historic faith and values. These are good reasons for us to step up our efforts with Mexico. There have been two things that have thwarted our partnership with Mexico:
1. We have not treated Mexico with respect and dignity. Our government often lectures Mexico about propriety while we weather one political scandal or another. We build a fence on the Mexican border and treat their citizens as criminals while we have a nearly open border with Canada. We encouraged President Calderon to go hard on the Cartel's and then legalized Marijuana in 18 states. The list could go on and on. When people are disrespected they often behave badly.
2. Mexico has been an oligarchy. The same people have been in control in Mexico for hundreds of years. They have a hierarchical system and have valued personal wealth accumulation and immediate family as more important than the community and country. This is changing. The younger generation (under 40) grasps the importance of putting the country ahead of personal gain. We have a golden opportunity to reach out to this generation.
The security of our nation and our economic future rests not on the building of a fence, but on building our relationship with Mexico. If Mexico becomes a trusted partner in trade, manufacturing, tourism and our national security we will both prosper. Tucson is in a unique position to prosper in this relationship. We are not going to attract businesses (like Phoenix) that are looking to relocate due to our historically anti-business attitude. We do have a great opportunity to prosper as goods and services transfer through our portal and as the standard of living rises in Mexico and more come here to shop. Turning a blind eye to this opportunity will cause us to lose our vision in the future.