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U.S. – Mexican Immigration Debate

Tue May 17, 2005 4:09 am

I don’t know of any other topic, where people make more misinformed comments than the topic of immigration. A couple of resent examples linked below. (A couple of good points were made though)
US Govt To Pay For Illegal Immigrant Medical Bills (by FiddleSticks May 10 2005 in Non Aviation) Border Patrol Asked To Stand Down In AZ? (by Jamesag96 May 13 2005 in Non Aviation)

This is a complex issue, but I thought maybe we could have a civilized discussion on “illegal” and “legal” immigration into the United States. I pose a few questions below to get us started.

Many of the people who cross the border from Mexico into the United States are “Mexican” in that they were born in Mexico, but they are also members of indigenous Indian tribes and have their own Nations. Some Indian Nations argue that the U.S. must fulfill its obligations under the Gadsden Purchase (1853) and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848). Those treaties form a basis for uninhibited travel across the border.

• So does the U.S. have an international legal obligation to provide free travel across the border to the indigenous peoples who live along it?

Historically it has been politically useful especially during difficult economic times (the great depression), for American politicians to use immigrants as a scapegoat for the nation’s problems. But when labor was scarce, immigrant workers were encouraged to come north (need for cheap labor during WWII).

• Now that we are in 2005, what exactly does Mexico and the United States gain and what do they lose from immigration?

The large number of non-citizens serving in the military may surprise many Americans. But non-citizen legal residents have long been able to serve in the military. They make up about 2% of the 1.4 million active-duty service members. About a third come from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.

• Many legal immigrants do jobs that many Americas choose not to do. But what does it say about Americans when we have over 30000 non citizens that are more patriotic than American citizens?

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