I was thinking today about the wall that Trump wants to build. His original campaign promise was that he would see to it that Mexico paid for the wall, but Mexico has too much to lose right now if they did build the wall. According to the NPR’s article “Mexicans In The U.S. Are Sending Home More Money Than Ever,” income sent back home by migrants to the U.S. topped $69 billion dollars in 2016, and about 40% of that went to Mexico.
Think about that from Mexico’s point of view. Why would Mexico give up nearly $30 billion dollars a year in annual revenue? It makes up about 2% of the GDP. There is no benefit to Mexico in doing anything about illegal immigration.
Mexico hasa vested interest in seeing to it that more U.S. money makes its way back to them, and the best way to do that is to keep the border as it is and look the other way as crime and corruption grow so that more people are encouraged to seek refuge in America.
Those who argue that we need to welcome any immigrant who wants entrance into the United States with open arms cite a variety of reasons for this:
- America is a nation of immigrants and it is hypocritical to refuse entrance to those who need us.
- The places the immigrants come from are rocked by non-stop violence and Civil War.
- The immigrants provide valuable labor and services.
- We can help them.
- We should help them.
- It’s the right thing to do.
- Children die if we don’t help them.
They aren’t wrong about any of these points. When you can and should help people, it is the right thing to do to help them. America was founded on immigrants, and many of those — including the Irish, the Chinese, and the Italians — weren’t welcomed when they came over. It’s hypocritical for those who fled their own situations and came here to now be denying someone else with problems a right to enter.
However, those who oppose illegal immigration have valid points, too.
- Fixing the problems of other countries isn’t our job or our responsibility.
- Most of those who were immigrants in prior generations came through legal ports of entry, were medically tested, and were rejected if they couldn’t prove they would be an asset to the U.S. and not a liability.
- Illegal immigrants are often uneducated, unhealthy, and the only work they can get is physical labor. This leads them to end up on welfare. Yes, the illegal immigrants themselves aren’t eligible for services — but the children they give birth to on American soil are, and so those families are benefitting from welfare without having to pay the same income taxes, which creates higher tax burdens for legal citizens.
- Because illegal immigrants are willing to work for next to nothing, companies hire them instead of the legal citizen whose costs of living are higher and who can’t afford to work for the same low wages. Therefore, the illegal immigrants take jobs away from legal citizens.
- Helping them does not have to mean allowing them to live in our country. It can mean giving them the support and incentive needed to stand up and fight for the country they want.
- Suffering and death is part of life. Allowing them to be brought into this country won’t stop that. It will simply change how they suffer and die and where they do it.
These people aren’t wrong either. They make valid points. The problem, as I see it, is that Mexico right now does not have a sufficient incentive to fix their own internal problems and make Mexico a better place to live. They have a beautiful country and hard-working people. There are abundant resources in that country if they put it to use for themselves, but they aren’t doing it.
If Trump were to propose annexing Mexico, those whose compassion for the plight of the immigrant would be satisfied. After all, every Mexican citizen would now be a United States citizen and fully eligible for every benefit that citizenship entitles under American law. Furthermore, no Mexican citizen would ever have to pay money to a coyote again to sneak them across trecherous miles of desert and risk the life, health, and safety of themselves and their families to get here.
Companies would be forced to stop exploiting the illegal immigrant’s desperation and would now have to pay them a decent wage, just as they do any United States citizen. The value of unskilled labor would naturally go up.
We, in America, outnumber Mexico’s citizens by a factor of 3:1. I’m fairly certain our National Guard alone, let alone our Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, are better equipped, better trained, and better disciplined than Mexico’s. We could clean out the drug cartels in months and reduce the number of people being killed by them. We could also restore order and create safety in those areas currently ravaged by violence.
I am also fairly certain that if Trump were to propose it, and Mexico thought he had the possibility to actually carry through with that threat, Mexico would, indeed, pay for the wall. In point of fact, I’m fairly certain they would not only pay for the wall but ensure that it was built in a matter of months. After all, America has everything to gain from annexing Mexico and nothing to lose.