Illegal Immigration Hits Net Zero and I am Wrong

Bill Mattocks

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Could I have been wrong about my take on our response to illegal immigration? I have favored amnesty and a path towards legal migrant worker status without requiring illegal aliens to first leave and then attempt to return legally. I have been very displeased about various US border states passing (what I consider) extreme laws targeting illegal aliens. I have considered many of those laws to be nativist, bigoted, and in some cases, driven by racism. I have also stated that I did not believe such laws would be effective at all.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Amer...ation-hits-net-zero?google_editors_picks=true

Since the Monitor last visited here in 2007, a major demographic shift has transformed this dusty village of 230. Migrants have come home, and with them have come other important changes. In 2007, there was no running water, no high school, no paved roads. A simple water pipeline, installed in February, runs to each of the 50-some homes. On a recent day the first high school class, including eight students ages 15 to 40, was finishing up math homework. And now, the main roads are paved.

"We can turn on the water and wash our clothes," says Pedro's uncle, Rodolfo Laguna, who spent 12 years working illegally in a chicken plant in Athens, Ga., before returning home in 2010 after both he and his son lost their jobs.

This is the new face of rural Mexico. Villages emptied out in the 1980s and '90s in one of the largest waves of migration in history. Today there are clear signs that a human tide is returning to towns both small and large across Mexico.

One million Mexicans said they returned from the US between 2005 and 2010, according to a new dem-ographic study of Mexican census data. That's three times the number who said they'd returned in the previous five-year period.

And they aren't just home for a visit: One prominent sociologist in the US has counted "net zero" migration for the first time since the 1960s.

However...

The trend began with a weaker economy in the US. But even if a stronger one were to pull many Mexicans back to the US, the new pattern could persist. Migrants and the experts who study them say they are deterred by state laws in the US that have fueled anti-immigrant sentiment, tougher US-border enforcement, and border violence.

I think I have to admit that whether I like it or not, those stronger state laws have had an effect on illegal immigration. I also think the overall attitude towards immigrants of all kinds, legal and illegal, has become more negative; legal immigrants are facing more discrimination than they have in the past. I think that in our bad economy, we've become more nativist, more insular, and less tolerant of those who look and behave differently than 'us'.

But I can't argue with the net results with regard to illegal immigration. I said draconian state laws would have no effect on illegal immigration and it did. I was wrong. That doesn't mean I love those laws, I still don't. But I was wrong about what the net results would be.
 

granfire

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I think it's the sentiment more than the laws.

But I am sure the politicians pushing the laws through will claim the credit.
 
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Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

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I think it's the sentiment more than the laws.

But I am sure the politicians pushing the laws through will claim the credit.

Regardless, I didn't think it would have any effect at all on net illegal immigration. I was clearly wrong about that.
 

Sukerkin

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A man who is not afraid to speak up when he has been mistaken about something is one to be respected in my book :bows:.
 

granfire

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It seems to have a positive impact on the repopulated villages.
 

oftheherd1

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I have never been a fan of illegal immigration nor of amnesty on a large scale. That can only work if we can seal off our borders from those others in the countries of origin. To declare amnesty would only create a hugh surge to come and get in on the goodies. Even those who might be planning to go back someday would love to be relieved of the worry of having to pay to be smuggled back in. Besides that, we are supposed to be a nation of law. If we have bad immigration or cross-border work laws, then the laws should be changed. Not the enforcement or lack thereof.

Some other thoughts, first from the link Bill provided:
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...
And the feeling of welcome changed, too. Beginning with Arizona, states began passing laws to crack down on illegal immigration. Tales of Mexicans sent home after getting stopped for speeding spread, and it even touched home: One family member was sent home to Tamaula, after being caught driving without a license, while his wife and children continue to live in Georgia. Desperate to avoid the same fate, Pedro stopped driving on national holidays to avoid police checks.
...

But another factor that has helped reduce poverty is remittances. Migrants abroad sent $21.27 billion back home in 2010, according to Mexico's central bank. And while Mexico has long developed programs to take advantage of such resources, with its 3-for-1 program, for example, which matches funds sent back to communities for local development, it is not prepared for a sustained change in migration patterns, says Rodolfo Zamora Garcia, an economist in Zacatecas State who studies migration and remittances.
...
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It would appear the worry over state laws did indeed have an effect. I know in the county of Prince William, in Northern Virginia, the announcement of strict enforcement of illegal alien laws caused a mass exodus several years ago, leaving a lot of houses empty. They are only starting to come back the last year or so. Legal or illegal I don't know.
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And from a Latina at http://www.beinglatino.us/uncategorized/mexicos-3-for-1-program-for-migrants comes this:

Why should people be upset that American money is going to Mexico? That money was earned through hard, often back-breaking, work. Legal or not, people come here from all over the world to send money back to their countries. In this case, I admire people who are part of these HTAs because they arent working just for their families, but for their hometown communities too. They are looking at the bigger picture. If there was ever a good example of the collective mindset, this has got to be it.
So, please, lets be good neighbors. There is no harm being done to our economy by people sending out these remittances. It is, in fact, the opposite. These people work hard for the money, just like the rest of us. At the end of the day, their countries are still worse off than we are, and they want the same thing we all do: financial stability for themselves and their loved ones.
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Obviously she has a bias, as do most of us, certainly including me. But I see no advantage to the USA. And I wonder how much of the 3 for 1 is funded by taxes from the 21+ billion per year that goes into the Mexican economy? I can accept that many illegal Mexican immigrants are hard working. That isn't the point. That 21+ billion is being spent in Mexico, not the USA. With trillions in debt, we tend to forget how large a number a billion is. Try counting from 1 to a billion some day. Then repeat 21 times. Well, don't burden yourself, try counting from 1 to a million.

That money could be working for and in our own economy. But it isn't. Our stores (except the money sending stores) don't see a penny of that money. It goes south to Mexico. In the case of day laborers, we dont even get taxes on the money earned and sent south. Mexico is thrilled to see that money coming south, and complains loudly when we talk to them about sealing our borders and sending all the illegals back. Worse, we listen.

I am not Mexico bashing. Other countries provide illegal aliens who do the same. Honduras is a good example. Some african countries have many illegal aliens in our country, and so do many asian countries, including South Korea. All sending money back to their home countries, not spending it here. All the while, enjoying our free education for their children and our free health services.

BTW, if you don't think we already have free health care, go to the emergency room of a large hospital at night. Look around for the signs that say by law, no one can be turned away even if they can't pay. Notice who seems to be in the majority seeking treatment. Consider, who is paying for that? The hospitals aren't going out of business.
 

granfire

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well, you have a few very good points.

And yet, I wonder.
I wonder how the 22 billion dollars that leave for Mexico really measure up in the economic scheme.
You know, here vs there.


However, considering the political climate, I still do believe it is fair to say that the money is not related to our economical troubles.
Nor is it the free education nor the free health care.

Those are things that did not weigh much in years past.
And those who do carry the responsibility for the economic down turn are not normally associated with those fields of work, safe the illegal maid or gardener here or there.

Not to mention they ship enough money off shore to make the head of treasury cry into his oatmeal.
And all of that without the money returning any benefits, as it does in the underprivileged regions of Central and South America.
 

oftheherd1

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well, you have a few very good points.

Thanks.

And yet, I wonder.
I wonder how the 22 billion dollars that leave for Mexico really measure up in the economic scheme.
You know, here vs there.

Well, first I think they do measure up, since I was talking about not only Mexico, but Honduras, some African countries, Korea, and others. Besides that, while I can sympathize with their plight, my first concern is my own country. How can we help if we aren't strong economically?

However, considering the political climate, I still do believe it is fair to say that the money is not related to our economical troubles.
Nor is it the free education nor the free health care.

Those are things that did not weigh much in years past.
And those who do carry the responsibility for the economic down turn are not normally associated with those fields of work, safe the illegal maid or gardener here or there.

I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. Granted those things aren't the only cause of our economic problems, but they contribute and make any problems worse. How much do you think 21 billion would help US small business? Or do you think it would not?

If you are referring to the housing market, do you think any illegal aliens were victims of predatory lending? If so, what percentage? Would they have been the most vulnerable?

Not to mention they ship enough money off shore to make the head of treasury cry into his oatmeal.
And all of that without the money returning any benefits, as it does in the underprivileged regions of Central and South America.

I'm not sure who your "they" is, but I will grant that too much money is allowed out of the US. Money buys things, including being allowed to stash you money overseas and not pay taxes. I think that should be changed. It can be if enough voters put their vote where their mouth is. Otherwise, those with sufficient wealth will continue to lobby successfully for what they want.
 
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