Memo From Mexico | Unexpected Perspective From The Baja Big Fish Company
April 16, 2008, 05:00 AM
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Some people find it strange, and even objectionable, that I live in Mexico and write in favor of a stricter U.S. immigration policy.

For me, there is no contradiction. Nor do I consider my writings to be at all anti-Mexican. I just find the whole Open Borders business to be an incredibly hypocritical and destructive scam that hurts both Mexico and the United States.

Some of my previous articles relating to these perspectives:

 

 

As you might imagine, I receive plenty of interesting mail, both positive and negative, from a diversity of sources. I`ve gotten angry letters from Hispanic readers (here and here) and from a naturalized American citizen from Mexico. One letter writer  told me to go back to Iraq and die. (I served there with my Texas-based National Guard unit). Some Americans have called me a traitor .

On the other hand, I`ve received letters from Mexicans who agree with me, and from a Mexican-American who says I`m not hard enough on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans!

I`ve also received mail from fellow gringos in Mexico. Not all of them are in agreement with each other. Some Americans in Mexico don`t really care about U.S. immigration policy or keep up with it, some support open borders, and others, like myself, are staunch restrictionists. After my article about the Gringo Colony of San Miguel, Mexico—I argued that it is in no way comparable to the Mexican invasion of the U.S.—I received some critical letters from an American resident there.

Recently, I`ve received some more interesting correspondence, from an American in Mexico who has had a somewhat similar experience to mine. Her name is Pam Bolles.

Like me, Pam lives in Mexico, works in Mexico, is married to a Mexican, and like myself has two children (she calls them her "anchor babies".) Like me, she has assimilated in many ways into Mexican culture, unlike some Americans who live here and never learn Spanish. As Pam aptly described it,

"I came here about 10 years ago and have assimilated. I hang with Mexicans and now speak the lingo, unlike some expats who have been here for 25 years and still can`t order a cold beer in a bar."

It`s true, there are Americans who come down here, live for years and never learn Spanish. The funny thing is, it`s often the less assimilated Americans who are pro-open borders.

Pam lives in Loreto, on the southern Baja California Peninsula. She is the owner of the The Baja Big Fish Company (see website here) which charters boats for tourists who go sport fishing (see seasonal fishing chart here). If you want to go fishing there, the Baja Big Fish Company can even book you a hotel reservation in Loreto (see here ). Click here for a photograph of Pam, her husband and a yellowtail fish she`d just caught.

As in my case, Pam`s experience of living here has influenced her thinking on the subject of immigration. She also arrived to the conclusion that emigration is not good for Mexico either.

Pam`s first letter to me began:

"I don`t usually write to authors of articles that I find on the web or elsewhere but after discovering your writings about mass Mexican immigration into the United States I felt compelled to. I may be living a parallel life as I also live, work and am raising a family in Mexico."

Then she explained how her experience of living in Mexico had changed her perspective:

"Prior to my living here I was an outspoken supporter of Mexican immigration. Hey it`s just a bunch (millions) of honest folks coming up to do that kind of work no-one else wants to do, right?

"How wrong I was."

Pam continues:

"Over my years in Mexico (since 1999) I have seen what the mass emigration out of Mexico has been doing to this country and several years ago I did a complete 180 degrees. At this point I am actually supportive of the Minutemen. Before I came here to live I thought the Minutemen were racists. "

So you see how living here can change your perspective. Then Pam explains in detail what she means:

"I live in a tourist destination: Loreto, Baja California Sur.

"Here very few people emigrate anywhere so we are not seeing this problem but we are seeing megadevelopments constructing all around us with people who are poorer than the average resident here and willing to work for lower pay. For the most part those construction workers come from Chiapas and Oaxaca.

"Also they speak Indian languages and not Spanish."

So you see what is happening where she lives. It`s a more prosperous part of Mexico, and there`s not much emigration. But notice that, just as in the United States, construction companies like to hire people who will work for less than the locals! In the case of Loreto, the construction industry hires Mexicans from the poorest region of Mexico, who will work for less. These migrants are culturally, racially and linguistically different from the residents of Loreto.

Just to give you an idea of the economic contrast, according to the United Nations` HDI (Human Development Index), which measures life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living and GDP per capita, Baja California Sur, the Mexican state in which Loreto is located, has Mexico`s 4th-highest HDI ranking, while Chiapas has the lowest and Oaxaca has the second lowest. As for GDP per capita, according to 2004 figures, Baja California Sur`s GDP per capita was $11,248, Oaxaca`s $3,978 and Chiapas`s $3,693.

(For a map of Mexico which shows you where the states are, click here for Mexican HDI distribution by state, click here , and just take a gander at the map, which shows the vast economic chasms within Mexico.)

Pam is also married to a Mexican, which of course is a great help to assimilation. For one thing, when you marry a Mexican you have Mexican in-laws, which is an education within itself. But Pam`s husband is not originally from Loreto, so she learned something about her husband`s home region: "My husband came here to construct Cabo San Lucas in the mid 80s and stayed then met me. He is from Guerrero, La Costa Chica one of the poorest areas of Mexico."

The Mexican state of Guerrero has the third lowest HDI in Mexico, beat out only by Oaxaca and Chiapas. Guerrero`s GDP per capita is $4,952 dollars.

Pam continues:

"When we visit we see some family, cousins, sobrinos,(nieces and nephews) but most in our age group have left to work in various parts of the United States. The little village where my suegra (mother-in-law) lives is populated by the elderly and the very young. Virtually ALL of the able-bodied men and women have left to work in the US. And as you know that`s only one of the social and economic problems that this mass emigration has caused."

What Pam describes in only one village is a big problem in many areas of Mexico—the depopulation of small towns and rural areas. It destroys local traditions, breaks up families and turns vibrant towns into ghost towns. This is what open borders has wrought.

Is this really helping Mexico?

Pam Bolles is also in the process of becoming a Mexican citizen. This is where our experiences diverge—I`ve never attempted to become a Mexican citizen nor do I plan to. So we can learn from her experience:

"I am actually going through the process (or should I say ordeal) of getting naturalized. This has been an ongoing ordeal for me since September 2003! I ought to write to you about that, how difficult it is."

According to Mexican immigration law, as the spouse of a Mexican and/or the parent of Mexican-born children (the latter being the basis on which Pam is applying) she should be able to get naturalized after having lived in Mexico two years. But they are still giving her the runaround. Here`s her impression:

"I`m kinda steamed about it in comparison to what`s expected of the US by SRE [(Mexican foreign ministry] here but I could suck it in and write about it. I think that US citizens who are about to vote in a major election, should take into consideration how differently things go for Americans obtaining citizenship in Mexico, or being here legally working or otherwise for that matter. I certainly don`t have a problem with it, only with Mexico expecting the American government to bend over backwards for illegals from Mexico. I decided to naturalize myself so as to provide better opportunities for work for myself so as to raise my two Mexican-born children (anchor babies)."

Well, that`s Pam`s situation. In her first letter to me, she closed out with these encouraging words:

"Anyway, hats off to you and please keep up the good work. If I can help you in any way don`t hesitate to ask."

Thanks Pam . You already have, helped us by providing a valuable perspective.

And, in a more recent letter, Pam told me that

"I`ve been reading VDARE.COM a lot and when my season kicks in I will donate. Good stuff."

So if you`d like to go sport fishing, book a flight to Loreto, have Pam book your hotel and fishing boat, and catch some big fish with the help of the Baja Big Fish Company.

Some of your money might actually end up supporting VDARE.COM!

American citizen Allan Wall ( email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.