Could mass Mexican immigration to the United States be only a transitional phenomenon until Mexico gets its economy in order?
A hypothetical question, of course, since Mexico is a long way from getting its economic house in order.
But this is the answer: don't count on a decrease in emigration from Mexico any time. The Mexican government has no intention of decreasing it. In fact, it's working hard to increase emigration.
According to a document issued in November of 2001 by CONAPO, the Mexican National Population Council, even with a decrease in the birth rate and an improved Mexican economy, emigration to the U.S. will not diminish for at least the next 30 years! CONAPO called this emigration "inevitable." Of course what CONAPO really means by "inevitable" is that it doesn't want it stopped.
The Mexican central bank recently reported that income from remittances from Mexican migrants in the U.S. now tops that of every other sector other than petroleum. Migration, in other words, earns more for Mexico than tourism, more than manufacturing, more than mining, more than agriculture, more than direct foreign investment in Mexico.
In just the first 6 months of 2003, recorded earnings from remittances totaled $6.3 billion (Petroleum – over $8 billion, direct foreign investment – $5.2 billion, Tourism – $4.9 billion). [Mexican Central Bank: Money Sent Home By Migrants Tops Foreign Investment, Tourism by Mark Stevenson, Associated Press, August 29th, 2003]
Mexico has great economic potential. It's a tourist bonanza with some of the world's finest beaches, colonial architecture, pre-Hispanic archaeology, and more. Mexico has mineral wealth – for example, it's the world's number one in silver reserves - a large industrial sector, a highly-educated upper class and a small but growing high-tech industry. Mexican agriculture is blessed with a wide variety of ecosystems and long growing seasons.
Yet, except for petroleum, not one of these sources of wealth production can surpass the value of remittances from migrants in the U.S.!
This is a stunning indictment. How could a modern nation-state allow itself to get into such a predicament?
This incredible failure should be a first-class embarrassment for Mexico's ruling class. Instead, it's being utilized for political gain. The power of migrant remittances in the economy is yet another built-in disincentive to reform Mexico's economy.
Where does remittance money go? It goes to buy groceries, consumer goods and into home improvement. In some cases it encourages its recipients not to take up productive work in Mexico. Very little of remittance funds are channeled into savings or productive investment in Mexico. Once again, no incentive for emigration reduction.
Indeed, Mexico is losing its attraction for foreign investment due in part to its government's ongoing failure to enact reform in the fiscal and energy sectors [México pierde su atractiva, Romina Róman, Universal, September 11th, 2003]. Why should it, with that emigration safety valve?
You can't blame Vicente Fox for the economic and political errors of the 71 years before he took office. On the other hand, his election provided a window of opportunity which his administration has failed to exploit.
Fox defenders blame the Mexican Congress, which does deserve its share of the blame. However, there are elements in the PRI – the former ruling party – open to energy reform. Why can't Fox build a coalition with this faction - as Ronald Reagan did with southern Democrats in the 1980's? The Fox administration has simply not shown the necessary political skills for such coalition-building.
Instead, Fox's obsession with emigration has diverted time and political capital which could have been spent more constructively in substantial reforms.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez, who recently declared that Mexico would give the U.S. nothing in exchange for a migratory accord, laid out the goals of Mexican foreign policy in a recent Reforma article. Generally, these goals are what you would expect given the globalist principles outlined in Vicente Fox's Madrid speech. But of special interest to the U.S. National Question is one item that Foreign Minister Derbez describes thusly:
"Through our network of 45 consulates, we reinforce attention to the needs of our fellow Mexicans in the United States regardless of their legal or migratory status…We seek with our northern neighbor the negotiation of a total migratory package which includes (a) the regularization of undocumented [a.k.a. illegal] Mexicans resident in that country, (b) border security, (c)an increase in the number of visas for temporary workers and (d) regional economic development.
"Besides seeking a total migratory package defined above, with the goal of improving living conditions of our fellow Mexicans, we have issued in the past year 1, 130,000 matriculas consulares. [They are] accepted in 280 banking institutions and in 32 states of that country [the U.S.] The [U.S.] Department of the Treasury announced yesterday that it permits the use of the matricula by commercial banking. This will doubtless increase its acceptance, to the benefit of all Mexicans.
"In April we established the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, whose Consultative Council is composed of 100 consultants, elected directly by the Mexican Communities, which institutionalizes the relationship between Mexico and the communities abroad." [Estrategias de la Nueva Política Exterior de México, Luis Ernesto Derbez, Reforma, September 19th, 2003]
Notice that, as usual, the Mexican foreign ministry is closely monitoring the matricula consular situation, pushing for a migratory accord, and utilizing Mexican consulates as operational bases for the continuing colonization of the United States.
Americans need to understand that Mexico's leaders, who head its white minority government, have no intention whatsoever of reducing emigration. Why should they? Emigration keeps them in power. It removes a portion of Mexico's poor, reducing demographic pressure on the government. And, as recent Mexican administrations have learned, it gives Mexico an opportunity to exert influence over U.S. immigration policy, which enables the cycle to continue.
In Mexico's fractious political world, "defending the immigrants" is one issue which draws support across the political spectrum. All political parties and centers of influence support the continued promotion of emigration and the concomitant subversion of American law and sovereignty.
Cutting off emigration would do Mexico a gigantic favor. It would finally force the ruling elite to break the addiction to its emigration safety valve.
Still, we can't expect the Mexican government to defend U.S. sovereignty. That's the job of American leaders.
If our leaders won't defend our sovereignty, shouldn't we replace them with leaders who do?
American citizen Allan Wall lives and works legally in Mexico, where he holds an FM-2 residency and work permit, but serves six weeks a year with the Texas Army National Guard, in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here; his website is here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.