Grayson and the Pressure Argument
September 19, 2007, 11:33 AM
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As I've pointed out before, mass emigration hurts Mexico, in various ways. The existence of the emigration safety valve removes the incentive for reform from the country's leadership. Shutting it would put pressure on Mexico's leaders to reform the economy. (See here and here and here .) On a recent Lou Dobbs broadcast, Mexico-watcher George Grayson, whom Patrick Cleburne introduced to readers last week, discussed the matter in an interview:

KITTY PILGRIM: You know, you're such an expert on Mexico, I'd like you to take the flipside. Look at U.S. policy. We've seen Congress attempting to resurrect elements of the so-called comprehensive immigration reform piecemeal in various pieces of legislation.What do you make of that?

GRAYSON: I think it's irresponsible and reprehensible and really is patronizing toward Mexico. Mexico has incredible resources. If Taiwan could lease Mexico for 20 years, we gringos up here would be talking about the colossus of the south. We'd be buying poles to vault the border to get into Mexico.

KITTY PILGRIM: That doesn't seem likely in the immediate future.

GRAYSON: No. But the reforms have to take place. And to the extent we keep that safety valve open, it keeps the pressure off Mexico's elite to do right by their own citizens.