Kidnappings in Mexico Send Shivers Across Border by Sam Dillon January 4 2009
reports that Mexican professional kidnappers have a new gig:
â€?The relatives of Mexicans in the United States have become a new profit center for Mexicoâ€™s crime industry,â€? said Rodolfo Garc?a Zamora, a professor at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas who studies migration trends. â€?Hundreds of families are emigrating out of fear of kidnap or extortion, and Mexicans in the U.S. are doing everything they can to avoid returning. Instead, theyâ€™re getting their relatives out.â€?â€¦ kidnappers were targeting people with relatives in the United States, because they knew these families have money,â€? said Santana Lujan, a local farmerâ€¦
...such crimes â€” and the attention they receive on Spanish-language television in the United States â€” appear to have frightened not only those who live here year-round. Most years at Christmastime, hundreds of men in cowboy hats who work north of the border return to Jerez, jamming the streets with pickup trucks and cars with California and Illinois license plates and reuniting with old friends and family in the town square. This holiday season, Jerez and surrounding towns have had few migrants return. And demographers based in Jalisco and Michoac??n said in interviews that few migrants had returned to those states either.
So America suffers two ways because Mexico cannot police itself. Refugees flee to join relatives here. And the promising self-deportation of aliens because of the economic downturn falters.
A caucus of Mexican legislators who specialize in migration issues predicted in October that some three million Mexicans might return from the United States as a result of the recession. But the same group reported in a study released in late December that in fact fewer migrants seemed to have returned this holiday season than in previous years, in part because of what they delicately termed â€?the insecurity in Mexico.â€?
It is sad that Mexico has these problems, but it not Americaâ€™s duty â€“ or prerogative â€“ to solve them. What is Americaâ€™s duty is to protect its own people - and itself, from becoming an Hispanic slum.
America needs that Fence.
(Parenthetically, no wonder the NYT is failing. Contrast the amorphous headline above with the incisive one the Press Democrat, of Santa Rosa, put on the same story today: Mexicans flee north as kidnappers target U.S. immigrants' relatives)