In this column, Mr. Nugent talks tough about how to solve America’s illegal alien crisis. He puts a lot of the blame right where it belongs: (i) on the criminally negligent, lazy and corrupt Mexican establishment that does nothing to address the many social problems of what should be a fairly prosperous country, and (ii) on the timid or (although Nugent doesn’t say this) bought-off American politicians who will not criticize the aforementioned Mexicans for their misdeeds. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, though, while Tom Nugent has a reasonable - although incomplete - diagnosis, he proposes to solve the problem by acting like ... well, Mexicans. Nugent says America needs to give Mexico an incentive to clean up its shabby national act:
[W]e should ..be willing to offer some financial incentives that will get the Mexican government to take action. Whether that action is the creation of more job opportunities in Mexico, the establishment of new educational facilities for younger Mexicans who are trying to make a life for their families, or simply the implementation of a larger social safety net that squelches the impulse toward exodus, U.S. politicians should make every effort to give the Mexican government a good reason to act. .[ Our Illegal-Immigrant Problem Isn't Terminal | A recent film instructs on how to fix it. By Thomas E. Nugent February 22, 2007]Sounds like Mr. Nugent proposes to get the Mexicans’ minds right by bribing them. But isn’t that just how Mexico’s very own mordida works in practice, with results with which we are all drearily familiar?
America cannot solve America’s Mexico problem by acting like Mexico. America can only solve America’s Mexico problem by having a border between the United States and Mexico, for starters.
As is usual when establishment conservatives address immigration, they cannot or will not look at the whole problem. Mr. Nugent writes as if the illegal alien invasion of America were only a Mexican problem. Ah, if only that were true! Buying the Mexicans a welfare state is not going to keep the next Mohammed Atta out of the United States.
And, of course, Tom Nugent [send him mail] says not a word about the flood tide of legal immigration, our national transformation through federal policy that has only increased under NRO’s beloved Bush administration despite the blindingly obvious dangers (see reference to “Atta” above). Unless we sharply restrict and strictly control legal immigration - including the huge portion of it from Mexico - all the bribes in the world to keep Mexicans from coming to America illegally will be beside the point.
Perhaps, though, Tom Nugent cannot bring himself to think about restricting legal immigration. If this line is any indication, Mr. Nugent is a paid-up subscriber to the “Nation of Immigrants” fable:
We are, in a way, a country of Victor Navorskys. If we want Victor to go back home, or not be forced to come here in the first place, we must do all we can to get his homeland in order.Victor Navorsky is the fictional protagonist of Stephen Spielberg’s movie Terminal, about a foreigner stuck in stateless no-man’s-land at Kennedy Airport. So, is America nothing more than a catchpool for the economically discontented of all the world? Also, just how are Mexicans being forced to come to America illegally?
Mr. Nugent really does need to keep reading VDare.com!