LatinaLista — A news item that didn’t make the front/home pages of news sites today was a piece about the new labor agreement between Mexico and Spain.
While those who are against undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States might say, “good riddance,” the important thing to note is that Spain has a need for more workers, recognizes that fact and is taking advantage of the hostile attitude prevalent in the U.S. today towards Mexican immigrants to seize on the opportunity.
Right behind Spain is Canada.
The question that begs to be asked is: Will the short-sightedness of US immigration policy be the downfall of our economy?
In the agreement between Spain and Mexico, which is scheduled to begin in January 2008 as a 12-month pilot program, qualified Mexican workers will be able to work in Spain with all legal rights.
Depending on the demand, workers of all fields will be permitted to come.
In a not too subtle jab at the U. S., the Mexican Labor Minister Javier Lozano Alarcon said:
“Instead of walls, agreements are constructed when there is will, sensibility, intelligence and understanding.”
While more of the details still need to be worked out, from the onset, it was made clear that this was not just a one-way agreement. Spanish workers will be able to travel to Mexico to work as well.
And while Mexico was shaking hands over the Spanish accord, a Canadian official publicly expressed his desire to create a program that would also bring Mexican workers to Canada to work in other industries instead of just the fields where they are sanctioned to work now.
“Hundreds of thousands of workers are needed,” said Toronto Councilman Giorgio Mammoliti. “The (Canadian) business community has a big interest in counting on (Mexican) workers, and we have expressed this at the highest levels of both governments.” According to Mammoliti, skilled Mexican labor is needed in the construction, tourist and service sectors.
Losing undocumented immigrant labor is a loss already felt in some communities that have nothing going for them than the hometown industries.
To stand by and not create a program that addresses the fact that our economy needs immigrant labor, legal or otherwise, is like an alcoholic who won’t admit he has a drinking problem.
The longer there’s insistence that everything will work just fine without this essential labor force, the more other countries will tap into what is already ours for the taking.
In the process, other economies will be building up and gaining strength and the US will be left to wonder when did our economy go south?