Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Columns & Features > Global Views > Rice Economist Predicts US Won’t Resolve Immigration Dilemma Without Mexico

Rice Economist Predicts US Won’t Resolve Immigration Dilemma Without Mexico

LatinaLista — For those of us who have followed this divisive debate in Congress over immigration reform, we have always felt something was missing.
Common sense? The voice of the undocumented? Employers? Industry representatives? The average American voter?

Yes, to all of those, but there is one more missing element that no one seriously entertained until a report released today by Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy flushed this element out for serious consideration.
The missing piece for solving our immigration debacle lies with — Mexico.

Up until now Mexico has been the easy scapegoat to blame for our immigration problems and drug violence and trafficking, but as the report A Proposal for Immigration Reform clearly spells out, Mexico wouldn’t have this problem if it weren’t for conditions in this country that demand immigrant labor and a drug habit that fuels a prosperous trade for some opportunistic, law-breaking entrepreneurs.
In the report, authored by Rice economist Dr. Dagobert L. Brito and Dr. Hector Olea, president of gauss energia, participants in a research project for the Baker Institute, the two outline how unless the U.S. government includes Mexico (the home country of the majority of undocumented immigrants) in the resolution of the immigration debate, there will be no real remedy.
The two authors recommend several measures for our government to take to address the fact that there are millions and millions of undocumented workers living here who just want to work. In the paper, the two recommend:

Registering all undocumented workers who are in the United States and grant them temporary work permits with repatriation dates spaced over a period of years. Such a proposal would allow employers to hire workers without penalty. The allocation of repatriation dates could be done by a lottery.
Spacing repatriation of undocumented workers over a period of years would avoid a disruption in the labor market and permit a humane and rational schedule of repatriation. The undocumented workers that do not register and are identified can be deported without disruption of the economy.
The second element of this proposal is that, in the case of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, the registering of undocumented Mexicans be done jointly with Mexico with their network of Mexican consulates in the US.
Since the number of non-Mexican undocumented immigrants is smaller, registering these workers can be managed more easily than the Mexican population.

The authors have high hopes that a timely accord of some kind can be reached if Congress solicits Mexico’s help and recognizes the fact that talk of deporting millions and millions of people will only bring social and economic chaos and world condemnation down on our country.
In proposing that all undocumented workers be registered, the authors recognize that it is important for the safety of the country and prevention of future terroristic threats to know who these people are, where they came from and most importantly, what they are doing here.
Though the authors admit that most of these workers did not arrive with the intent of staying here indefinitely, and it was only because of increased border enforcement that kept them here and forced them to create new lives, the authors’ solution of creating “special courts” to deal with them falls below expectations of what would be fair and reasonable treatment.
The proposed treatment (special courts) of those cases of undocumented workers who have greater emotional and financial investments in the country due to their length of stay, family and employment, is one of the major drawbacks in this well-thought out proposal.
The authors admit this proposal won’t make everyone happy, but on first read it looks like it can relieve a lot of anxiety that too many families are experiencing.
It’s time to listen to reason and create a solution that doesn’t just make sense but creates a stronger relationship with our neighbors and shows the world that the US is still a country where problems are solved and not used to divide.

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  • Frank
    October 8, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    I have a better solution. Why doesn’t Mexico create an economy and jobs to support its own citizenry?

  • Phoenix Woman
    October 8, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    The Mexican people would love to, Frank. But so long as people like you like to shop at Wal-Mart and bash unions, then US corporate entities will continue to exploit Mexican workers to the detriment of everyone but the CEOs. It’s not to corporate America’s benefit to see Mexican jobs and wages improving, because then it’s harder for corporate America to screw the immigrants while using them to screw us.

  • Diana Joe
    October 8, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Gosh darn Frank-you’re a genius! Another solution might be for AMERIKKKAn corporations already established in Mexico and other “third world” countries to begin paying decent wages to the humans of the third world-take a look at some of the components to some of your american comforts they might read something like assembled in MEXICO,HONDURAS,NICARAGUA,and the marvelous list continues. If the capitalists gurus would take heart to real humane treatment of their workers we’d probably see people of whatever origin country stay home-huh? The whole picture is simple,but with the blinders on the whole lot of us out here gotta blame something on somebody.We can’t play the blame card anymore..and if the corporations offered health care for their employees they people wouldn’t be force to swim the river and cross the deserts for help..give me a break! I am a grown woman that worked the fields for some AMERIKKKAn Rancher/farmer-they got rich I got another field to pick..and this all happened in the times when AMERIKKkA was still young-in the 1960’s.I was like one of those black folks remember the ones that were being sprayed with fire dept hoses-so they’ed shut up and just go back to masters house.This has not changed for people of color Frankie..maybe since you don’t agree with white might make a difference,and help to make this EARTH as a whole a better place for all the lot of us..look what happened to ENRON.

  • David O.
    October 8, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    Well why don’t you ask Mexico instead stirring the pot here? Post their comments if you like.

  • Matt Ortega
    October 9, 2007 at 3:37 am

    Hey, isn’t that arrow pointed in the wrong way? I thought the Lou Dobbs’ of the world were worried about Mexicans taking over the southwest, not Wisconsin.

  • miguel
    October 9, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Matt, Someone in the media heard a “sheeze” of despair to immigration policy and they thought it was code for “cheese”, so here they are, chasing ghosts again. Camped out in fields of cow poop in wait.

  • miguel
    October 9, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Maybe while the media is out there, they can run up to the Dorchester area and get opinions from the illegal workers at the skunk works. Milking skunks for their urine “scent”. Another primo job that we took away from the general population. Sheeze!

  • Frank
    October 9, 2007 at 8:56 am

    Excuses, excuses. It is easy to blame the U.S. for Mexico’s woes rather than to look inward and fight for one’s rights in one’s own country. The Mexican government is quite happy with this attitude of their own citizens. That way they don’t have to care for their own people. They can send them to us for their health, education and welfare needs and sit back and collect the remittances that they send back to Mexico from their ill-gotten booty here.
    Yes, unfortunately our government and the corrupt businesses here are going along for the ride too. That is where your regular tax paying citizen is getting involved now in cleaning house in our government. Enough is enough on both sides of the border. We are taking our country back.

  • Hitler's Headache
    October 9, 2007 at 11:02 am

    It would be dangerous to have a powerfull country next door, imagine Mexico with an economy as big as China, wouldn’t you be scare of them having the atomic bomb knowing our common history. Many will not want Mexicans to be superior than us that’s a fact, and we have prevented from happening.

  • Daniel Maldonado
    October 9, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Who listens to James Baker besides Reagan, who is dead, and Big Bush?
    Bushito didnt listen to him (Iraq study group) and neither did Saddam Hussein (11th hour attempt to avert the gulf war).
    Re-patriation sounds too much like De-nationalization.
    I dont like it.
    Our people deserve a general amnesty.

  • David O.
    October 9, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    Yaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnn! Anything new here besides the usual?
    Frank why don’t you write to the consulates?
    Here are some addresses to ones in Califas.
    331 W. Second St., Calexico, CA 92231
    Tel: (760) 357-3863 * Fax: (760) 357-6284
    2409 Merced St., Fresno, CA 93721
    Tel: (559) 233-3065 * Fax: (559) 233-4219
    Los Angeles
    2401 W. Sixth St., Los Angeles, CA 90057
    Tel: (213) 351-6800 * Fax: (213) 389-9249
    201 E. Fourth St., Suite 206-A, Oxnard, CA 93030
    Tel: (805) 483-4684 * Fax: (805) 385-3527
    1010 8th St., Sacramento, CA 95814
    Tel: (916) 441-3287 * Fax: (916) 441-3176
    San Bernadino
    293 North D St., San Bernadino, CA 92401
    Tel: (909) 889-9837 * Fax: (909) 889-8285
    San Diego
    1549 India St., San Diego, CA 92101
    Tel: (619) 231-8414 * Fax: (619) 231-4802
    San Francisco
    532 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94105
    Tel: (415) 354-1700 * Fax: (415) 495-3971
    San Jose
    540 North First St., San Jose, CA 95112
    Tel: (408) 294-3414 * Fax: (408) 294-4506
    Santa Ana
    828 N. Broadway St., Santa Ana, CA 92701-3424
    Tel: (714) 835-3069 * Fax: (714) 835-3472
    48 Steele St., Denver, CO 80206
    Tel: (303) 331-1110 * Fax: (303) 331-1872
    Let us know what they say.

  • Frank
    October 9, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Daniel, “Our” people? How telling. Aren’t you a U.S. citizen? Mexicans are not your people then, Americans are.

  • Daniel Maldonado
    October 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    My people are the Nican Tlaca.

  • Horace
    October 9, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    “It would be dangerous to have a powerfull country next door, imagine Mexico with an economy as big as China, wouldn’t you be scare of them having the atomic bomb knowing our common history. Many will not want Mexicans to be superior than us that’s a fact, and we have prevented from happening.”
    Gee, the U.S. is so contempuously horrible that no one wants to come here. Mexicans won’t cross our border on principal because they hold the moral high ground. If only we could attract more people as immigrants, or even illegal aliens. I can’t understand why all of these foreigners refuse our visas. This must be such a horrible country! Beastly Americans. Beastly gringos, responsible for all the troubles of Hispanics. Oh my, oh my!
    If the people and its culture are as horrible as you pea brains make out it to be, then maybe you’d like to find some place else to live. Mexico anyone?

  • Frank
    October 10, 2007 at 8:19 am

    David, stay on topic? I was replying to your remark made first about “our people”. So it is only the full blooded Nican Tlaca they are sneaking into our country illegally?
    I see you still can’t debate without name calling. A sure sign that you are losing the debate.

  • Frank
    October 10, 2007 at 8:26 am

    David, my original question was about nationality, not race. American and Mexican is a nationality. Your native indian roots are about race. So which are you a Mexican or an American (U.S. citizen) in nationality?

  • David O.
    October 10, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I’m not debating you, I’m not going by your rules, I’m going by my rules and I’m attacking you.

  • David O.
    October 10, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Why are you asking here? You are baiting, and I will ridicule you every chance I get.

  • Frank
    October 10, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    I hope Marisa is unbiased and mature enough to not let her blog turn into a place where members can be insulted at will. You obviously have a lot growing up to do. As I said, personal insults are a sure sign that one has no viable arguments for their position and therefore can’t debate civilly.

  • Daniel Maldonado
    October 10, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Tarugo: “Mexican is a nationality.”
    Back in the 1960’s when the civil rights laws were being drawn up by congress the NAACP successfully lobbied to have “Mexican” classified as a nationality with WHITE as the race.
    This was nothing short of racism by the NAACP. They did this so that Mexicans would never participate in programmes that they THOUGHT should be for blacks only.
    Fortunately, the U.S. has proved to be just another Frankenstein on steroids.
    The U.S. does not define Meixcans on either side of the border. And their definition should be taken as just one more white-Euro attempt to “de-indianize” our people.
    It’s part of their overall ethnic cleansing of the Indigena. Nothing more.

  • Diana Joe
    October 10, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Blacks,and Whites,and Yellows and Reds-these are the colors of the four rces of the EARTH! Get a grip already Frankie! Mexicatls fall on the REd ZONe-as in indin,and you will never be able to change what was given to us by the gods.

  • Frank
    October 10, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    A Mexican is a nationality just like an Italian is from Italy and a Frenchman from France. It has nothing to do with race. There are many races that can reside anywhere. Nationality is the country that you are legally a citizen of.
    The gods? I thought there was only one God. He gave us all life and as a Christian God he wouldn’t put one race above another.
    Hardly anyone is pure anything anymore since humans have frequently mated outside their own race since time began.

  • miguel
    October 11, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Frank wrote:
    The gods? I thought there was only one God. He gave us all life and as a Christian God he wouldn’t put one race above another.
    Hardly anyone is pure anything anymore since humans have frequently mated outside their own race since time began.
    Frank, Keep it to politics. Your religion is not the only one. Each one of us can believe as they choose (at least for the time being)

  • diana joe
    October 11, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    The time-bomb was ticking away! It was only a matter if inpatience before FranKie would reveal his true base-RELIGION! Do nOT tell here that you respect Native Americans-when the truth is that YOU believe in only your “ONE GOD”..uh-oh time to rewrite history..this is gonna create even more histeria! I’m laughing so hard now-thanks Frankie!
    In the begining there was heaven and Earth…us pitiful little parasitic forms weren’t even thought of yet-be greatful for a change FRANkie- or go back and review “all things CREATED” with that ONE GOD.Sometimes we can take our God so serious that we go KILL for him huh?-Ring a bell Americans?!

  • Frank
    October 11, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    miguel, so you make the rules in here as to what can be discussed and not discussed? Are you a moderator? I didn’t bring up the subject of religon aka “gods”, Diana Joe did. I was merely replying to her remarks. She obviously believes in more than one god and expressed herself as such. If she can express her religious beliefs in here, why can’t I?
    Diana, I don’t know what your rambling remarks mean but you are entitled to believe in your several gods and I am entitled to believe in my one God. Its a free country.

  • Frank
    October 11, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    By the way, Mexicans are predominantly Catholic and that is a one God Christian religion. That plus the Spanish language was inherited from their Spanish ancestors.

  • diana joe
    October 11, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    tlazocamatli Miguel.
    And keep being the person that you are-hermoso!
    Hey frank- thanks for giving us all the signs as to how informed you are about Mexicans. Orginised religion is to brain-washing mechanisms as is AMERICAN PATRIOTISM.
    When organised religion mongers invaded on the lands of the indin folk= THE AZTECAS, THE MAYA, THE INCAS, THE ZAPOTECAS,THE YAQUI, THE NAVAJO, THE HOPI, THE ZUNI,-these folk did NOT loose their identities…c’mon Frank you don’t really believe all the crazy ideals behind orginised religion-oh but wait you probably do huh? honest with yourself Frank-if the God of your christian really is what you believe she is, would she deport a certain group of the people that she supposedly created..equal to the others?And if so, why not your group? Why does she not deport your kind-could it be she might be biased? Or is it because you’ve paid your taxes? Or is because you did all your patriotic detail by voting for your kind of political class? Or perhaps because your God is The All Mighty?
    In speaking of the Gods I speak of things you will never comprehend. Frank-when you lost your way, or how, isn’t for me to dwell on,and I don’t intend to. You aren’t difficult to size over.
    I have seen what organised religion does to folk-its guilt driven just like telling us Americans that post 9-11 the MEXICAN border will never be the same. BOLOGNA! If we are going to get bombed so be it Frank whats all the freak about? You have your God she’s on your side,and well me..I have my GODS and they’re on your side too Frank.You speak as if you are never going to meet your maker-uh maybe you’re scared huh? Do not fret for your this country frank leave it to your God-she’s done a good job caring for all the money so far-don’t you think?
    Heck she’s even got her signature on it..and the picture of all her mates.
    The only thing left that might be good for all of us Americans, is a slim opportunity to make peace with one, and the other-and that is obviously inconceivable to some..pretty sad huh?

  • miguel
    October 12, 2007 at 5:20 am

    Thank you Diana Joe. Franks views in general are flawed. I can just imagine his religious spin.

  • Frank
    October 12, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Diana, I am not a fan of organized religion. I don’t even go to church but I do believe in one God. I am well aware of the atrocities that are committed all in the name of religion. You will get no argument from me there. I was just pointing out that today most Mexicans are Catholic and believe in one God.
    My God isn’t a she. Jesus wasn’t a she. God isn’t deporting people, governments are.
    If we are going to be bombed, so be it? Are you saying that we cannot prevent that or that we shouldn’t take steps to try to protect ourselves? I don’t believe that we cannot control our destinies while living here on earth, we can. My personal beliefs are that God gave us a free will and a brain. Survivalism is human instinct and that is why we take steps to protect ourselves such as in having a military and securing our borders. Just like we secure our own personal homes with fences and locks. It is just common sense, human nature being what it is. There are people in this world that have no morals and scruples and they would harm you in a heartbeat and/or take from you what doesn’t belong to them. Only an idiot wouldn’t protect themselves.
    My God also has said to honor the laws of a country.

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