A tip of the sombrero to George W. Bush, who cleverly managed to knock what is essentially the stem cell of an amnesty for illegal Mexican aliens off the front pages last week by announcing his new policy on stem cell research itself at almost the same time. Nevertheless, as another Republican president once said, you can't fool all the people all the time. Sooner or later, the truth about the amnesty will creep out.
The agreement so far, disclosed last week at a news conference of Secretary of State Colin Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft along with Mexico's Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda and Interior Minister Santiago Creel, was billed as a "temporary workers plan" that, as the New York Times described it, "would allow some of the estimated three million Mexicans living here unlawfully to earn permanent legal residency."
That, you see, is why it's not a "temporary workers plan," which requires that the temporary workers will be—well— temporary. This is an amnesty, which allows "temporary" workers to become not-so-temporary by—well again—acquiring permanent legal residency.
The new plan, as the Times proceeds to describe it, will also expand beyond the current small program under which mainly illegal alien farm workers may now get temporary visas and will move toward new "migrants" (the new euphemism for illegals) "employed in service jobs like hotels and restaurants" and who "could apply for temporary work permits with the possibility of earning permanent residency over time." Yet more amnesty, this time to the obvious benefit not just of the agribusiness lobby that has been one of the main driving forces behind mass immigration but also the hotel and restaurant lobbies, which also gain from the cheap labor imported.
The exact details of the amnesty are not yet worked out, but eventually they will be, and whatever the benefits to certain special interests in this country, they quail before the benefits the agreement will bring to Mexico and its ruling political cliques. As Mr. Castaneda himself noted in an article in the Atlantic Monthly in 1995, "Any attempt to clamp down on immigration from the south [by the United States]—by sealing the border militarily, by forcing Mexico to deter its citizens from emigrating, or through some federal version of California's Proposition 187—will make social peace in the barrios and pueblos of Mexico untenable." Mexico, in other words, has to use the United States as its garbage dump—otherwise, the garbage will explode in Mexico's face. That may or may not be true, but it's not mainly our problem, and in fact, a good, loud explosion in Mexico may be just what Mexico needs. In any case, while Mexico is lecturing to the United States on why it can do nothing to slow the invasion of our country from its side and why we would be wrong, misguided and bigoted to do anything to slow it down from our side, it's also thumping its own chest about how it's really cracking down on illegal immigration across its own southern borders.
The latest crack-down, reported by the Washington Times this week, is called "Plan Sur" and involves, so far this year, the forced deportation of some 100,000 Central American aliens in Mexico illegally. Last year the plan deported 150,000 such aliens. The aliens, the Mexican immigration chief told the Times, "get stuck and ... hang around in the frontier cities making trouble, sleeping in the streets with no money." Sounds pretty xenophobic to me.
It's fine for Mexico to round up the illegals who sneak into its territory and kick them out, but it's not so fine when we do the same thing for the same reasons to its illegals here. Nevertheless, Mexico not only has internal reasons to rid itself of illegal Central Americans; it also has good external reasons to do so.
Many Central Americans don't get stuck in Mexico but actually make it to the United States. By helping to make sure that they don't, Mexico in effect creates a monopoly for itself on the illegal alien traffic. The American demand for cheap labor will then be met by Mexicans alone. But there's another reason too.
Eventually, as the population of the American Southwest becomes Mexicanized, the whole region will cease to be American at all and will shift its cultural—and political—identity away from the United States and toward Mexico. Stopping illegal immigration from other countries, encouraging it from Mexico, and insisting on amnesty for its own illegals here, in other words, is little more than a thinly disguised plan for the reconquest of the territory Mexico lost in the Mexican War of the 19th century.
Forget "temporary workers program" and forget "amnesty" too. The truth about amnesty is that what Mexico is really pulling off is colonization.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
August 16, 2001