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Border Relations with US

     Enrique Reynaud has sent a memo about the growing importance and complexity of relations between the US and Mexico. The border is the friction line. As reflected in the messages I have received, a common Mexican attitude is annoyance at US restrictions even on illegal immigrants. The common American response is anger at Mexicans' failure to observe the law. That is the attitude of Tom Moore, who says Mexican truckers should obey US law. One of the most outspoken members of Congress is James Traficant, Democrat of Ohio, who proposes putting US troops along the border to enforce it.
     I trust the testimony of Jaqui White, who lives on the border at Port Isabel, near the Gulf of Mexico. She is exuberantly pro-Mexico, but as a judge she is used to establishing the truth, and she describes the problem of the ease with which Mexicans can get false US documents.
     The problem will get worse. Mexican TV has run programs on the prolonged drought across a belt of Mexico south of the border. Desperate farmers are giving up and trying to enter the US. Tamaulipas, which is just across the border from Port Isabel, has just asked to borrow water. But from where? Jaqui says the area of Texas bordering Tamaulipas is also drought-stricken. The outlook is that Mexico will be cut in two by the dry belt, with the area along the border becoming a part of the U.S. economy.

Ronald Hilton - 3/16/00