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Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org) sends us information about two studies published by the center. "When President Bush goes to Mexico later this week to meet Mexican President Vicente Fox, immigration issues will be high on their agenda. Both presidents have supported a guestworker program for Mexican workers as a way of granting amnesty to the 3-4 million Mexican illegal immigrants in the United States. What are America's options with regard to immigration from Mexico, and what are the implications of various policy proposals?
To address these questions, the Center for Immigration Studies today publishes two papers. The first is "Enchilada Lite: A Post-9/11 Mexican Migration Agreement," by Robert S. Leiken, a scholar affiliated with the Brookings Institution and the Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom. (The paper is on line at http://www.cis.org/articles/2002/leiken.html). Leiken starts from the assumption that it is in America's interest to transform Mexican immigration from the chaotic, dangerous, habitual, and illegal to the regulated, safe, selective, and legal. He weighs the pros and cons of amnesties and guestworker programs and offers an outline of a possible deal"
Mark Krikorian also has an article in the Winter, 2000 issue of The Social Contract, an important journal with a serious interest in immigration problems. The theme of this issue is "The Terrorists Among Us". This problem has received wide publicity, but less dramatic issues deserve attention, such as the illegal immigration of Mexicans. However much pity we feel for these Mexicans, there is no reason why they should be allowed to jump the line ahead of those who patiently go through regular immigration procedures. Different groups have different reasons for supporting the law breakers. The first is employers, who fight legislation to make them responsible for hiring illegal immigrants, At a recent meeting, the Board of Regents of the University of California justified giving special privileges to the children of illegal immigrants because employers need these immigrants. No regent seemed to realize the implications of this.
The Democrats are worse on this issue than the Republicans, since most "Hispanics" vote Democrat. The recent campaign for Democratic nominee for governor of Texas was revealing. A great push by Hispanics resulted in the victory of Tony Sanchez, the first Hispanic to win the nomination. In the campaigning, I heard no mention of what was good for the United States. It was all about Hispanic power, the Spanish language, the Catholic religion. Hispanic television in the US runs frequent items about illegal Hispanic immigrants in the US. There is little mention of respect for the law, but rather accusations against all who want even to check the entry of immigrants. However much one likes Mexicans, as I do, it is clear that these people have not really become integrated into the United States.
The participation of President Bush in the Monterrey UN summit on development has brought this issue to a head. He resists the requests of President Fox of Mexico for an amnesty of all Mexicans illegally in the US. However, he has plans for something similar and a "guest worker" program. This is excellent, provided that all aspects of the proposals are considered and whatever law is passed be properly implemented.
Ronald Hilton - 3/22/02