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US: Mexican immigrants

Evelyn Aleman, a native of Spain and now a newspaper columnist in Los Angeles, sends a long message on aspects of the illegal immigrants from Mexico: their desperate poverty, capitalists' need for cheap labor, and the role of labor unions. She adds: "Just as George Borjas was promoting his book Heaven's Door, a Congressman from North Dakota was pushing for a reinstatement of the Brazero program in his state. I discussed the continued need for cheap/ immigrant labor in this country as an ongoing reason for migration (not to mention the economic conditions in Mexico that force people out) with Mr. Borjas on an LA radio program, but rather than answer the question he moved on to discuss the East Coast. Mr. Borjas appeared to me to be very much an elitist, with very little interest in discussing the root of the problem when dealing with immigration from poor developing countries. Instead he focused on promoting his book, which disucssed Canadian immigration programs. He kept comparing immigration from developing countries with Canadian immigration. It's not the same. Factors for migration from Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras are entirely different from those that cause migration from Canada and Europe. I refer WAISers to studies by RAND, including one titled "Immigration in a Changing Economy," by George Vernez, studies by the Urban Institute "Immigration and Welfare Reform: Setting the Record Straight," studies about immigation by El Colegio de La Frontera Norte in Baja California, and finally the book Migrations and Cultures by economist Thomas Sowell".

My comment: This argument goes on and on. A conference on the subject is being held at Stnford to promote the cause of Mexican immigrants, but native Americans are annoyed by the constant Mexican theme that the US is always to blame.

Ronald Hilton - 6/2/02