Friday, December 15, 2006

Darned old technicalities

National Public Radio's Scott Horsley reported on Thursday, December 14, 2006 that a firm awarded a contract to build part of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico has agreed to pay nearly $5 million in fines because up to a third of their work force were illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Read the full story here.

Wonder if we need to reframe this problem so we can start getting a handle on it. The people we're referring to as "illegal immigrants", "illegal aliens", or "law breakers" aren't the evil types those terms conjure up. Look at their record of hard work and sacrifice after they arrive. If we need a more accurate description, how about "economic refugee".

For a variety of reasons, including a tradition of official corruption in Mexico introduced by Spain when Mexico was its colony, and our own one-sided exploitation of the NAFTA agreement with Mexico, the Mexican economy stinks. It's not able to provide jobs for its people at any wage, let alone a living wage. Mexico is perilously close to being a failed state.

Normally, most countries don't accord refugee status to those fleeing economic hardship. But the situation in Mexico is so severe that it may be time to reevaluate that policy. The severity should be obvious to anyone who can count.

I'm guessing ignoring it won't make it go away. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

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