So it’s not news anymore that the U.S. immigration reform demands that the border between neighboring countries be more secure. Or as Senator McCain put it:
The legislation concerning beefed up border security removes any validity to the argument that border security is not sufficient. This is not only sufficient, it is well over sufficient. We'll be the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall. That's why I think this amendment was very important.
So. Berlin. The Cold War. Comparing our countries with the relationship between the now defunct USSR and the U.S. is not only shameful, it’s sad. So why do it? Does the border really need to be that tight?
I’ve been trying to make sense of this since I first read about it. But let me give you a little background info on myself first. I was born in Tijuana. I’ve always been bilingual. I’ve always commuted weekly to San Diego. I have blood relatives, friends and family on both sides of the border. It has never occurred to me that we Mexicans are a problem that needs to be isolated like East Germany.
So in my effort to really understand this I came down to these lateral ideas:
It’s just politics.
Maybe the Republicans don’t want the Democrats to pave the way for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. The Latino vote would surely grant the next Presidential election to the Democrats.
Maybe the border really is as porous as a sponge.
BUT I came upon an article from the Huffington Post that says otherwise:
Maybe it’s about the money.
18 billion dollars were spent in Fiscal 2012 to secure the border. The plan to double the number of agents proposes a 46 Billion dollar budget. Maybe this will, you know… boost the economy?
But what happens on the South-side of the border?
How do we feel about it, really? Mexican Government has been slow to react, officially, on this issue. Congress did urged President Peña Nieto to react, critizicing him for being silent on the issue. Miguel Barbosa (PRD party) stated that:
We are looking at the true spirit of the United States, on how they really view the southern border. […] They are seeing immigrants not as a moving force in their Economy, but as people that represent risk, danger and weakness for them. Source.
So that’s one way Mexican politicians view this. But on the other side of that statement is this:
why don’t politicians do more for the Mexican people, to REALLY stop them from moving North?
That’s a question no one in the Government is willing to answer. Poverty is the number one reason for migration and we would have to accept that Mexico has done very little to end it. So, if we can’t get the jobs here let the United States handle it, right?
On yet another side of the wall is people like me who have a steady job and a tourist visa. For people like me, the only nuisance when going to the U.S. is the waiting times to cross the border. And the waiting times when crossing back to Mexico. Not really much of a problem.
So all in all, the border problem has more than 2 sides to it. And I really hope that the people making the important decisions are more aware of this than I am.