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Column 091806 Brewer

Monday, September 18, 2006

Border Issues Make U.S.-Mexico Alliances Critical

By Jerry Brewer

The immigration issue in the United States may be
growing disproportionately to the available facts. It has
indeed become the current U.S. political football. Many
split decisively on the single word – threat. Partisan
U.S. politicians on both sides of the two largest political
parties are raising their voices vociferously, questioning
the nation’s priorities.

Transference comes to mind as one debates the scale
that leads to the tipping of public opinion. It is much
easier to repudiate war with all its tragedy. The real
issues are truly in the clarity of ones priorities.

Illegal immigration is a serious issue. Legal migration is
not. After all, legal migration through the centuries,
and the resulting melting pot that is the U.S., has
forged the incredible progress of the nation. U.S. labor
is now questioning the ramifications of possible new
sanctions that would be imposed against many of the
illegal laborers who are working throughout the nation.
This curiously appears to be some vague looking
solidarity of purpose.

One critical threat noted is the erosion of democratic
rule and pursuit of those values. Unscrupulous
politicians with higher aspirations of power in public
office must avoid hypocrisy and not ignore their
constituents’ needs and desires for confronting real
problems. A glaring example of this impetuousness is
in elected officials conspiring amongst each other to
vote partisan across the board. This on issues requiring
well-thought out and decisive action that lead to
pragmatic victories against terrorism and addressing
necessary immigration concerns.
Novel and creative aspects in problem solving and
resolution are needed for the complex problem of
immigration. We must not usurp the rights of free and
open discussion and deliberation on these most
important issues. Thinking must constantly be fluid.
For any decision-making system to remain effective, it
must continually challenge itself for the public good.
Discussions are not always about right or wrong and
good and evil. Many are multi-dimensional between
two or more imperfect remedies or criteria, and require
intense scrutiny and plausibility.

In keeping with the true clarity and narrow focus of our
southern border’s immigration woes, an assessment of
real threat to our nation must be a national priority.
With that in mind, it is incumbent upon our nation’s
leaders to remember just who is our southern neighbor.

Mexico is a nation of over 100 million people with an
estimated 92 percent literacy rate. Their tourism
revenue alone is estimated at over US$11 billion. Over
59 percent of Mexico’s imports are from the U.S.
Mexico’s crude oil reserves were estimated in 2005 to
be over 33 billion barrels.

And much of the violence and death over the last
decade, on and near the U.S.-Mexico border and in
some close by U.S. cities, have been attributed to a
US$26 billion drug habit in the United States, much of
which comes in via our southern border.

Mexican President Vicente Fox openly challenged leftist
President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela last year during
Argentina’s “Summit of the Americas.” This after
Chavez harshly denounced and ridiculed the U.S. and
President George W. Bush. Chavez blamed the U.S.
and U.S. imperialism for Latin America’s poverty over
the decades. Too, he lobbied hard to turn Latin
American nations against the U.S., with President Fox
standing firm against Chavez in his support for U.S.

Immigration remains a difficult, comprehensive and
emotional topic for both the United States and Mexico,
albeit sensationalized by the media in reporting its true
proportions. Others have described recommendations
by some U.S. lawmakers, who are calling for walls and
fences on the border, as coercive diplomacy. Many also
see such walls as fortified barriers, and the retracting of
a previously extended hand to Mexico as a neighbor
and ally.
The United States continues to fight for, and to nurture,
the new democracy in Iraq – plus it is fighting diligently
against terrorism. Against terrorists, who are part of a
shadowy enemy with no visible armies or countries.

In order to further strengthen its protection and this
fight, the United States needs to strengthen its
vigilance along the southern border as terrorists
continue to face tough resistance throughout the Middle
East. The open hostility to the U.S. by Venezuela’s
Chavez, and his massive arms and military build-up,
are also clear potential threats.

To counter such threats the United States needs the
helping hand of Mexico. As well, Mexican voter’s
rejection of the leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador in the past presidential election demonstrates
their allegiance.

Jerry Brewer, a guest columnist, can be
reached via e-mail at