Sunday, May 23, 2010

Immigration and glass houses

There is a popular argument that roughly goes like this: Mexico mistreats immigrants, so its president should not lecture us even if Arizona mistreat immigrants.  Felipe Calderón was also asked about it.

Andres Oppenheimer has a good column looking at how although Mexico has (as anyone who studies immigration knows) human right problems with regard to Central American immigrants, its laws are not like Arizona's.  But I particularly agree with this:

Mexico's mistreatment of Central American migrants should be no excuse for laws like Arizona's. And the Arizona law's abuses should be no excuse for Mexico's failure to crack down on its police forces for human rights abuses against undocumented immigrants. Both are wrong, and both should be denounced.


Vicente Duque 5:28 PM  

Bilingual Video of boycott impoverishing Arizona - May 20, 2010 - Anglo Chiropractic says they lost many patients - Hotels and Tourism are losing millions of dollars each day :

Some people speak in English here and complain of the Boycott causing economic damage. The silent boycott of not visiting Arizona and not spending there.

lucho18az — May 20, 2010 — El impacto que ya ha causado la ley SB1070 es mucho. A tres semanas de haberse firmado

Impacto economico por ley SB1070 en Arizona

Vicente Duque

leftside 1:17 PM  

NAFTA should have addressed migration of labor, just like the EU Schengen agreement does. It made no sense to allow for the freedom of capital while keeping in place restrictions on labor, unless you were one of those naive folks who actually thought NAFTA would be a cure all for Mexico's problems. As any economist knows, maintaining a healthy balance between capital and labor requires a level playing field between them. The result of the inbalance has been stagnant wages in Mexico, more migration to northern Mexico (closer to the border) and a complete decimation of the Mexican small farmer and rural towns - who form the largest contingent of migrants today.

Put simply, if you truly believe in free markets, it is pure hypocrisy to not allow freedom of movement for labor (the Wall Street Journal recognizes this).

For the record, I don't believe capital or labor ought to be completely free or unregulated in such an unequal region as the Americas. I believe we need to have planning to decide what is the best mix of flows based on our own national interest. Countries like Mexico ought to be allowed to support their small farmers and rural areas. We ought to be able to import temportary workers (legally) when we need them and send many of them home (as part of a contract) when times go bad. Workers in certain hard to fill industries would be available for permanent residency.

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