Left: Illegal immigrants walking across the Arizona border
President Bush addressed the nation last night about the issue of illegal immigration, and in some aspects of the plan I am in agreement with him. He recognizes that rounding up and deporting many millions of illegal immigrants is not a practical idea, and that any legislative solutions must include a path to citizenship.
I question the cost effectiveness of hiring another 6,000 full-time Border Patrol agents, and the creation of the high-tech virtual and physical fences that President Bush believes will secure the border.
I am sure that these ambitious plans will make it more difficult for people to illegally cross the border, but these defensive measures do not address the true source of the problem: the vast economic inequities between the lives of people living on opposite sides of the US-Mexican border.
Irrespective of the amount spent on border security, people will continue to come to this country seeking better opportunities for themselves and their families. Build a fence, and people will climb it. Install a camera, and people will disable it. Erect a wall, and people will tunnel under it. Create new ID cards, and they will be forged.
So long as there is such a glaring difference in opportunity between the two countries, there will be people who will not be deterred by obstacles, bureaucratic or physical.
Left: Immigrants scaling a wall on the Texas-Mexico border
The NAFTA crowd tried to convince Americans that outsourcing US jobs to Mexico would help improve the problem of illegal immigration, as new opportunities in Mexican factories would reduce the number of people seeking a better life in this country.
The "giant sucking sound" predicted by Ross Perot did indeed occur, and not just in the United States. Many of the outsourced production facilities found cheaper labor in places like China and Malaysia, and the promised benefits to Mexico as a result of NAFTA turned out to be short-lived in quite a few cases.
We are living in an era that I like to call "hypercapitalism," in which capital flight can occur with breathtaking speed. Entire national currencies can be wiped out in a matter of days if currency speculators get panicky, and corporations can move complete production facilities in a blink of the proverbial eye.
Mexico has suffered both massive currency runs and production emigration in the past 12 years since NAFTA was passed. Instead of curing Mexican economic woes, the agreement simply made it easier for corporations and speculators to extract profits, and to quickly flee the country if better opportunities arise elsewhere.
Until stable national currencies, greater permanency in production, and human beings become the primary focus of world leaders - instead of rubber-stamping the multinational corporate agenda - we will continue to be faced with the prospect of millions of illegal immigrants arriving in America.
That is, until such a point when the standard of living for Americans has fallen to match that of people living south of the border. The real agenda of global elites is to reduce all of us to a common level of poverty and servitude, with wealth and power concentrated in the hands of a global aristocracy.