Brujo Feo's Sendero

I'm a Libertarian. I support gun rights and gay rights; I support reproductive rights and recreational pharmaceutical rights. I support your right to privacy and your right to your own wallet. I'm against the draft, and taxes, and compulsory state "education." If you're not for liberty, what difference should it make to me which particular stripe of totalitarian you are? --Brujo Feo

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Location: Ventura, CA, United States

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is the Problem Immigration...or Emigration?


Did anyone watch the farce of tonight's Democratic presidential contender "debate" in Spanish, on Univision? It worked like this: questions were asked in Spanish and translated into English; the answers were given in English, translated into Spanish for the broadcast audience. (I can't comment on the quality of the translation; I only heard the Spanish.) So far so good. However, the two contenders who actually speak Spanish (Richardson of New Mexico and Dodds of Connecticut) were warned not to answer in Spanish, as this might confer on them an unfair advantage. I swear that I am not making this up.

The intrepid interlocutors asked hardball questions like "What has been the greatest contribution of Hispanics to the U.S.?" and "How would you discourage anti-Hispanic sentiment?" (I was ready to answer that one! "Learn English, and try to cut down on the incidence of driving drunk with no license, registration, or insurance, bashing into people, killing them and maiming them and then fleeing back across the border to avoid all responsibility." Curiously enough, none of the hopeful "Hispanderers" that a great neologism or what?...gave any response similar to that.)

OK, enough context. Here's the screed:

For years, I have been saying this:

The "illegal immigration" debate is always framed in terms of its effects on the U.S.

I refer here strictly to immigration from México, including those from points south of México who manage to evade the brutal repression of Mexican authorities and reach el Norte with their Mexican brethren y cenotes (OK–it's a horrible bilingual pun). Those who want to demonstrate their lack of racism by squealing about all of the illegal immigrants from Ireland or Poland can state their own case...I don't know a single person whose life has been ruined by being hit by a non-Hispanic drunk driver with no license, no registration, and no insurance, who has then fled back across the border to non-Hispania before being held accountable. (Take out the "non" and we all know the story.)

But maybe you do.

But this is precisely the point that I'm not making here. Arguments can be made both ways for the effects, positive or negative, on the effect of illegal Hispanic immigration on us. On the one hand, we have the shutdown of emergency rooms, the petty law-enforcement costs... On the other, we have the fact that these folks pump a huge amount of labor into the economy, and don't tend to collect a lot of the benefits that the amount they pay into the system would allow them to take out...but for the fact that they're using bogus IDs and SSNs.

I've heard the arguments both ways, and neither has been particularly convincing. Perhaps it's a wash.

What isn't a wash--what isn't in question--is the effect of emigration on México and points south.

It's been an unmitigated disaster. I recently read a statistic that gave the percentage of Mexican nationals who are 1) male; 2) between 18 and 35; and 3) living in the U.S. I don't believe that there was any breakdown for legal vs. illegal, but if 29% of the 34 million of foreign birth in the U.S. are Mexicans, and Mexicans also comprise 57% of 10.3 million illegals here (a very conservative estimate), obviously there is a weighting toward the undocumented. (See

Legality or illegality is not an issue in this discussion. But this is: if 16% of the entire Mexican labor force is here at any give time (, then it would seem, since emigration is traditionally weighted toward the young and male, that the percentage of males between 18-35 is far higher. And indeed, although I can't recall the statistic, and can't put my finger on the source right now (I'd appreciate it if someone else here has it), I seem to recall that it was about a third of all Mexican males in that age group.

This cannot not be disastrous. Is it any wonder that the Mexican system is corrupt? México is suffering from a serious testosterone deficit--a huge lack of angry young men. (And they don't do us a lot of good here, but that's the subject I'm not writing about here.) México needs, not a violent revolution, but at least the threat of one. Who are the corrupt bastards running the joint supposed to fear? The grandmothers left behind?

They have the perfect safety valve--el Norte, to drain off all the bloody lust for change.

Many years ago, a friend suggested that, since so many Mexicans and Central Americans wanted to be Norteños, it only made sense to line the Marines up on the Rio Grande, march them down to the Panama Canal, and annex everything in between. (You know who you are...) As horrific an affront as this may seem to national sovereignty...are we really going to say "sovereignty" with a straight face in reference to an invading foreign power? Especially one clever enough to realize that the entire point of warfare, which is to convert the resources of another country to your own use, is not best accomplished with divisions of Panzers; pregnant women are far more efficient.

But although annexation might be a great deal for México and points south, it would be a horrible deal for the U.S. (Anyone who thinks that this is doable might consider the example of German reunification. I was in Berlin when the wall came down. The West Germans were delirious with happiness. The East Germans were more slowly disillusioned, but within several months, realizing the actual cost of cleaning up the East, West Germans started to sport bumper stickers saying: Wir wollen zurück unser Wand. My German may not be perfect, but the meaning was clear: "We want our wall back.") And even considering the facts of the present invasion, I would hope that there might be some moral qualms over such a "solution." It might not be a good precedent. Although if we couldn't even figure that out in the case of Iraq, I'm not sure that we can be trusted to figure it out here. But I digress...

So what to do? Ideally, we should hand every bravo that we catch at the border an AK-47 and a case of cartridges, and tell them to go fix their own problems. The only alternative to them all wanting to be here is to create the possibility that they can make there more like here. And the grandmothers don't seem up to the task. It isn't lack of petroleum or fisheries or arable land; they have at least as much of all that as we do. The only thing that they lack is angry young men.

I despair of this actually happening. So for now, I'll take some small comfort in having finally found another commentator who recognizes that Mexican emigration actually has implications not just for us, but curiously enough, for México. This was posted at

Open Letter to Illegal Immigrants
08/17/2007 | Philistone

Posted on 08/17/2007 2:56:29 PM PDT by Philistone

Congratulations. You made it. Through hard work, determination, money and maybe even danger, you have made it to this country. You have left behind the poverty and corruption which characterize your homeland for an opportunity to work here for wages that are below what an American would demand. You have taken jobs Americans won't do.

In coming here, you have left behind those without as much ambition, initiative and drive as you, as well as the leaders who keep them in misery. By doing so, you have guaranteed that your homeland will become worse, not better.

By sending remittances back to your homeland you help alleviate the poverty of your remaining family. But by doing so you buoy the regime that you escaped, ensuring that the injustices you fled remain in place.

We know that you are willing to work hard. Why is that hard work in this country is so much better rewarded than in your homeland? Why are you willing to work illegally in this country building houses, with the risk of being badly paid or even arrested, when there is a need for housing in your homeland?

Do you believe that there is something magical about a line on a map such that work done north of it is more valuable that work done south of it?

Sure we believe in hard work in America. But as you saw before you left your homeland, hard work isn't enough. We also believe in the rule of law. Of course we have corrupt public officials, but we believe in rooting them out and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law. We don't believe that we should have to bribe a public official for a building permit, a driver's license or a bed in a hospital the way it's done in your homeland.

Maybe you believe that the reason that America is rich and your homeland is poor is because we have greater natural resources than your country, yet some of you come from countries with more proven oil reserves than we have. Still your countrymen live in poverty. What makes a country rich is not its natural resources, it is its human resources.

By coming here illegally, you are forced to live in ghettos with your fellow illegal countrymen, recreating the very barrios you left. As more and more of your illegal countrymen arrive, these barrios will more and more resemble the slums you worked so hard to escape. Do you really believe that in recreating Los Angeles in the image of Mexico City that it will retain the prosperity that you sought? More likely, it will achieve the prosperity that Mexico City currently enjoys.

At last count, there were somewhere between 12 and 20 million of you here illegally in the United States. An army that size could conquer Mexico City, Caracas, San Salvador and La Paz in a day. Go back to your homeland. Demand an end to the corruption, throw out the tyrants, take back with you what you have seen and learned about how real wealth is created. Demand the rule of law.

Instead of trying to make America resemble the homeland that you fled, why don't you go back and try to make your homeland resemble the America that you sought.