Forget the rhetoric. Look at what's happening, and why.
This issue seems to have a lot of hidden or unspoken communication about it. It’d be nice if the people who are talking about “immigration reform” would first define what the term means to them and then, second, explain why they believe “immigration reform” is necessary . . . although it’s likely that by doing the first, they would be doing the second.
If the “immigration reformers” explained themselves, we might get dialed in to what seems to be happening. We’re thinking big—I mean really big—as U.S. and probably Mexican businesspeople and politicians seem intent on taking the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to the next level and at least figuratively eliminating the U.S.-Mexico border. Geographically, anyway, the United States and Mexico as we’ve known them for the last couple of hundred years will cease to exist; the United States and Mexico will essentially become one nation. The maps might still show the border between the two nations, but that’s mere imagery: ink on paper or pixels on a digital screen.
Forget the rhetoric. Look and see. Reject it or accept it, like it or not, good or bad, this is what is happening: social, economic, and geopolitical restructuring on a massive scale. In a rapidly expanding universe, the United States and Mexico are joining as one.
The ensuing changes, of course, won’t be limited to geography. “Immigration reform” is about dramatically altering most of North America’s standing cultural, social, political, and economic structures . . . which, (I’m playing the devil’s advocate here) from a pragmatic perspective, only makes sense, seeing as they’re more or less altering themselves—or being allowed to alter themselves—anyway. For all practical purposes, the “border” between the U.S. and Mexico doesn’t exist, and that of it which still remains seems to only get in the way.
This is a major undertaking, to be sure, and it’s something about which Americans and Mexicans have a right to know. But “informing people” isn’t really the way we do things anymore, is it? The “watch-dog media” might be “watching out,” but—ah-ha!—for whom?
Look at the Affordable Care Act: so-called “health-care reform.” Nobody came clean with the truth about what it really is. All that those behind it would say, and all that the media would report, was that it was “free health care for 30 million people who can’t afford it.” That’s a huge piece of disinformation, to be sure, but if those behind the law had said, “we’re going to force you to pay for health care for 30 million Americans who don’t have it,” or, “we’re going to mandate a cash flow for the health-care and related industries,” the law would not have passed, and let’s face it: the Affordable Care Act never had genuine voter support because the voters never really knew what the law is all about. The law’s name—Affordable Care and Patient Protection—is, itself, a complete misnomer because it’s not about affordability, care, patients, or protection.
It’s about business. It’s a business plan. It’s about making a heck of a lot of money. It’s about using federal law to mandate a huge revenue source for the health-care and several other huge industries: health insurance, pharmaceuticals, malpractice law, health-care technology, et cetera. The fact that only democrats were behind it is a ruse because democrats supposedly oppose big business. But quite obviously, they don’t, do they? Democrats quite obviously support big business because, without a shred of republican assistance—overt republican assistance, anyway—democrats passed into law a big-business plan that guarantees an inexhaustible revenue flow for democrats’ “rich, corporate buddies” in several huge industries. That’s what happened, but if you post that on a leftist web site, its denizens will call you a “troll” and ban you.
“Immigration reform” is the same kind of animal. Those behind it are not by any stretch going to tell voters what it means and what it’s intended to do because, if they did, the law wouldn’t pass. But U.S. businesspeople want Mexico’s cheap labor, and U.S. politicians want Mexico’s voters, and Mexican businesspeople and politicians want to make a deal. U.S. and likely Mexican businesspeople and politicians are looking at China, Brazil, Malaysia, and India, with their massive, relatively powerless populations of cheap labor and votes, and they seem to be retooling the U.S./Mexican land mass to match those socio/economic and political paradigms; and they’re going to do it by at least informally knocking down the U.S.-Mexico border. But will they actually tell those involved—”the little people”—this is what they envision; this is what they plan to do?
Think about it. For what other reason is “immigration reform” even necessary? The U.S. already has immigration laws, right? “Why,” we ask, “don’t we simply secure our borders and enforce existing immigration laws and policy?”
Why indeed: those borders, laws, and policies don’t fit the huge changes going on in the world, or the huge changes that lofty power- and wealth-brokers have in mind. Outdated notions of U.S. and Mexican nationalism and national identity—dearly held by republicans and democrats alike—are in the way. The power- and wealth-brokers don’t want to shock and anger their populations, so they’re not coming clean about what they have in mind. But actions speak louder than words: the United States of Mex-Americo will be a global power with which to recon. We’re going to show those Chinese, Brazilians, Malaysians, and Indians who’s boss.
Personally, I think merging the U.S. with Mexico, so the U.S. can compete economically and politically with nations like China, Brazil, Malaysia, and India—whose economies, politics, and cultures lag behind ours developmentally—is a mistake. It’s a step backward, rather than a step forward. The most socially, economically, politically, and educationally advanced nations in the world, with the highest standards of living and highest average incomes, don’t rely on huge, powerless populations of cheap, uneducated laborers and voters; they’ve moved beyond that developmental stage. Their workers earn more and are better educated; they distribute their GDPs and GNPs more sensibly and pragmatically. Their wealth is more evenly distributed; I’m not sure how, but that is the case.
But the wealthiest of the wealthy in the United States, and perhaps foreign investors as well—be they democrats, republicans, conservatives, leftists, socialists, capitalists, and what have you (because those labels don’t amount to much, anyway)—seem heavily invested in the “old” developmental stage: that “cheap labor and ignorant voter” paradigm of what should be bygone days. They don’t want it to change because changing it would threaten their hold on wealth, power, and authority. So, they’re taking us a step backward instead of a step forward.
“Progress” be damned: board the “Love Train,” and break out your Bob Dylan and Buffalo Springfield albums, everybody; we’re regressing back to the 1960s to fight for—and, oh yes, to exploit—the new population of poor, oppressed people we’ve made (seeing we’ve already got about as much “feel-good” exploitation out of the old poor, oppressed population as we can get, and we need a new one).
We’re good at that, and it makes us wonderful in our own eyes—”the dream,” coming true again—and we’re surely not going to change it.
I think (not playing the devil’s advocate anymore) that the U.S. should secure its borders (a necessity for any nation’s survival) and, rather than concentrate on maintaining the outdated “cheap-labor” paradigm, find private-sector ways to raise incomes for the people who already live here: who, along with their ancestors, have built this nation with their hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. We’ve earned it. It’s our next step. We’re ready to show the world the free market’s benefits; everybody works, because we don’t have a job shortage or a labor surplus, and those who work do well . . . and not on borrowed money or entitlements, but on the increasing wages we earn. The money is here. Our economic machine has made it happen. All we have to do make sure our output is distributed for the greatest good for the county and everybody in it, not via government regulation, but via a more sensible and pragmatic way of living. (We need less, not more, cheap labor, and fewer, not more, poor.)
But what do I know? The sovereignty of nations and genuine—not that phony stuff the political left touts, but genuine—national and individual progress might be outdated myths: relics of bygone days. Borders between individual nations and upward economic, social, political, and educational mobility for individuals—”the American Dream”—might be things of the past. That’s not what the numbers say in other, more developed countries: say, “the Swedish Dream,” or, “The Norwegian Dream,” or the “dreams” in any one of a dozen other countries whose citizens earn more and enjoy a higher standard of living than we do. But given the apparent intent of U.S. “immigration reform,” that dream no longer exists here or, if it does, it envisions much lower aspirations.