Sunday, June 18, 2006

Day 1- Crossing the Border

Day 1-

The history and the economics of illegal immigration.

What did we learn today?

Today we learned a little about the economic conditions that migrants are dealing with in Mexico. We see the incredible damage done by NAFTA to those people living in Central America. According to the paper, it has created a push/pull effect. In Central America, the economic situation has become so dire, that migrants literally feel pushed into leaving their homeland. The good economic status of the United States succeeds so well, it is literally pulling migrants into the country.

We learned that close the 2000 to 3500 illegal immigrants live in Kenosha County, about 16% of Kenosha's hispanic community are illegal immigrants.

The Kenosha News lists these as some of the reason migrants are desperately trying to leave their homeland and how they are getting across-

Economic change in Mexico

Population growth in Mexico

Inadequate job creation in Mexico

Fluctuation in US Border enforcement

Changes in US immigration policies

Labor market developements in the United States

Today, we also learned the difficulties for those to enter the country legally. In 1991, almost 1 million legal migrants were allowed to enter the United States on a guest worker program. Today, with demand even higher than it was in 1991, we allow less than 200,000 migrants to legally enter this country on our guest worker program.

So today's questions are-

Should the US increase the amount of legal immigrants allowed into the country on a guest worker program? (by the way, for folks who do not know- we currently have a guest worker program and we have had one since WWII.)

Should the US improve or shorten the path to citizenship for LEGAL immigrants? (I am not talking illegal immigrants)

Should the US concern themselves with the economic conditions in Central America?


Scott H said...

I think the U.S. is already concerned at some level with economics of Central America, but there are lots of places in the world we would benefit from focusing on. Probably more than we can realistically control. I think the best first step would be to focus on things we can more easily and quickly control, such as the domestic side of the problem. Then, once that is dealt with, move on if the problem is still worth the trouble.

realdebate said...

NAFTA huh?

So it is Clinton's fault?

I can live with that.

K. Carpenter said...

The Kenosha News says that NAFTA was a huge problem to Mexico. Apparently, NAFTA devalued the peso so much, that it sent tons of people into poverty.

According to the Kenosha News, 40% of Mexicans live BELOW the poverty level.