11 January 2006

A Modest Proposal on Immigration Reform

The proposed fence between the United States and Mexico has become a contentious political conundrum, as has the problem of illegal immigration.

Sometimes the most complex of problems have the simplest of solutions. The reason that so many Mexicans flee northward each year (close to 1% of their population annually) has much to do with the longtime corruption of their political system and the lack of local opportunities for advancement. Creating factories down there hasn't been as effective in stemming the tide as hoped, again the political system is to blame.

What's this simple solution of which I speak.


If Mexico becomes part of the United States then all those immigrants are no longer immigrants, and no longer illegal. The U.S. would increase from 280M to 385M souls and would add resources, and diverse growing climates that would benefit from U.S. style innovation and management.

The transition would be difficult, but manageable, Mexico now is composed of 31 states, that needn't change, and each Mexican state would be treated as if it were a U.S. state with 2 Senators and the usual apportionment of Congress folk. There is no 'official' national language in the U.S. so no Canadian style accomodations need be made. South of the Rio Grande they can continue to keep everything predominately in Spanish and north in English. The border between this new expanded United States and Guatemala and Belize would be much more manageable than the current border.

Given free rein to invest, and the full protection of the U.S. Constitution and legal system, businesses would flourish in Mexico, wages would rise, standards of living would also rise, and the labor market between the regions of this expanded U.S. would reach a healthier equilibrium than the two separate countries enjoy now.

I know many would object on both sides of the border. What about their sovereignty? What about the differing cultures? What about the language barriers?

I say all those problems and any others anyone can imagine would pale in comparison to the benefits of this expanded United States. It would be a massive project, a difficult one, but a rewarding one.

The U.S. and Mexico will remain wary neighbors as neighbors, but as partners in a greater enterprise both countries could flourish and grow in ways that both countries struggle alone.

UPDATE: all posts specifically stated as being "modest" are meant to be taken in the Swiftian sense, "semi-modest" posts vary in their degree of serious/snark ratio (and I won't identify which are which). All "modest" proposals are essentially 100% snark, though an underlying serious point might be meant to be illustrated. Sorry for the confusion if there was any.


Icepick said...
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Icepick said...

UGH! I realize this is probably a thought experiment, but I can't even get through the post out of horror! Are you aware of exactly what a boondoggle West Germany adopting East Germany has been? Mexico would be worse! We can't AFFORD it.

I'll try and get through all of it later....

Icepick said...

Okay, I've read it now, and I stick by my statement. We simply couldn't afford the monetary investment. Further, I doubt the Old Fifty could help the New 31 on the corruption front: If we can't clean up Louisianna, how are we going to clean up Mexico?

Plus, think of the Vicks. Now they would have to start calling themselves Ron and Ralph Guatemala! We all know how they like to get down, but it's going to be hard cruising the bars and junior high schools with those monikers....

Icepick said...

After that wacky post on election reform, I just don't know which craziness you mean seriously, and which not so seriously.