In all my twenty-six years serving as a US Border Patrol Agent, INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) Criminal Investigator and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Special Agent, I struggled to understand why our failed immigration and drug enforcement systems operated as they did and do now.
Why couldn’t Mexican citizens earn a decent living wage at home? Why were we paid to chase people in the night like animals when many of those same people were coming to the U.S. to pick our fruits and vegetables? Why did their own Mexican government fail to provide them the same opportunities that they found here on the US side of the border? Why did our own U.S. government fail to provide the U.S. Border Patrol the resources required to do their enforcement work efficiently and effectively? And most important of all, why did people from both sides of the border have to get hurt and die because of these two governments’ failed immigration and drug enforcement systems?
It has taken me additional years in retirement to educate myself as to insidious reality that underlies these questions that have plagued me for some thirty-two years.
I believe that our immigration and drug enforcement systems are designed to operate in the exact insane manner that they have always operated in. I believe that the U.S. and Mexican Elite use and maintain these failed systems in order to exploit not only good American taxpayers, but to exploit the good Mexican undocumented people too. Today the bi-national elite not only profit from this failed immigration system, but they profit from the failed U.S./Mexican drug war too.
Let me further explain this by making a common sense statement. Mexican cartels influence the Mexican government and its elections in the same way that U.S. corporations influence the American government and its elections too. Both use pay- offs and bribery to get their immoral ways. Of course it is not uncommon in Mexico for the cartels to assassinate their way to victory or power too.
With that said, here is how the Mexican elite profits from our failed immigration and drug policies. It is estimated that the Mexican undocumented send some 25 billion home in remittances each year in order to help support their own families. Although the link below shows a recent decline in remittances during these economically troubled years, it still reports 21.9 billion dollars were send back to Mexico from the U.S. in 2009. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/27/world/main6148649.shtml
What a sweet deal for the Mexican elite! They profit by not taking responsibility for their own citizens. They coerce many workers to go north and have those same workers send American made dollars back south into Mexico! You don’t have to guess who foots the bills for many of those undocumented Mexican’s medical and educational expenses. Rest assured that the elite do not worry about their taxes being parlayed in this manner. Finally, do the Mexican elite really have or need any incentives to cut into their own profit margins in order to provide jobs, education, hospitals, roads and clean water for its own poor? I think not.
Despite all of the drug war propaganda, it is estimated that the Mexican cartels make between 19 and 29 billion dollars a year from illicit drug sales. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laplaza/2010/06/mexico-cartels-money-merida-initiative.html
“The United States is Mexico’s largest trading partner and largest foreign investor. Mexico is the third largest U.S. trading partner after Canada and China, and is the U.S. second largest foreign supplier of petroleum. The U.S.-Mexico border is one of the busiest, most economically important borders in the world, with nearly one million legitimate travelers and nearly a billion dollars worth of goods legally crossing the border each day.” http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/05/142020.htm
The U.S. is and always has been dependent upon undocumented Mexican labor for the harvesting of our fruits and vegetables. The American owned maquiladoras in Mexico provide inexpensive Mexican labor for many American electronics and clothing conglomerates. http://www.unityblueprint.org/_documents/research-and-policy/immigrant-workers/2.AILF-MexImmWorkers&USEcon.pdf
Here is a question for you. Why do we seldom if ever hear any U.S. politicians criticize the corrupt Mexican government for anything? Please refer to John Ackerman’s article for insights into Mexico’s corrupt/civil rights abusing government: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/10/g20-mexico-felipe-calderon-grave-error
With that said, how does the American elite profit from failed immigration and drug policies? Despite all of the hard line pro-immigration enforcement propaganda, millions of the Mexican undocumented are used and abused for their labor in the American agricultural, farming, restaurant, hotel/motel, service, meat packing, landscaping, and construction industries. How about the tens of thousands of Mexican undocumented hired under the table or picked up on street corners across America on a daily basis?
Take a peek at how NAFTA has increased American Corn Farmer’s profits at the expense of Mexico’s small corn farmers’ livelihoods. http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-07-31/news/17305067_1_corn-farmers-american-corn-corn-prices
The privatization of immigration prisons across America rake in $125 to $200 per person per day off of tax payer’s dollars in order to keep the undocumented in jail. Check out this scam that Arizona’s John McCain backed titled “Operation Streamline”. http://www.dallasobserver.com/2010-10-21/news/operation-streamline-costs-taxpayers-millions-tramples-on-the-constitution-treats-immigrants-like-cattle-and-doesn-t-work-so-why-are-the-feds-so-committed-to-it/