(by Larry Elder, HumanEvents.com) – “We can’t infringe upon the right of people to move freely within our territory,” said Mexican President Vicente Fox during President George W. Bush’s recent visit. Earlier, Fox said he stood by the statement he previously made to the BBC: “I dare say that in 10 years, the U.S. will be begging, will be pleading with Mexico to send it workers.”
Does Mexico practice what it preaches?
First, Mexico put its military and police forces on its porous, zigzagged, mountainous, crime-ridden southern border with Guatemala. Chiapas — the South Carolina-sized southern Mexican state that shares the longest border with Guatemala — is Mexico’s poorest, most illiterate state. About Chiapas, one United Nations human rights commissioner said, “Mexico is one of the countries where illegal immigrants are highly vulnerable to human rights violations and become victims of degrading sexual exploitation and slavery-like practices, and are denied access to education and health care.”
Typically, when Mexican authorities catch illegal aliens, they place them overnight in a detention center, then bus or fly them back to their country of origin. Despite the fact that Mexico militarized its border and deported 203,128 illegal immigrants in 2004, many illegals get through by bribing corrupt military and police.
Do Mexicans appreciate the way America has allowed so many poor, Mexican illegals to enter the United States? No. According to a recent Zogby poll, 73 percent of Mexicans call Americans “racist”! When asked whether the United States’ wealth comes from freedom and “plenty of opportunity to work,” 70 percent of Americans agreed, while only 22 percent of Mexicans agreed. Sixty-two percent of Mexicans said America became wealthy because “it exploits others’ wealth.” While Americans, according to the poll, see Mexicans as hard-working (78 percent), Mexicans think of Americans as racist, intolerant and not very hard-working.
Mexico should look in the mirror. According to the Houston Chronicle’s Rachel Graves, around the turn of the 17th century, Mexico imported more African slaves than anywhere else in the New World. As a result, tens of thousands of blacks (no one knows for sure — the Mexican census does not recognize them) live in Mexico, mostly in destitute villages in its poorest states. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 blacks live in Costa Chica.
How do they fare? According to the Houston Chronicle, many are illiterate, struggling to get a decent education for their children from government schools. One Costa Chica missionary says, “The kids here are considered by their teachers to be largely unteachable.” When stopped by the police, Mexican blacks are often instructed to sing the Mexican national anthem to prove their citizenship!
If so many Mexicans consider Americans racist, why do polls show that nearly half of Mexico’s inhabitants say that their lives would improve if they could work here illegally?
America legally accepts about one million immigrants per year, with perhaps as many as 12 million people living here illegally, about half of whom come from Mexico. Many estimate that 500,000 or more people enter the country illegally every year. California Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante is Hispanic. So is the man who holds the powerful position of speaker of the California Assembly. Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city, has a Hispanic mayor, and of the 54 members of California’s congressional delegation, nine are Hispanic. The former governor of California once proposed granting driver’s licenses to illegals. And in California, under some circumstances, an illegal alien can apply for the cheaper in-state college tuition. Many predict the Hispanic governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, former Clinton Cabinet member, will run for president.
Not very hard-working?
According to the International Labor Organization, Americans work more than almost anybody in the developed world, including Japan. The average American worked 1,824 hours in 2004, compared with the Spanish at 1,799 and the French at 1,441 hours. The Dutch put in even less — working 25 percent fewer hours than Americans.
President Bush, against the wishes of many in his own party as well of half of all Americans, makes the reasonable case for a guest worker program that would allow or provide some sort of legal status for those living here illegally. Latino “activists” do that cause harm by staging protests and waving the Mexican flag and demanding their “rights.” For example, Juan Jose Gutierrez of Latino Movement USA says, “We think that the right thing to do is to grant full rights, full equality, under the laws in the Constitution of the United States, to all immigrants, period.”
Americans raise legitimate concerns about the competition illegals pose to unskilled labor, and that illegals cut in front of people already waiting in line to get in the country legally. Americans resent expenditures for illegals on education and health care, and problems posed by some who commit additional crime in America. Illegals’ attitude of entitlement helps to explain the growing anger Americans feel toward illegal aliens. Students leaving high schools, waving Mexican flags and chanting “Si se puede” do President Bush — and their “cause” — no favor.
Copyright ©2006 HUMAN EVENTS, April 6, 2006. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted here with permission from Human Events. Visit the website at humanevents.com.
1. How do Americans view Mexicans, according to a recent Zogby poll?
2. According to the same Zogby poll, the majority of Mexicans polled view Amercians as racist, intolerant and not very hard-working. How does Larry Elder refute the view that Americans are racist?
3. Define intolerant. Based on Mr. Elder’s defense of the belief that Americans are intolerant of Mexicans and your own experiences, what do you think of this belief? Explain your answer.
4. How does Larry Elder use statistics to prove that Americans are hard-working? Do you view the people in your community as mostly hard-working? How does this compare to your view of Americans overall?
5. Ask several people – parents, friends, relatives about whether they think Americans overall are racist, intolerant and not very hard-working. Ask them to explain their answers. Write the approximate age, relationship to you and occupation of each person you ask. Then record their answers and share with the class.