Thursday, May 12, 2005

It's not migration nor immigration, it's an evacuation.

Ever wonder why the image of The United States takes such a beating in foreign countries? Here is a good example.

I quote extensively from news reports in a daily newspaper in Oaxaca, Mexico called "Noticias, Voz E Imagen De Oaxaca", which translates to "The News - The Voice and Image of Oaxaca". This newspaper seems to pull no punches in its reporting of a lot of bad things that occur here each day. And trust me, there are a lot of bad things occurring here every day. However, when this newspaper blows one I'll feel free to criticize it. Today's headline of their "El PaĆ­s" (The Nation) section reads "Aprueba Estados Unidos ley contra migrantes" Which translates to
US approves anti-immigrant law
The headline is, as most headlines go, in large black letters. In the body of the story, in fact in the first sentence of the story the paper reports that the law is "anti illegal migrant". However, the big black letters of the headline are what, of course, stick in the readers' minds.

Reading through the story, there is another column header, again in bold black letters, that reiterates the meme "antinmigrantes" (sic), or anti-immigrant. Further, it quotes the official spokesman for Mexican President Fox as saying that such actions, including the construction of a wall, are not the best way for two countries to face the challenges of maintaining a common border. He goes on to say that the presidential staff is using diplomatic and political channels to achieve "a migration that is legal, secure, orderly and respectful of human rights."

What? Let me see if I understand this. Country A is bitching and moaning and using diplomatic and political channels to aid in the evacuation from Country A to Country B of Country A's inhabitants who can no longer survive in Country A. This begs the question, "How much money is this evacuation effort, using diplomatic and political tools, costing Country A?" And then the followup query, "Why not spend this money as well as use diplomatic and political channels to make life a little more livable for your own people so they aren't forced to evacuate your broken narco-republic?"

The presidential spokesman goes on to chide reporters for exaggerating the value to the Mexican economy of the remittances of US dollars (16 billion dollars annually) from Mexicans living in the US back to their families in Mexico. He states that the remittances represent 2 1/2 percent of the Mexican GDP (640 billion dollars) and that to claim that Mexico lives or survives on these remittance "seems to us an exaggeration". Well, I think that Medicare/Medicaid represents about 2 1/2 percent of the US GDP. Imagine the US having to terminate Medicare/Medicaid because Canada built a wall to stop our evacuees from moving there so that they could begin sending Canadian dollars back home to Wichita. 2 1/2 percent of GDP is a HUGE number, be it here or in Mexico or in Myanmar (or Burma or whatever).

If one skates around the net long enough and picks up on all the anti American memes from Europe, Asia, Africa and Central and South America, it does become discouraging, doesn't it?

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