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During the NAFTA debate and at the height of his credibility in the United States, Carlos Salinas argued that failure to ratify the treaty would bring about an economic collapse in Mexico, which in turn would bring about a wave of undocumented immigration to the north. The economic collapse came anyway, but the wave looks more like a steadily rising tide. Were the Clinton Administration, in its obsession with re-election politics, to try to stem that tide, it would threaten the only true deterrent to the proverbial wave: Mexican stability. Any attempt to clamp down on immigration from the south -- by sealing the border militarily, by forcing Mexico to deter its citizens from emigrating, or through some federal version of California's Proposition 187 -- will make social peace in the barrios and pueblos of Mexico untenable.
The United States has traditionally made the right choice between what it considers two connected evils: Mexican instability and Mexican immigration. It fears both but clearly prefers the latter, knowing that the former would only worsen matters. Indeed, immigration has not been a problem in binational relations but, rather, has been part of the solution to other, graver problems.
Some Americans -- undoubtedly more than before -- dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it, and the consequences of trying to stop immigration would also certainly be more pernicious than any conceivable advantage. The United States should count its blessings: it has dodged instability on its borders since the Mexican Revolution, now nearly a century ago. The warnings from Mexico are loud and clear; this time it might be a good idea to heed them.
"Ferocious Differences" by Jorge G.
The Atlantic Monthly, July, 1995 http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/95jul/feroce.htm
Others, of course, might argue that the threat of instability is the only thing that will ever bring anything resembling racial justice to Mexico. In either case, let's be honest: as this revelation from the heart of the Mexican Establishment proves, allowing massive Mexican immigration serves to keep Mexico's white power structure entrenched.