Don't shut out our Mexican neighbors

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Paula Huff


illegal: unlawful; illicit.
alien: 	1. foreigner.           
		2. stranger or outsider.           
		3. hypothetical being from outer space.	

			- From Webster's

illegal alien: Mexican.	

			- From real-life observation

Does the United States bear some sort of grudge against Mexico? Does our government think Mexicans are our enemies? What did the Mexicans ever do to us?

Since I was in grade school, I have been told that America is the "land of opportunity" where even the "wretched refuse" can work to build a better life.

In the 1970s and 1980s when the "boat people" fled Southeast Asia, the United States welcomed the refugees with open arms and bargain-basement loans. The Southeast Asians settled in, got used to all of us, and now are an important part of our rich and div erse culture.

Throughout American history, people have immigrated to the United States from all over the world to build a better life. The United States has always welcomed immigrants. Who were your ancestors? Mine were German immigrants who arrived in America in the 1 700s.

If America is the "land of opportunity" for people all over the world, then why does the government feel it needs armed officers to patrol the southern border? This is to keep the Mexicans out, of course.

Remember: The United States has two (2) borders, yet only one border has armed, sunglass-bespectacled officers to keep the foreigners out.

It is easy to pass back and forth across the Canadian-U.S. border. Likewise, it is easy to pass back and forth across the Mexican-U.S. border, unless you have brown skin and black hair. One only has to observe the activities at the Nogales checkpoint to v erify the harassments that are meted out to Mexicans attempting to enter the U.S. However, Caucasians can pass through the checkpoint as if they were invisible.

Why do we allow everyone except the Mexicans into the United States? This is ridiculous and can be compared to allowing everyone into your house, except for your next-door neighbors.

If hell froze over, pigs learned to fly, and Pat Buchanan ever got elected president, the Mexican border would not just have armed, sunglass-bespectacled officers at the border checkpoint. Buchanan would build an iron curtain spanning the entire length of the Mexico-U.S. border, complete with nuclear warheads and everything. And the armed, sunglass-bespectacled officers would be ordered to "shoot now, ask questions later." Of course, the Canadian border would remain as open as ever.

Why is this so? Don't try to tell me it's because we have to drive through Canada to get to Alaska; and Alaska is one of our states. If this is the case, I propose we make Panama our 51st state.

The reason the Mexican border is so heavily patrolled is because of the Mexican economy. Mexico is a poor country. Mexicans come to the United States to make a few bucks to send home to their families in Mexico. This means that the Mexicans are stealing j obs from American taxpayers and pouring all that money out of the United States and into Mexico. Or so it seems to our government.

In reality, many Mexicans come to the United States and are employed as migrant farm workers, picking our crops for a pittance. They don't even make minimum wage, yet the earnings are still higher than in Mexico. According to our government, however, the Mexicans are sneaking into our country and stealing the coveted migrant farming jobs from American citizens, who would rather do backbreaking labor for a few dollars per day instead of selling Amway, driving trucks and operating computers.

Before World War II, the phrase, "Made In Japan" meant "cheap" and "poorly manufactured." Today, "Made In Japan" means "technologically advanced." After bombing Japan in 1945, the United States helped rebuild Japan, thus giving the Japanese a chance to au gment their economy. Today, a technologically advanced, world power sits where there was a Third World country just fifty years ago.

We can learn from all this. Perhaps if we helped Mexico a little bit, the Mexicans would run with it like Japan did after World War II. I'm not suggesting the Unites States dump billions of dollars into Mexico. Instead, the U.S. could give Mexico a powerf ul tool to repair the Mexican economy - access to better education. This could be accomplished by building learning institutions in Mexico and staffing them with bilingual educators.

Then, perhaps Mexico would have the power to heal its economy. A question for our government: Wouldn't it be nice if we had a big, powerful country who is on our side and is located right next door? Besides, once Mexico got on its feet economically, perh aps the Mexicans would be inspired to help another impoverished country to better itself.

Paula Huff is a biology junior. Her column appears every other Friday.