Illegal Immigration Hinders Reform in Mexico

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The government and society in Mexico is corrupt from the cop on the beat up to their leading official in the War on Drugs and members of the Mexican legislature. It is the migrant economy that keeps a lid on the unrest in Mexico and allows the kleptocracy to continue. Mexicans outside of the capital have to pay more for potable water, electricity and gasoline than we in the USA do. Considering the income levels, this is not only an unsustainable situation, but gouging of the poor.

Without the cash flow from the north, Mexico might see some unrest leading to reform. Currently, the status quo is enforced by our policy with respect to migrant labor. If we wish to see a reduction in corruption in Mexico and here, then we must have a policy that changes the status quo. Securing our borders would upset this status quo.

A. The impact of corruption
This corruption has a huge economic cost and is a key element in the poverty afflicting Mexico.

[Shang-Jin] Wei found that reducing the level of corruption from the Mexican level to that in Singapore would have the same effect on foreign investment as reducing the tax on capital income by 50 percentage points. In other words, corruption reduces foreign investment as much as a tax that takes half of net income!

This does not mean that corruption in Mexico in fact does take half of net income. Wei showed in another paper that unpredictable corruption is more harmful than routine corruption with a steady cost. Part of the stifling effect of corruption on the economy comes through the uncertainty and insecurity it forces on businesses, above and beyond the financial cost.

For those familiar with the Laffer curve and the impact of such a tax on capital investment, the impact is clear. Economic development in Mexico is stifled due to corruption. A similar pattern is noted elsewhere in the world.

Corruption delays, disturbs and diverts growth and development.

The problem, while not peculiar to Mexico, ought to interest us here in the US the most because it impacts us most directly and negatively. With continued poverty in Mexico, the pressure to come here will not abate. But, with continued corruption, the money brought into Mexico by the illegal migrants shall not alleviate the poverty problem.

Corruption has a negative impact on the scale, form and growth rate of private sector development. It has both direct and indirect consequences for the conduct of business.

At the macro economic level, the consequences include:

* Corruption helps distort the market by redirecting economic activity from one sector to another. In so doing, corruption destroys the structure and pattern of economic development and reduces the efficiency of economic activity.
* Corruption has fiscal, budgetary and debt effects which collectively damage the economy and make private sector development very difficult. In its extreme form, corruption destroys economies and makes business activity impossible.

At the level of the individual business or corporation corruption is damaging in the following ways:

* It raises the costs of doing business
* It increases the risks and uncertainties of doing business
* It discourages and reduces investment in general and capital investment in particular
* It creates unfair competition
* It diverts resources away from productive investment
* It complicates and delays business transactions
* It deters entrepreneurs from starting up businesses

We are becoming more corrupt with the expansion of the illegal migration. The size of the underground economy (black market) is a good indicator of the level of corruption in a society. Furthermore, illegal trade undermines the societal structures upon which it depends.

B. The impact of the migrant economy
The contribution of the black market economy in Mexico from illegal migrant workers alone is 25% of GDP. Then add in the black market activity from drugs, gun running and other activities and the black market percentage of GDP is even larger. The size of the black market indicates how large the corruption problem is in Mexico, and we are contributing to it via our willful neglect. This neglect is not compassionate, it is misguided and it contributes to the misery south of the border.

The 25% GDP is huge. The oligarchy in Mexico feeds on this as it is they who then sell services to the Mexicans who remain. We are paying for this power base to continue and expand. The result is that we are maintaining a corrupt regime when we purchase goods and services from illegal migrant workers.

The securing of the border will put a time limit on how much longer this oligarchy can continue. The securing of our border will stem the flow; the enforcement of our existing laws will reduce the numbers of illegal aliens in this country. The situation we are in is the result of 40 years of willful neglect. It may very well take that long to undo what we have wrought.

The situation south of us is not sustainable. The only question is do we want to fix it, or allow it to continue because it provides us with a new slave class? A good first step would be to cut the corrupt off from one of their chief sources of wealth -- the money the migrant workers send home. The only long-term solution is to reform the Mexican polity, which cannot happen in the current environment.

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31 Comments

Well done, sir.

Narco-guerilla's are supposedly taking control of larger portions of the border region, in some cases having such dominance the Border Patrol has ceded the area. (When it's sidearms vs automatic rifles, I guess I'd cede the area as well). This indicates the U.S. military will eventually have to be involved.

I wonder if troops in the border might provide some impetus for reform.

stay puft said:

very interesting JA,

I'm going to try to find some data about these cash flows.

...we still have to make Americans out of the people who are here

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
I provided some links. If you find better, let me know. I'll include it in the article.

As for those here. One step at a time. My starting position is enforce the current law.

Jack said:

"we still have to make Americans out of the people who are here"

Why?

ACTivist said:

stay puft,
They are already americans, just not U.S. legal immigrants. As far as their remaining here, I feel that their country is ripe for revolution (as it always has been) and what better way to start one then to re-patriot their citizens with their own country. There is always a better way then just giving in because they are already here. That is exactly why our country keeps getting short ended.

Anonymous said:

Jack,

The illegal aliens being lured here by the piratical corporations and small business privateers, are for the most part under-educated, semi-literate troglodytes who urinate and defecate in our streets. Yesterday, I had the misfortune of being in the Prince William County courthouse where I witnessed a Non-English speaking recent arrival, remove a filthy diaper from her child and deposit it on a public bench outside a courtroom on the second floor. And you don't think the "recent arrivals" need some "civilizing". I watched as a Judge sent another recent arrival to a taxpayer funded "CHARM SCHOOL" named "Estamos Aqui". The taxpayers are actually paying for criminal offenders to go to a court sponsored program to teach the "recent arrivals" that its not polite to urinate and defecate in the street. Maybe that Hispanic woman who left the diaper should have gone too!

Jack said:

You misunderstand me, Anonymous. I do not want them civilized, I want them deported.

stay puft said:

ok, I think Jacob's argument is thoughtful, and a refreshing departure from the typical anti-immigration talk. I guess I kind of brought it up, but let's hold off on falling into the usual amnesty rhetoric for now

Jacob, thanks for that! I haven't had time to do much of my own research, but I've looked the links over. It's a clever argument, I'm not sure such a policy would have the results you are looking for. Let me be sure I understand your argument:

-Yes Mexico is corrupt, and that undoubtedly has an effect on economic development. We could use the same argument to cut off immigration from any corrupt country. Should we treat the current situation with Mexico as a "special case"?

-Corruption is something that many developing economies struggle with. There doesn't seem to be a clear-cut formula for dealing with it; once it's there it's there... Do you see political unrest in Mexico as a solution to the high level of corruption?

-When a society's driving force is corruption, can it really be considered democratic? That is, to what extent can the Mexican people be held responsible for the situation?

jacob said:

Marshamallow,
Good questions, I will repond in the order they were posed.
1.a Cutting off legal immigration from a country that is corrupt in most cases would be futile.
For example, cutting off immigration from China would be futile w.r.t. fomenting change in China. The leveridge is just not there.
1.b. I am for stopping illegal immigration from ALL countries.
1.c. Mexico is a speacial case in many ways. In one of the links I found the Mexican census stated that the labor pool in Mexico was 44M. With 10M (or more) illegal migrants from Mexico here, we do have tremendous leveridge.
1.d. In order to use this leveridge I would in the case of Mexico temporarily stop even legal migration.

2. Poitical unrest is our only tool (and hope). The Mexican people live under an oligarchy. Even if the political party in charge changes, the leadership comes from the same pool of elites who operate in the same way.

I do not like this path, but the alternaitves are only worse. The means of removing corruption are not clear (as you stated). However, to not try will only hurt us in the long run.

3. Look at Italy. A very corrupt polity, and yet democratic. That countries corruption is declining, it will need still more time, but I think Italy is on the right path.

How much to hold the Mexicans responcible for their condition? That requires judgement that I would prefer not to exercise. I am simply advocating change in Mexico, because they have so devolved that they are utterly dependent upon a black market economy in the US. That is a situation that is terrible for Mexico and the US.

Jack said:

Jacob, I thought you were going to use Roman Numerals!

Puffalump, Mexico IS a special case, because we share a border, which make illegal immigration from Mexico easier than it is from any other country, with the exception of Canada. Why do we not have so many illegal immigrants from Canada? Because Canada is not corrupt.

zimzo said:

I think it's because Canada has a better health care system.

And how do you know there aren't more illegal immigrants from Canada. They look and sound just like us! I guess that explains why you aren't too worried about them.

Jack said:

It's certainly better than Mexico's. However, there are people that come here from Canada for medical care. Who goes to Canada?

"And how do you know there aren't more illegal immigrants from Canada."

Because the Canadians can get legal jobs in Canada that are better than the illegal ones that would have to get here.

"They look and sound just like us! I guess that explains why you aren't too worried about them."

It's all about race with you, isn't it, zimzo?

jacob said:

zimzo,
I. and then you complain when you get the same medicine ...
As usual you start off by insulting someone. I must say it is not even up to the usual level of snarkiness. Your sub-par arguments are now sub-par relative to your usual dribble. You sick boy?

I told Jack that you would call me a racist yesterday. Not only are you wrong, you are predictably wrong.

II. The answer to your unfounded charge of racism ...
When we wind up with 10M kanucks down here (ay!), sending their money home, working in a black market economy I will start worrying about them.

zimzo said:

"It's all about race with you, isn't it, zimzo?"

This from the guy who said that we should go back to the days when employers could discriminate against employees on the basis of race. This from the person who referred to Arabs as "ragheads." This from the guy who defended George Allen's use of the word "macaca." This from the guy who talks ominously about epidemics of "black on white crime."

Maybe I should be asking you if it's all about race, Jack.

zimzo said:

The use of "Canuck" parallels that of some other potentially offensive nicknames, that is, when used by the people it names — Canadians in this case — it is usually acceptable. But when used by an outsider — in this case particularly Americans — it can be misinterpreted and deemed as insulting one's heritage (though rarely credibly so for Canuck). Although it is not as severe as most ethnic slurs, some consider it one - just as Yankee can be.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canuck

jacob said:

zimzo,
Talk about reaching, sheesh I grew up watching hockey, and the Canucks are a team from Canada, and nobody gave a d*mn. Always making with the negative waves zimzo, always making with the negative waves. Can't you ever say something positive and righteous?

And, as always, trying to put people on the defensive aren't you. You have nothing to offer other than slander. It's really kind of sad.

Don't you have anyting interesting to say w.r.t. the post above?

Jack said:

Well, three-out-of-four ain't bad for you, zimzo. In fact, it's probably a record.

If you go back to the thread, http://www.novatownhall.com/blog/2007/05/the_blackonwhite_crime_coverup.php you will see my statement that "the data really do not indicate a tendency for Black murderers to target Whites."

zimzo said:

Here was your first comment in that thread:
"A "hate crime" is a crime perpetrated by a White, Christian male upon anyone who is NOT a White, Christian male."

When I responded with actual data that showed that the FBI also counts certain black-on-white crimes as hate crimes, you misread it:

"Now, since the Whites are about 75% of the population, and Blacks about 12%, we can see that Black-on-White hate crime is more prevalent, PER BLACK, than is White-on-Black hate crime per White."

When I corrected you, you finally made this tortured comment, putting the comment you quoted above in context:

"That is why I brought in the Black-on-White vs. White-on-Black murder rates, because they are so classified. I concluded above that Blacks are 3.5 times more likely to commit interracial murders than are Whites. However, since Blacks are 6.5 times as likely to commit murder, they actually murdering about half as many Whites as they would be if their victims were of random race. Of course, proximity has a great deal to do with victimization rates, but the data really do not indicate a tendency for Black murderers to target Whites."

So if you think we should only count comments you make after your earlier comments are shown to be fallacious, and ignore everything else you say, then you are right.

Jacob, I haven't read the post above. It's a lot of words. It's much more fun tweaking you.

ACTivist said:

"They look and sound just like us!"

Zimzo, you just insulted any Canadians reading this blog. Some to the point that they would want to take you out back of the barn and horse whip you. You might be ignorant of the fact that the above would be considered a racial slur but I doubt it. You could have said that the Columbians and Salvadorians look and sound just like the Mexicans. You would have pissed-off thosev people also. On the other hand, illegals being illegals, I would prioritize groups to be deported first and the Mexicans and Canadians would be on the bottom of the list because the others are more dangerous elements. That said, I would eventually get to those renegade illegal canucks and deport their sorry asses right across niagra falls where they belong.

I missed the "black and white" hate thing. I suspect we weren't talking about the favorite cookie to dip in milk.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

My first comment, the definition of a "hate crime," is the media's definition, not the FBI's definition.

As for the rest, everyone can go back to the post and see that you are an idiot.

stay puft said:

what in the hell is everyone talking about? Jack, maybe it only works for border states, but people commonly go to Canada to get cheap rx because the American pharm.s sell drugs to canadia for less than they do to Americans. go figure.

Jacob, I've been looking at this, and trying to find more info, but don't have tons of time.

You show that Mexico is corrupt, and that corruption slows growth, and that money sent from Mexican workers in the US makes up a large part of the Mex GPD (to be clear; you said 25% of GDP comes from illegal immigrants, the article you linked to actually said 25% from Mexican workers in the US) What you have to assume (at east until I scrounge up some data or apply for a research grant) is that most of the money being sent to Mexico is going to corrupt officials, and not having any other effect on Mexico's economy. Maybe some does end up in the pockets of corrupt types, but if it could be shown that during this influx of Mexican workers in the US the standard of living has risen in Mexico, or that development has accelerated, etc., that would suggest that this money may be having a positive effect on the Mex econ.

The whole argument is based on the idea that illegal immigration is bad for Mexico. Would you like to see immigration reform as part of a broader pro-development policy for Mexico? If it could be shown that illegal immigration actually benefited Mexico, would you be willing to adopt a pro-amnesty position?

regarding those already here, if we deported them so as to add to popular discontent in mexico, we'd only be supplying supporters of mexico's brand of chavez-esque, antiamerican populism. Any government that would come out of a revolution in Mexico supported by deported and unemployed Mexican workers would not have a friendly pro-US, pro-economic liberalism agenda.

also, if things in Mexico are as bad as that, we should allow mexicans to seek asylum from their corrupt gov. however, the argument conflicts with the whole idea of asylum in that it says anyone who hails from a lousy country is better off staying in their own country and pressing for revolution than in coming here to make a living. that's a bit of a judgment call... suffice it to say that is an impoverished, discontent populace was the solution to corrupt governance, the 3rd world would no longer exist.

...all in all it's fairly compelling, but it seems to hinge on some big assumptions. the devil, they say, is in the details.

cheers,

Jack said:

Actually, the main reason is that the Canadian government subsidizes the drugs. If we keep going there, then they will be forced to end those subsidies -- that's why it's illegal.

" What you have to assume... is that most of the money being sent to Mexico is going to corrupt officials, and not having any other effect on Mexico's economy."

Not at all. The point is that the money IS going to the recipients, thus stifling the impetus for internal reforms.

"If it could be shown that illegal immigration actually benefited Mexico, would you be willing to adopt a pro-amnesty position?"

There are MANY reasons to oppose illegal immigration. If ONE of those reasons should prove to be unfounded, that does not override all the others.

"Any government that would come out of a revolution in Mexico supported by deported and unemployed Mexican workers would not have a friendly pro-US, pro-economic liberalism agenda."

It is just as likely that, having experienced economic freedom here, they would want to reconstruct it there. Both assertions are unprovable before that new government is in place.

"[Suffice] it to say that [if] an impoverished, discontent populace [were] the solution to corrupt governance, the 3rd world would no longer exist."

A good point. They also need the freedom to keep and bear arms!

stay puft said:

I'm not sure canada subsidizes drugs. The single payer system allows them to set prices. but that's totally off topic.

even if we assume that money sent to Mexico from undocumented workers in the US is propping up the corrupt government, would it not still be playing with fire to deliberately foster civil unrest in Mexico? you're right that we can't predict what a new government would look like until it came to pass. that was kind of my point; we can't know. Nevertheless, I'd put money on it being more or less anti-american, particularly if it came in on the heels of a forced exodus of 13,000,000 people back to Mexico.

Jacob, where did you go?

here's a map:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/87/Corruption_Perceptions_Index_2006.png

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
I had a busy day at work, and your questions require a measured response.

Here I go ...
"you said 25% of GDP comes from illegal immigrants, the article you linked to actually said 25% from Mexican workers in the US"
With respect to the 25% number, the article as stated the GDP itself was boosted by 25% AND that ~25% of the workforce is here. This is believable as the article states that the typical daily pay rate is ~$11. Since a typical migrant carpenter makes 11/hr in this area, (the source for this number is local, and I cannot find it, if you insist I can look) this indicates a migrant worker's earnings potential is large v. those who stay home.

"you have to assume [...] is that most of the money being sent to Mexico is going to corrupt officials, and not having any other effect on Mexico's economy."
Actually I was not thinking of the money going directly to a corrupt official. What I was thinking of was the fact that the oligarchy controls and owns the local services. Water, fuel, electricity etc. The money that goes to 'madre' and 'los ninos' is then employed to pay for these services. The prices are inflated and the poor become more and more dependent on the migrant cash flow. Its a vicious circle.

Furthermore the oligarchy by this behavior is crushing capital formation across the board. The money for the US should be enough to start up small businesses in Mexico. This is similar to the micro-loans mechanisms used Bangladesh and Africa. A little cash should go a long way in a place where people make ~$10 a day.

"The whole argument is based on the idea that illegal immigration is bad for Mexico."
Does the cash from up north help? Sure it does, in the short term. But I would argue things are getting more anarchic in Mexico, not less; project this into the future. Why is this so? The easy money from up north is increasing the level of corruption, not alleviating it. Furthermore with 25% of the adults up here who is raising the kids? This current situation is also a social dislocation of monumental proportions.

"If it could be shown that illegal immigration actually benefited Mexico, would you be willing to adopt a pro-amnesty position?"
Good question. I will first list my objections to amnesty.

a. First of all this is a nation of laws not men. I think that is something that cannot and should not be dismissed lightly.

b. The last amnesty only encouraged more of the same behavior. So a second amnesty would require some extraordinary caveats. Think a fence, a moat, a mine field , AAA batteries, to completely block any further incursion from both North and South. Also a 100,000 man ICE force to hunt down anyone who overstays their Visa, the hunt begins 24hrs after the visa expires. The individual is then expelled for life. hmmmm maybe even a collar that explodes 48 hours after the visa expires, it comes with a GPS receiver. (OK, the collar is over the top, maybe.) Also those who are given amnesty must register within a given period. Furthermore, those who commit any other crimes are also expelled for life.

c. It is not just to the people who are jumping through the hoops, and who did jump through all the hoops in the immigration system. Granted, it is a byzantine mess, but that only makes it a bigger injustice to then provide amnesty to those who did not play by the rules.

d. It is a terrible example, we are playing craps with our sovereignty From the dawn of time every nation decided who could come in and who could not. Nations that did lose control of their borders soon fell into anarchy. This is also something that also cannot be treated lightly.

I am sorry for this long walk down the garden path but _you_ brought up amnesty. As for amnesty, can you explain to me how does this help Mexico and more importantly the USA? I fail to see an upside, so please show me an upside.

"regarding those already here, if we deported them so as to add to popular discontent in mexico, we'd only be supplying supporters of mexico's brand of chavez-esque, antiamerican populism. Any government that would come out of a revolution in Mexico supported by deported and unemployed Mexican workers would not have a friendly pro-US, pro-economic liberalism agenda."
You are making a descent argument for amnesty. I am not convinced, but this is the smartest thing I have heard thus far. Lighting a fuse in Mexico will stir the pot; if we have a tight border first we could weather the storm. The question is how long before a rapprochement. If we do not go for amnesty, we must be smart on how we deport. These guys cannot be paupered on the way out, Machiavelli was clear about the money in these matters.

"suffice it to say that is an impoverished, discontent populace was the solution to corrupt governance, the 3rd world would no longer exist."
I agree, but the third world, aside from Mexico is far away. Since it impacts us so strongly something should be done. Also, we do have leverage; economic leverage at that (the best kind). What we must first demonstrate is will.

"all in all it's fairly compelling, but it seems to hinge on some big assumptions. the devil, they say, is in the details."
Thanks;' and yes, the devil is in the details. I don't pretend to understand all of the ramifications, but the details could be worked out by some really smart people.

"would it not still be playing with fire to deliberately foster civil unrest in Mexico?"
Big fire. Which is why a secure border is a must. It would be dicey, but we could play a positive role. The stakes are huge, but so would be the pay off.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
You out there?

stay puft said:

Here's the executive summary:

I. We agree that corruption in Mexico slows growth.

II. We don't know for sure what effects cash from the US is having on either corruption or development in Mexico. Hopefully more detailed information about this relationship will come to light.

III. There's no way to know what effect a revolution in Mexico would have on corruption or development

III. There are a lot of ways for a "deportation for revolution" plan to backfire.

IV. Such a plan would require us to use 13 million people as pawns in a political game

----

now, I've been looking for information about the effect of these cash flows on Mexico's economy. without that, it's hard to say. Sorry if I overlooked it, but did you link to anything that showed corruption increasing as a result of the cash flow?

I have no doubt that reducing corruption and promoting economic development in Mexico will slow the stream of migrant workers, and it is a good point that every Mexican worker who comes here is one less person to put pressure on the Mexican government to reform.

now I understand the desire to secure borders, but I also know that we've always managed to absorb waves of immigration in the past and they always become Americans if you give them time. Maybe illegal immigration is working to prop up a corrupt mexican regime, and maybe as you said, "The last amnesty only encouraged more of the same behavior" that's debatable, but either way, I'm not comfortable with using 13 million people as pawns in a geopolitical game of Economic Reform in Mexico.

at the macro level it's an interesting theory. At the human level it's MO is questionable: drive 13 million people out of the country and ban them from returning, effectively destroying their communities and the lives they've built, send them to Mexico there they presumably have very little or nothing in terms of assets, this will make them angry and frustrated, which will hopefully lead to an upheaval of the Mexican government, which in turn will hopefully lead to an anti-corruption campaign and more transparent economic policies in Mexico.

There are so many ways for that to blow up in our face.

Maybe we can't know so we have to make assumptions, and maybe this is one of the levers we have to effect change and we just have to have the will to use it. A plan to root out corruption in Mexico would no doubt benefit both countries, but if it requires uprooting 13 million people, we ought to have some amount of certainty that it will work.

Having said that, let me say once more that it's an interesting idea that should be developed as information comes to light.

I wish that ideas for sparking reform and development in Mexico were more often included in this national discussion. As you said, we have leverage. When we're trying to figure out our own policy, one thing to keep in mind is that we can talk to Mexico. This is a big issue for both countries, how is it that there is no diplomacy going on here? No bilateral talks, nothing.

Jack said:

"IV. Such a plan would require us to use 13 million people as pawns in a political game"

That's exactly what the Mexican government is doing.

Had Enough said:

stay puft,

There is plenty of talking going on out there, the main topic being the SPP. The future of our country is being destroyed silently behind closed doors everyday planning and creating laws.

This administration never had any intention of closing the borders, when in fact bush, fox and canada have decided that complete open borders and a north american union similiar to the european union was in our best interest whether the people know about it or not.

Canadians citizens are livid, of course this is exactly what bush and fox want including a super highway from mexico to canada four football fields wide at our expense. The chinese are building a gigantic port in mexico to ship their goods to. In turn the goods will be shipped all over this country by mexicans truckers and avoiding our docks, dock workers and truckers.

Another aspect of the SPP has to do with oil from canada being guaranteed to the US which has the canadian citizens ready to revolt.

bush is using trade, commerce and NAFTA to bypass congress on this. Regulars to meetings are rice and chertoff. The next big meeting will be next month and from what I understand it will now be closed meetings, not open as originally planned.

It all boils down to bush and his open borders, free movement of people and goods.

Twenty-four hours a day talks and meetings are going on.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
I agree with I, completely.
I could argue that II is self evident, unfortunately I cannot back it up. SO I concede II.
you point on part III is valid to a point. We can influence, but you are correct, we cannot control.
point IV is moot.
a. The Mexican guv'mint is already doing that. That ball is in play, the only question is what do you do about it.

onward ...
"Sorry if I overlooked it, but did you link to anything that showed corruption increasing as a result of the cash flow?"
No links in this article. Much of that part of my argument comes from previous articles read and seen, as well as anecdotal stories from missionaries in northern and southern Mexico.

"I'm not comfortable with using 13 million people as pawns in a geopolitical game of Economic Reform in Mexico."
They already are in play. The Mexican government put them there. Ignoring them or accommodating them is what the Mexican government wants. We ought not play along.

"at the macro level ...
and more transparent economic policies in Mexico."
Securing the border is the first step. I wrote it will probably take 20+ years to correct the issue. Mass deportation is not in the cards, for a host of reasons; use you imagination. However, attrition over time will have two effects.
a. it will further discourage illegals from coming here if they know we are serious about enforcing our current laws
b. it will encourage those already here to leave voluntarily.

"There are so many ways for that to blow up in our face." If we go the mass deportation route, yes.

"Maybe we can't know so we have to make assumptions, ... A plan to root out corruption in Mexico would no doubt benefit both countries, but if it requires uprooting 13 million people, ... it will work."
Sometime when the status is not tolerable you need to go for broke. Yes, this is not easy, but doing nothing will be worse in the long run.

"how is it that there is no diplomacy going on here? No bilateral talks, nothing."
Everybody at the top is still making money and their is not enough downside thus far. The oligarchy is happy. Wall street is happy, the leadership of the Unions are happy. The people getting hammered are the native trades and the illegal aliens.

Look at who is squawking and who is either quiet or supportive of the idea.

AFF said:

"There are so many ways for that to blow up in our face"

Hum- I wonder how much of the 17,000,000 barrels of oil a day this country requires to funtion comes from Mexico?

jacob said:

AFF,
From what I can find we have 13M not 17M barrels/day,
of that 1.5M comes from Mexico.

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