Mexican quandary: deportations could stall storm recovery
Irma could not have been kinder to New Orleans. The hurricane’s wind circulation has pulled cooler, dry air into the city for days.
Elsewhere, the storm has been anything but kind. Following so closely on the heels of Harvey, the southeast is left reeling as it contemplates recovery. Doubtless, it will reshape the nation’s ongoing conversation about immigration, legal and illegal. Bluntly put, without the influx of workers, mostly Mexican, in late 2005 and after, New Orleans would not have been rebuilt. The effort that brought New Orleans back to where it is now will pale in comparison to what will be required to repair and rebuild in Texas and Florida.
Yet this need for workers will collide with the push in this country, so specifically directed toward Mexicans, to rid itself of illegal immigrants. The demagoguery legitimized and aggravated with characterizations of Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers during the 2016 presidential campaign has little abated as the President has stubbornly clung to his promise to build The Wall, the one Mexico is going to pay for.
Mexico is certainly a conundrum for this country. Corruption funded by money from drug trafficking is rampant. Poverty, superstition and lack of education shackle many of its citizens. And so on. Yet Mexico is one of this country’s largest trading partners, it is rich in petroleum and other natural resources. With Canada it is our nearest next door neighbor and, among the countries of the world it remains a friend to the U.S. That a presidential candidate and then President should go so out of the way to insult and aggravate Mexico defies common sense.
Sure, there are trading policies that should be renegotiated to better U.S. advantage, but to approach them with condescension and arrogance, again, defies common sense. In a world that includes North Korea, this country need not go out of its way to make more enemies.
Mexico has little to offer as a military ally and, based on surface appearances, we probably have more of what they want than they of what we want. But if this country expects to rebuild and restore Texas and Florida, we will have realize that one of Mexico’s greatest assets is its hard-working people