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CRAZY LIKE A FOX

More from David Frum on the true root issues that need to be addressed to solve this immigration problem.

Follow the money: In 2005, Mexicans in the United States remitted some $20 billion home. That's 3% of Mexico's entire national income.

Remittances have surpassed tourism, oil, and the maquiladora assembly industry to emerge as the country's top single source of foreign exchange. For the 6% of Mexican households that receive remittances, these funds can mean the difference between extreme poverty and an income roughly in line with the Mexican average.

And as Mexico's economy has malperformed since 2000, remittances have become more essential than ever - not only economically, but politically.

This trend explains why Vicente Fox pressed President Bush so hard for amnesty and guestworker programs in Cancun this week. It explains too why George Bush has acceded: After all, Mexico's problems are inevitably America's problems too. The stability and prosperity of Mexico are vital American national interests.

So President Bush is right to sympathize with his Mexican counterpart. He is entirely wrong, though, to give in
The factors are very much the same for Central America and most of South America, though countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Colombia have some other factors--like violence, religious persecution, and the growth of socialism. Some key quotes I found right-on!
Mexico is not suffering famine: It is suffering from a comprehensive failure of political and economic leadership.
And more...
One good place to start would be the [Mexican] energy industry, which could contribute much more to Mexican wealth if Mexico abandoned its 75-year-old protectionist policies. Of course, Mexicans will say that such changes are politically impossible for them. Then they turn around and ask George Bush to lay waste to Republican political prospects to save them from a fate from which they will not save themselves.
Tags: Politics, border, Homeland Security, MEXICO, Immigration, Illegal Aliens, Border Security, California, GOP

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