Monday, March 20, 2006
Open Letter to Mexico: About That Fence
"TexMex flag" LoneStar on Green with Aguila
I've lived in Texas nearly all my life. I'm proud of our TexMex heritage. I love seeing the Aguila flying alongside the Lone Star and the Stars and Stripes at businesses as I drive down the road. I'm used to people who don't speak English; it's ok, my Spanish will get me along.
I hear that there are people who want a fence along our southern border for reasons I find sad. I hear that there are people who want a fence because they think badly of Mexicans, or because they think other languages have no place in our country. Is it possible that some people may slam Mexican culture before going to their favorite TexMex place for dinner and a margarita while Selena is playing in the background? It's possible. And when a hungry immigrant turns up on our streets -- it happens all the time -- I wish him the best finding a job.
But I have a complaint: the nation of Mexico is taking advantage of us by not taking care of its own people, by sending them somewhere else for help at someone else's expense. Mexico looks down its nose at the U.S.A. -- and we have our faults; hey, nobody's perfect. But Mexico's jobs program is "have people go north and send money back". Mexico's education program is "have people go north and go to school, they'll educate you." Mexico's health program is "have people go north for the doctors". You say there are health, education, and jobs programs in Mexico. It's true but they aren't working; that's why the people keep coming north.
And so I have to say this: I support building the fence along our border. The only traffic it stops is illegal traffic. All the bridges and legal crossings are still open. It's not too much to ask that people enter legally. I don't think it's too much to ask that Mexico contribute towards the cost of health and education for its citizens in our country. And most of all, I don't think it's too much to ask for Mexico to make a serious effort to take care of her citizens.