Illegal immigration woes are an often debated subject these days. Especially the problem with illegal immigrants from Mexico. I don't disagree that illegal immigration from Mexico is creating many problems here in the USA, and places many burdens on communities that try to provide health care, education, and other services for the illegal Mexicans. On the other side of the coin, these illegal immigrants are providing cheap labor force for industries that need it. Those arguments are not what I am ranting about.
I had the opportunity to chat with a very well educated, legal Mexican immigrant who has previously worked in our area as part of a faith-based organization called FAST (Faith and Action in Service Together). This group organized people to lobby local politicians to provide for community needs such as safer school bus stops. He left our area to work for a national immigration committee. My conversation with this man opened my eyes to a source of some of our illegal immigration problems.
It seems that at one time small individual or family businesses employed 90% of the work force in Mexico. Mexico has a minimum wage that was typically significantly lower than what the majority of the workers earned in these small businesses. Enter the American corporations... Small towns across our country have experienced a bit of what has happened in Mexico. WalMart, Home Depot, or similar types of superstores move into town and with lower prices, drive the smaller stores out of business. In Mexico these corporate gars generally do not pay much above the Mexican minimum wage.
Once again we see the results of corporate greed and arrogance. Fewer jobs, lower wages, and the lure of better things across the border tempt many Mexicans to risk their lives in an attempt to find work in the USA. If they make it (and many don't), they are able to send money home to Mexico to provide for family members left behind. The unlucky ones die crossing or get stuck in sweatshops or other underground jobs that treat them as slaves.
When we complain about these illegal immigrants, I think we need to consider the fact that it is some of our own corporations that are exacerbating the problems. They get to pay lower wages and make higher profits at the expense of both Mexican and American workers. Perhaps before our country spends exorbitant amounts of money on building a wall along the border, we could somehow address what could be done to reverse what our corporations have done in Mexico. If the number of illegal immigrants declines, we will be better able to deal with the smaller numbers and concentrate on those crossing that provide a security risk or are intent mainly on criminal activity.