Saturday, July 5, 2008
The Fence Won't Work
The NY Times in an editorial ("False Victory at the Border") argues that the fence won't work to discourage the migration of Mexico's desperate poor to the U.S. Basing its view on a study of the University of California, San Diego, it notes that 90% of undocumented interviewed were not, and would not, be deterred by the fence. Only a comprehensive reform that would address the presence of 12 million undocumented, the Times argues, would make for an effective and compassionate protection of the border. The reasoning is good and perhaps as much as the country could bite off now. But the real "push" factor, namely the poverty of so many in Mexico, is not addressed. Legalize 12 million and the borders will still be porous and busy as usual. The Times doesn't address that because it's editorial policy is wedded to an economic internationalism founded on "free trade". It has supported NAFTA and has chided Barack Obama for suggesting a re-negotiation. Still, for now, what the Times says the country should hear.