Immigration, Music, Crime and Beheadings

The post title isn’t quite as depressing as it might sound. I am, as I’ve touched on before on my blog, a Podcast addict. The BBC and Guardian in particular have some great podcasts. It sure whiles away the hours I spend on microbuses and the metro system. And every now and then a podcast features Mexico.

Immigration is a hot topic, ever since Arizona’s recent legislative adventures. I’d love to see a world with no borders, where a person can go where they want. A fabulous idea, a non starter as far as practicality goes. Crime, and Ciudad Juarez, go hand in hand, and have done for a long time. Meet the Mayor of the city. And beheadings? Not what you might think. I’ve joined two podcasts into one, with the second being about the ball games of the ancient Mexican peoples. Not that Mexico as we know it existed back then, but still. Enjoy…

[vodpod id=Video.3716418&w=600&h=100&fv=]

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  • Yes I now live in Patzcuaro where one of the more famous celebrations of Day of the Dead takes place each year. You will probably get here sooner or later, if not in this life cycle perhaps in the next!

    You’ve may have heard the expression The Sleeping Giant. I think that one application is in reference to Latinos. Latinos are a fast growing part of the US and they are acquiring more and more clout as each day passes. Part of your audio clip quotes a Republican type as saying that her part should be embracing Latinos “hug a Latino …'”. So I do see things changing but not as fast as I would like.

    They will remain snooty for awhile I am sure. But I have grandchildren that are not entirely brown skinned so I will work toward some suitable compromise.

  • I have really enjoyed the blog and the comments here and would like your permission to link to and use for a blog of my own. Having worked in Juarez as part of the old Twin Plant program I saw NAFTA as a way of opening up the border and providing more of a level playing field for both Mexico, the US, and perhaps other Latin American countries. Since then I have seen things go south and by south I do not mean business relocation’s. But there is an anger that has risen toward Mexicans specifically and Latinos in general. Perhaps twenty or thirty years from now the original plan will go forth but for now it is a painful existence!

    • Hi Rich, and welcome to my little corner of the web. From Patzcuaro? You’re the second resident of that hallowed town to be commenting here. That’s where they have one of the more famous Day of the Dead celebrations, right? I mean to get to it one day…

      Mexico and the US have always had a difficult relationship. I suspect it will continue for the foresseable. Although, the Hispanic (and more importantly, legal Hispanic…) population is growing, and growing fast.

      Maybe one day, they will have the final say. Will they welcome their southern comadres, amigos , their blood…..or will they get snooty and take sides with the WASPs? The latter is just as likely if you ask me.

  • It’s not so much “open borders” (although under the NAFTA accords, both goods and LABOR were supposed to have free access throughout the three nations), as it is a cultural clash compounded by the U.S. not wanting to follow it’s own rules.

    It’s only been very recently that there was a “mainstream U.S.” presence in the border region. The borderlands had a different culture than the rest of either the U.S. or Mexico. Internal migration from the northern U.S. and from south and central Mexico to the region has created huge social changes… and, alas, problems. If you look at who is most supportive of the regressive laws in Arizona, very few are second generation Arizonans. The Governor was raised in Hollywood (her dad was in the film industry)

    Secondly, until very recently, the borderlands economy depended on seasonal or temporary workers from Mexico. It was traditional for a Mexican family or village to supply x number of workers to given U.S. businesses and an informal labor system was the norm. Under “reforms” it has been impossible for workers to go back and forth, and — where they could “commute” (or find a replacement) for their jobs in the U.S., now they have to stay… and bring the family they’ve been trying to support. AND… if you ever tried getting a U.S. visa in Mexico it makes more economic and social sense to cross without papers than any other way. Which it shouldn’t under NAFTA.

    Throw in the U.S. mixed-up attitude towards narcotics (they want access to it, but want to make it a criminal enterprise) and it’s no wonder there are problems.

    • Fair summary Rich. Did you listen to the podcast? The fact that the wall is simply making a lot of temporary single illegal immigrants into permanent family illegal immigrants isn’t what the architects behind the plan had thought would happen. Mind you, do they think at all…

  • Gary,
    Politics and Religion are two subjects I normally steer away from. And I’m not going to spout my own philosophical effluvia on the subject, but I did come across an interesting piece in another Mexican blog last week. Tancho/Constantino (nom de nets) copied a letter from a former border patrol agent to his Tenn. Senator Bill Frist on the subject. It make interesting reading – from another perspective. Check out the Tuesday the 25th blog….
    http://ranchocanyon.blogspot.com/
    Cheers!
    Dan in NC

  • I shamelessly hijacked your post for one of my political goals, I think the Americas would be better off with political union as well as economic union. And not just Mexico. I think that our world is going to develop into blocks before it can really think about doing away with borders for everyone on Earth. One step at a time, work the kinks out and go on.
    I think the Greeks are a bit of a kink right now for the EU but they are working on the problem and I predict the EU will be the better for having dealt with a major problem and very few were killed. The old Greek state would have had a higher body count-progress.
    I think it would be very nice if I could invite the people I meet in Latin America to visit me in Ohio. its only policy, it can be changed.

  • I would not write off the open border idea out of hand. NAFTA ‘s idea is that goods should be free to cross borders at will, the next thing is people. Think about how the EU developed, it started in the fifties with the Iron and Steel agreement and grew into what Europe enjoys today. I think your wrong on it being a non starter because the base has been laid. NAFTA is over ten years old, where will we be in a North American union in 40 years?

    • There is way too much racism in the US right now to even mention the remote possibilities of open borders. I like the idea, I think it should be the goal, but latest polls (who knows about the accuracy) seem to show that over 60% of estadounidense agree with the Arizona law. I am always shocked by how difficult or impossible it is for my Loreto, BCS neighbors to get a visa to the US, while I just wander back and forth with no problems…getting an FM3 cost me no more than a small fee and time putting together documentation. The inequality is astounding, and yet the US would fail to function without the workers from Mexico and Central America.

      I’m told that the latest New Yorker has an article called Immigration Blues, which follows Los Tigres del Norte on tour. Click here to listen to the podcast…amazingly there is a new CD collaboration between Los Tigres and the Chieftains called Los Patricios…the samples of the songs I’ve heard sound great….

      I think I’ve wandered a way off topic…

      • I’m not convinced that popular opinion is necessarily a barrier, providing government pushes it through without asking the people! That’s exactly how a fair amount of European Union legislation gets done.

        You mention the different approaches Mexico and the US take over immigration, and your point is fair. But it is from a US citizen’s perspective. I suspect a Guatemalan might disagree!

        PS. I fixed the podcast link so it didn’t trail out of the comment box and off to the right! If only the standard comment form allowed HTML editing…

    • I was really thinking of a world without borders, not simply the US / Mexico border. Which could come down one day, but I can’t see it happening in the foreseeable future. The Euopean borders were a fair bit easier to open up, as each of the original member states were of similar economic standing. Newer entrants to the EU haven’t found the borders opened up to them quite so freely.

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