What should Gringos want in our relations with Mexico? – Republished from November 2012


(Given DJT's announced intention to

use US troops (perhaps NG) on the border

IMO the CinC should  decide what ROE will be.  pl


According to the author of the cited article American citizens of Mexican descent want a path to citizenship for those of their ethnic community who are presently residing illegally in the US.  At the same time they find it acceptable that there be fairly onerous conditions placed on the "path" to citizenship.

"Latino voters are very comfortable with requirements regarding old or outstanding taxes, criminal background checks, continuous residence in the US and the learning of English. The community is more or less evenly divided on a provision for directly fining people, and a majority oppose touch-back provisions that requires undocumented residents of the US to return to nations of origin to complete the paperwork process."  Beyondchron

I can see all that as a reasonable set of aspirations so long as it is combined with a continuing major effort to halt illegal immigration across our borders.

It is at that point that I part company with people like Congressman Gutierrez of Illinois who baldly insists that deportation of illegal residents of the US must stop.  Living in the US without citizenship or a proper visa is a violation of US law.  Was Gutierrez not sworn to uphold US law? 

The president elect of Mexico has recently been in Washington talking about Mexico's hopes and requirements with regard to the US.

Americans should start talking about our demands and desires with regard to Mexico.  The Mexican-American lobby operation in the US is seeking to create an ambiance in which only Mexico and Mexican-Americans in the US have "rights."  In fact this relationship between the two countries must be one of reciprocity.

What should we want from Mexico in return for the "immigration reform" that it wants here?

– We should insist on the right to reside permanently anywhere in Mexico that we choose after emigrating there legally.  There should be a clear path to Mexican citizenship that mirrors provisions in US law.  This path should not include a necessary renunciation of US citizenship.  US law does not require that for naturalization.

– We should insist on the right to own real property in Mexico on the same basis as Mexican citizens.  This should apply to personal as well as commercial property. 

– We should insist that net profits after taxes of American owned businesses in Mexico should be fully repatriatable.

– We should demand a joint US/Mexican judicial tribunal that tries drug traffickers and condemns the guilty to execution or imprisonment. 



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57 Responses to What should Gringos want in our relations with Mexico? – Republished from November 2012

  1. schwifty says:

    If we’re elevating this from a negotiation with a domestic Hispanic constituency, to a state level negotiation with the Mexican government, then we probably won’t be able to strike such a grand bargain without bringing our Federal drug laws into the 21st century.

  2. r whitman says:

    The basic flaw in the article is the use of the term Latino. All Latinos are not the same. 70% of them are Mexican, Mexican-American or Originalist and they are quite different from Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Columbians. The illegal immigrant community is supposedly also 70% Mexican, so if you solve the Mexican problem you are more than 2/3 of the way done. Mexico generally does not want to lose these people as citizens. They provide substantial financial remittances to the Mexican economy. Vincente Fox always spoke of “regularization”.
    Perhaps we ought to ask for some input from the Mexican government before we go ahead with some new, complex and probably unworkable immigration law.

  3. turcopolier says:

    r whitman
    “The basic flaw in the article is the use of the term Latino.” Quibbling. We all know we are talking about Mexicans. That’s why I concenrtated on Mexico. pl

  4. DH says:

    Colonel, I assume you’re being tongue-in-cheek, but this is where we’re heading; a North American Federation, including Canada. What shall we call it?

  5. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Eventually, I think the only–and even before that, the best–solution to the problem can be a Union of North America. I realize that the colonel often spoke favorably of this enterprise in the past.

  6. nemerinys says:

    How to Become a Mexican Citizen – some of those elements already exist.

  7. This week’s ECONOMIST news magazine has an interesting feature article on Mexico and its present and future!

  8. turcopolier says:

    Great. We are part way there. pl

  9. turcopolier says:

    Good. Ler’s see- flag design? How about adding a maple leaf to the one on the post? Name – Federation of North America or Federacion de America del Norte. pl

  10. turcopolier says:

    Si, hombre! Porque no? My vision of what this might become is San Antonio de Bejar. Lovely. pl

  11. optimax says:

    Mexico has dual citizenship so that country wouldn’t lose anything by making their illegals US citizens.

  12. turcopolier says:

    That is why we need my program. pl

  13. jerseycityjoan says:

    One of the real problems that seems to be ignored is income inequality in Mexico.
    I myself did not realize that Mexico is actually a rich country full of poor people until last year.
    Both the Mexican and the US government have failed to hold the rich and powerful in Mexico accountable much of anything, it seems to me. Until they are forced to pay sufficient taxes to support adequate government services and until they stop pointing poor Mexicans north (while expecting them to send money home), we will continue to have problems with people trying to come here anyway they can.
    It is ridiculous that the US is seen as responsible for providing jobs to poor Mexicans by so many people in both countries.

  14. jerseycityjoan says:

    When I was growing up, they made a big deal in school over the fact that people had to renounce their citizenship in other countries to become a citizen here.
    I don’t know when or why all this dual citizenship stuff got so prevalent but I am thinking it is not a good idea.
    It comes back to the “servant of two masters” concept, which to me is pretty compelling.
    What is wrong with being a permanent legal resident of a country without being a citizen when you don’t want to give up citizenship in your country of origin?

  15. jerseycityjoan says:

    Have there been any successful, mirror-image sorts of immigration policies as the kind you describe between two countries that were not roughly equal — which of course the US and Mexico are not?
    Right now the Mexican government is getting just about all it wants in what is a more or less parasitic relationship. Right now many powerful forces in the US are also getting what they want, which is a source of cheap exploitable labor. The US government is allowing the workers of both countries to be exploited.
    Even with so-called comprehensive immigration reform, there are still calls for higher immigration levels from many even as we have a huge and growingly despairing pool of idle people here.
    For too long we have allowed various parties to have their cake and eat it too — enjoying the profits of exploited worker while pushing the costs onto the workers, the unemployed and the government. Taking that away will be a hard task. It is absolutely necessary if America is to remain a First World country, but it will be a real challenge to accomplish.

  16. John says:

    I care not what Mexico’s immigration policies and laws are. Irrelevant to me. Nevertheless I do care about my country’s immigration policies, laws, and especially what to do with the 11.5 unauthorized (or ‘illegal’) immigrants residing in the U.S. today.
    The problem is neither black and white as many are prone to define it. Nor are any solutions simple. Yes, closing our borders sounds simple, and indeed helps. But they still come somehow, don’t they? More importantly, what to do with the 11.5 million already here?
    Latino immigrants are like the Irish immigrants of the 19th century. Except we didn’t deport the Irish. We just conscripted them into the armies, North and South, used their women as cleaning ladies like we do with Latinas today, put them in dangerous coal mines, or digging tunnels and laying track. Our nation was lucky to have and retain Paddy, although we treated him badly.
    Unauthorized immigration is a crime, yes. But how serious a crime is it? What should be the degree punishment for such a benign crime? Especially for someone who came here years ago, has worked and paid taxes – yes many undocumented immigrants have tax ID numbers and pay income tax. The IRS doesn’t care. They just like the revenue. The undocumented, although they may have been here for years still cannot even get a driver’s license legally, but they pay taxes.
    Common sense tells me that we should deport our hardened criminals, rapists and murders, and keep our undocumented workers here, after they pay a fine or small sentence for their crime.
    I have a number of Latinos who work for me. I do not ask for papers. I only ask for honest and hard work. And they provide in spades. And that is a big part of the problem. Employers who want cheap Latino labor and labor that can be manipulated without any repercussion from them or a union.

  17. DH says:

    Okay, an outline of the maple leaf suggested by the red and white stripes inside the leaf alternated with the stripes outside the outline. The name? North American Federation.

  18. turcopolier says:

    You are waay behind the times. It is a long time since the US did not accept dual nationality. Jewish interests caused that because they wanted dual US/Israeli citizenship. As a result you can hold any number of dual citizenships here. Mexico does not allow people or corporations that are not Mexican to own property in their own name. Mexicans citizens can own propert in the US. Is that fair? Do you like this “parasitic” relationship? pl

  19. turcopolier says:

    So your solution is amnesty for illegal Mexican immigrants so that they will remain a souce of cheap labor for you, labor that cannot organize. Yes, this is much like the Irish in the 19th Century. You admit that you have decided what is an important federal law and what is not. How convenient for you. pl

  20. The Moar You Know says:

    The only way this is going to get “solved” with a solution that everyone likes is union. Whether it be Mexico as a 51st through 82nd state (they have 31 plus their equivalent of D.C.) or as part of a North American Union that includes Canada as well – my preferred solution, as the other would make a real mess out of the U.S. flag.
    Either way, then we get to experience Mexico’s joy with THEIR southern border problems of narcotics trafficking and illegal aliens (having just returned from a trip down there to Quintana Roo, they have quite the issue with illegal immigrants, just as we do!)
    “We should insist on the right to own real property in Mexico on the same basis as Mexican citizens. This should apply to personal as well as commercial property.”
    Amen to that, I want some Baja beachfront property.

  21. The Twisted Genius says:

    Perhaps we can look at elements of the European Union and the Schengen Zone to see what what an “American Union” might be like.

  22. Fred says:

    They already gain by repatriation of US dollars earned and US taxpayers footing the education bill for the children of illegals. We should send them the bill.

  23. Fred says:

    So you are one of the illegal employers. Great. I wonder what laws I can break and you’ll be okay with if it undercuts your business?

  24. Oofda says:

    Or, Fédération de l’Amérique du Nord.

  25. turcopolier says:

    “We should send them the bill.” Reciprocity across the border is one way to do that. pl

  26. Is the number of Mexican citizens in the US Army classified?
    Do you have to have a Green Card [lawful resident alien] status to enlist in the US military?
    Was not part of the Varian Reforms to give Roman citizenship to those enlisting and surviving and serving honorably for 20 years in the LEGIONS?

  27. My understanding is that in the USA the top 1% of owners of wealth own over 40% of the USA’s wealth. In Mexico that figure is over 60%!
    Not sure of these numbers!

  28. turcopolier says:

    We have been through this before. You have to be a US citizen or a legal alien resident to enlist in the US armed forces. This as an enlisted soldier. Officers so far as I know must be citizens. pl

  29. The Twisted Genius says:

    The number of Mexican citizens in the Army is surely not classified, nor is the number of Canadian, Israeli or any other citizens. The numbers are probably not tracked at all. To enlist, one must be a lawful resident alien. There are probably some illegal aliens in the service. No screening is perfect. I know there are/were programs for accelerated citizenship for resident aliens serving in the military. I don’t know the specifics.

  30. The Twisted Genius says:

    Not only is wealth more concentrated in Mexico, but the social safety net is pretty flimsy. That’s why they come north for work and send most of their earnings home… minus social security, medicare, federal and state taxes.

  31. John says:

    I do not hire illegal workers. I hire people who do good work, without regard to or knowing their heritage, religion, or documented status. I remain agnostic. Some might be undocumented, or not. But I suspect most if not all do have papers. And I pay them well. Indeed I was proud that one of my employees from Guatemala just gained US citizenship last week after a long and difficult process. She was so very happy and proud! So please don’t jump to conclusions.

  32. John says:

    Not exactly. I pay my people much more than most. And in an earlier life I was a union organizer and union official. I was also an admirer of Cesar Chavez.
    Since I do not know their legal status I am not aware of any federal law I may be breaking. Convenient? Yes, I suppose so.
    Pure amnesty? No. But there must be some established process to bring them out of the shadows and legal. It is the moral and ethical thing to do in a country that used to pride itself on, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;…”

  33. VietnamVet says:

    HBO has had a series called “Witness” on photojournalism in the world’s hot spots. Juarez has completely collapsed since I travelled through it several decades ago. Chaos seems to be the common goal. It is a spreading illness of the human condition; from stealing land around the Rio’s future Olympic Stadium to getting a cut of the drug money. I didn’t see anything that anyone would want to steal in Southern Sudan.
    A North American Federation is great but good government and jobs are the foundation for its success. These are not the goals of our Elites.
    It is very strange to hear the language from Vietnam pacification being applied to Rio’s slums.

  34. steve g says:

    If we create a type of European Union
    as you suggest what elements of it
    would apply? Single currency? Mexico
    as Greece with its rampant corruption
    as is Mexico now. Canada as who? And
    of course the US as Germany. The US
    holding the bag and paying the bills
    for the other two if the political ele-
    ments go awry as is currently under way.
    Assuming we do not default first. The
    US and Canada are as close as two distinct
    countries can be as far as trade, language,
    excepting Quebec,and culture. How would
    Canada benefit vis-a-vi Mexico?
    I find it hard to see how Mexicans
    would merge with the Yanquis any more
    than the Loonies would accept some kind
    of political status with the crazies
    south of the Great Lakes.

  35. turcopolier says:

    steve G
    The Mexicans and the Yanquis are already merging. pl

  36. optimax says:

    You’re plan would benefit the average US and Mexican citizen. As VV said these aren’t the goals of the elite. But you, or someone else, could draw up a petition on the White House website and if 25,000 (?) sign it, the White House would respond. I think it might fly.

  37. The Twisted Genius says:

    steve g,
    The country analogies you point out are similar to what I was first thinking. However, after some thought, I now think that analogy is only superficial. I don’t see a formal monetary union any time soon in the Americas which seems to be the crux of the EU’s problems. The EU policy most applicable to the Americas is the Free Movement of Workers agreement which permits nationals of one European Economic Area (EEA) country to work in another EEA country on the same conditions as that member state’s own citizens. An agreement like this would give U.S. citizens rights and privileges in Mexico that Colonel Lang proposed. It would also totally open the floodgates for Mexicans to work in the U.S. On the plus side, such an agreement would require national ID cards for all. It would also provide U.S. worker protections to Mexicans working here. How disruptive would this be to both countries? How disruptive is the Free Movement of Workers agreement in the EU?

  38. John says:

    Did Irish immigrant Paddy need papers to be conscripted and fight for the Union or the Confederacy? No! But he did! Valiantly!
    So why don’t we similarly conscript – instead of deport – Pedro and Manuel to go fight and die in Afghanistan? And if he lives, then give him some papers.
    (only slightly, tongue in cheek.)

  39. turcopolier says:

    There was no real regulation of immigration to the US until after the CW/WBS. The federal governmentdid not play a role until 1875. pl

  40. Fred says:

    “Some might be undocumented, or not.”
    Right. I won’t jump to any conclusions to your legal obligations of verifying citizenship of your employees. Perhaps your state doesn’t require that. I am quite happy your Guatamalan immigrant now a US citizen is a hard working employee. I would not conclude that zero Americans are hard working.

  41. Fred says:

    In Peru it was once the ’40 families’ who owned almost 80% of the wealth. It’s now more than 40 families, but as a percentage not much change.

  42. Fred says:

    According to the USG “U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization.”

  43. kao_hsien_chih says:

    The path towards a North American Union should start with establishing common administrative framework for the practical activities people partake in, such as movement of people, goods, and services, as you suggest, various legal regulations and standards (law enforcement, property rights, right to lawsuits, pollution and safety controls, for example), and, probably, taxation. Formal talk of “politics” can wait (Germany and France still are separate countries yet, after all.) Currencies and other formal economic features don’t need to be dealt with until after politics get settled–and that won’t be until decades later anyways. (One of the great mistakes in Europe, I’m told by knowledgeable people, is that they rushed into formal economic union before anything resembling political union was achieved) After NAFTA, we have come a long way towards achieving something resembling an “administrative union” of the sort described above, but much has been hampered by petty local interests in both countries (although US-Canadian cooperation seems to have proceeded much better on the same matters) and, lately, misguided fears being raised on both sides of the border, I think. Immigration reform is a big part of these, for sure, but it should be approached as a part of a comprehensive package that harmonizes all these other matters as well. (I honestly think a better coordinated law enforcement framework between US and Mexican authorities will take a huge bite out of Mexican drug problems, but I’d been given the understanding that this is actively resisted by Mexican “sovereignty” crowds. Is this right?)

  44. optimax says:

    I buy tamales, 6 for 10 bucks, from a little Mexican lady who sells door-to-door and speaks broken English. She’s probably undocumented. I don’t know, hell, I don’t even know what kind of meat is in them.

  45. turcopolier says:

    I agree that the way to do this kind of “union” is from the bottom up removing obstacles in specific areas as you go. in the end no real union of the two countries is neccessary. pl

  46. jerseycityjoan says:

    I was thinking of Israel when I wrote that. But now there are all kinds of dual nationalities going on — people retaining their citizenship in the country of origin when they become naturalized here and our people seeking to becoming dual citizens in other countries. What have we gained from this change?
    I feel we have enough problems now with the split, conflicting and diluted loyalties this creates. I want us to bolster loyalty to the US and the American people, not give people reasons to put other countries’ and other people’s interests ahead of ours.
    I am with you on property ownership but getting Mexico to change its laws to be more fair to Americans will probably be a tough sell. The ones in charge down there seem so undeserving so of course they will cling to their privileges; that’s what the undeserving do. We see that here in the US too.

  47. Patrick D says:

    Ah. A bit of family history makes more sense now.
    One of my ancestors came to the U.S. to avoid military service in whatever part of Germany he came from… only to end up serving in the Union Army when he arrived. I didn’t understand how that worked from a legal standpoint.

  48. John says:

    American law is often under-enforced—and we seem to like it that way.
    Given that there are over 11 million people here illegally, and a majority is mostly employed (albeit at dirt wages), then we must also have several million criminal employers too. Yes?
    In the case of knowingly employing undocumented workers, everyone knows the law is being broken. But most everyone involved accepts it. Without ever stating so, both the “criminal” employers and employees like the arrangement, obviously.
    But what is surprising is that law enforcement likes the arrangement too, and rarely interferes.

  49. turcopolier says:

    Patrick D
    I am not sure what you mean. The Union was actively recruiting in Europe so he could have joined there especially if he was enthusiastic for the Union cause. Many Europeans were, especially until they met “Bobby Lee and his boys.” If he did that they would have paid his way to America. In Ireland Union recruiters promised citizenship on discharge. They assembled large groups on ships and then waited until the ship was outside British waters to bring the group on deck to swear them into the US Army. They did this because the British law forbade foreign enlistments on British soil. If he came to America on his own, then once he was in the country he was subject to the draft. The Union draft went into effect in July, 1863. pl

  50. Cold War Zoomie says:

    I’ve just started an interesting book called “Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution.” The premise of the book is that the framers’ primary intent for the Constitution was to establish a well-defined, stable legal environment that would support national and international investment in the US. Basically, to increase the confidence in US securities. Until the post-revolution chaos was wrung out of the US legal and economy, we could not start building the country with investors who trusted our system.
    My 14 months spent in Honduras makes me question the wisdom of any union with any Latin American country. To me, most of Latin America operates like our per-Constitution chaos, but on steroids. Sure, some countries are better than others – Costa Rica comes to mind – but my hunch is that Mexico is probably only marginally less corrupt and chaotic than someplace like Honduras. And that ain’t saying much.
    Just like anywhere else, what the law says and what happens in the street are two different things. At least we have a functioning legal system that supports personal property rights that is credible even with its flaws. And Canada does too. But Mexico? Hah! I would not expect to win any legal suit in any Latin American country unless I am the more powerful party with the most money to spread around to bribe whomever is coming to the trough.
    Mexico’s legal system needs to be credible and its corruption reduced before I would feel like they can be an equal partner.

  51. Charles I says:

    Canada as Canada, please God.

  52. Patrick D says:

    The idea he was recruited in Europe had crossed my mind. However, I didn’t know the history and it seemed improbable from a Union perspective. The travel time and number of personnel required given the limited reach of mass media in those days didn’t strike me as worth it to find a few recruits among a relatively disinterested population in Europe.
    My time in Singapore gave me some appreciation of the idea of individuals running from something as part of the development of nations. I met quite a few Chinese Singaporeans whose attempt to trace their roots ended with the ancestor that landed there. It seems many changed their names on arrival, presumably, to escape some unfortunate issue back home. It made me wonder how many Americans, Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, etc. owe their circumstances to somebody who just decided “disappearing” was the best option.

  53. turcopolier says:

    Patrick D
    “The Union Army was composed of many different ethnic groups, including large numbers of immigrants. About 25% of the white people who served in the Union Army were foreign-born.[6]
    The estimate of 25 percent of the Union armed forces being foreign-born is very accurate. This means that about 1,600,000 soldiers and sailors were born in the United States, including about 200,000 African-Americans. About 200,000 soldiers were born in one of the German states (although this is somewhat speculative since anyone serving from a German family tended to be identified as German regardless of where actually born).[7] About 200,000 soldiers and sailors were born in Ireland. Although some soldiers came from as far away as Malta, Italy, India, and Russia, most of the remaining foreign-born soldiers came from England, Scotland and Canada.” Wiki on the Union Army.
    There was a very large recruitment efffort in Europe. it provided IMO the margin by which victory was won. By 1864 the pool of available and willing white men was approaching exhaustion for offensive warfare of the kind experienced. As an example, IMO, the Army of the Potomac had largely “shot its bolt” by the end of the Overland campaign. European and African American personnel replacements made a big difference in the last year of the war.The Confederates had no such resources since they were cut off by the blockade. As the Wiki quoted states Confederate deaths among native white men were three times that of the North by percentage for the whole war. The personnel situation on the Union side was further complicated by the expiration of three year regiments’ enlstments in the Spring of 1864. This required the discharge with no further obligation to serve of large numbers of the most experienced soldiers. Most went home. Some re-enlisted. On the Confederate side that did not occur because by that time all units were “stop-lossed” for the duration as were soldiers and Confederate conscription had also been for the duration since 1862. The Confederates eventually ran out of men and European enlistment played a significant role in the outcome. pl

  54. jerseycityjoan says:

    From the little I’ve read recently, it seems that “criminal justice” is not even a goal. It’s certainly a complete impossibility with the current setup they have. That includes both the policing end and the judicial end of things.
    For a country of Mexico’s age, size and resources, it’s simply astonishing. It’s like they deliberately choose not deal with what goes on in their own country, much less to enforce their ow laws. Also the innocent are treated dreadfully, once they are caught up in the nonsystem system.
    It was simply sickening to read about.

  55. turcopolier says:

    Yes. The government of Mexico is such a mess that even we would improve it. pl

  56. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I’ve seen recruitment posters from Civil War era that seemed to be directly aimed at recruiting experienced soldiers from European armies. I had assumed that most such recruitment efforts were among immigrants already in US, but I am a little bit surprised that there were recruitment drives in Europe also!

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