EVERY DOG HAS COCKED A LEG on the proposed immigration bill now hotly debated in the Senate. That Mexico has failed to pursue policies that can provide jobs and opportunity for its own citizens goes largely unmentioned. Or worse, silence on this point reinforces the implication that Mexico is incapable of uplifting its citizens. The success of China and India, both with greater population densities, high historic poverty levels, and poor literacy rates, proves that even countries mired in decades of socialism can prosper when markets are allowed to function.
Maybe Mexico should take a page from globalization development and outsource the management, say, of key provinces along the U.S. border. Perhaps a private equity consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management or better, Blackstone-now that it has a $3 billion investment infusion from China-might boost productive investment.Fanciful? Sure. But people are only economic problems in systems which deny them the ability to be enterprising, to use their talents and ambitions to produce more wealth than they consume. Systems that discourage enterprise and initiative and encourage dependency only offer despair and disillusion. What often is perceived as a crisis of immigration is really a crisis of a politicized thinking. By itself, the U.S. cannot solve the immigration problem. Mexico has a stake in the outcome, but it must be centered on opportunities that offer self-reliance and not perpetuate old pathologies where people are driven to emigrate.