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National News / Feature

A Provocative Solution for Mexico / U.S. Immigration

OPENING THE BORDERS

Illegal immigration. About the only agreement in the vitriolic debate is that it’s one of America’s thorniest hot-button issues and will play a pivotal role in the 2008 presidential election. But right now, politicians are tap-dancing around the topic with few solutions. So the big question remains: is there a logical and humane solution that benefits the United States and Mexico?

Most estimates say 10-12 million illegal Mexican immigrants live and work in the United States. That enrages some Americans who feel their tax dollars are supporting illegals, while other Americans champion anyone’s right – legal or not --to find jobs and build better lives for their families.

And that’s where renowned journalist and author Larry Blasko dives head-first into this raging controversy. “You have one side shouting ‘Deport Them!’ and the other side shouting ‘Love Them!’” says Blasko. “But the reality is hand-wringing and finger-pointing solve nothing. A logical solution could be implemented by now with all the energy both sides have expended screaming for extreme measures.”

In his new book, “Opening the Borders: Solving the Mexico/U.S. Immigration Problem For Our Sake and Mexico’s” Blasko outlines the early, rocky relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. He quickly brings readers up to speed and then hones in on the immigration issue as it stands today. With a dash of humor and a conversational tone, Blasko reminds us that America is a nation founded by immigrants. He also points out the obvious: the first question we need to ask is ‘why are millions of Mexicans compelled to risk their lives to sneak into the U.S. in the first place?’

By illustrating the impact that illegal Mexican immigrants have on the U.S. economy, Blasko makes a solid case for hammering out an agreement between U.S. and Mexican leaders that would benefit both nations. He points to a recent speech by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg detailing the crucial role immigrant workers play in that city’s economy. “Listen, when the mayor of New York City tells you that illegal immigrants are the backbone of service jobs—you better pay attention,” says Blasko.

Opening the Borders takes a close look at the oft-repeated claim that illegal immigrants are stealing jobs from law abiding Americans. “Let’s be realistic for just a minute,” says Blasko. “Sure, you can say that these low-paying jobs have been proliferated by illegal immigrants, but ask yourself, are there really millions of Americans lining up for these jobs?”

Blasko takes that thought one step further by asking what would happen if all 10-12 million illegal immigrants were suddenly deported. “What happens if overnight there’s no labor force to fill those jobs?” asks Blasko. “We need to consider the detrimental effect that would have on the price of everything from fruits and vegetables to home repair services.”

Opening the Borders carefully dissects both sides of the argument when it comes to taxes and social security. And this leads to the crux of Blasko’s solution, a “compact of free association” agreement that would align Mexican and U.S. tax and social security systems and recognize the reality of labor and defense needs for both nations.

Blasko also points out a vital difference between Mexicans and other immigrants. “We need to realize that as wonderful as our country is, not all the Mexicans who come here seeking work want to remain here permanently,” says Blasko. “Many of them just want to honestly earn enough money to live well and retire in the country they find wonderful and love—Mexico.”

 

Opening the Borders: Solving the Mexico/U.S. Immigration Problem For Our Sake and Mexico's
By Larry Blasko
211 pp., hardcover $24.95 US
Level 4 Press, 2007
ISBN 9781933769189


Available at www.level4press.com.

 

About The Author:

Larry Blasko served for more than three decades with The Associated Press, the world’s oldest and largest news-gathering organization, as writer, editor, columnist and executive. He is the author of two other books, “ABCs of Computing, a Plain-English Guide,” and Vamp! a humorous vampire novel.

Blasko is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He and his wife Helen, a veteran teacher of the deaf and handicapped, are longtime residents of Summit, New Jersey, where they raised three children now all grown. They have one grandchild, Lydia, and often-expressed hopes for more.

Source: Event Management Services, Inc.


 

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