Provocative Solution for Mexico / U.S. Immigration
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
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.”
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
Available at www.level4press.com.
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.
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