August 3rd, 2008

Barriers and Bridges: A Dialogue on U.S. - Mexico Immigration


Arne Kalleberg: Okay, welcome to the final plenary of the 2008 ASA meetings. Like the others, this one focuses on critical and timely issues related to work, namely U.S./Mexico immigration. The flow
of people across national borders generated by changes in work has produced challenges for social, economic, and political policies seeking to cope with immigration. Our two panelists will examine
this question from both U.S. and Mexican perspectives. In so doing, they will address broader aspects of the debate over immigration currently being raged in political circles in the United and
Mexico. The moderator for this dialog is Julia Preston, a national correspondent for The New York Times. She is a recognized expert on Mexico who has received a number of journalism awards for her
work. She was a member of the Times staff that won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on international affairs, which they received for a series that profiled the corrosive effects of drug
corruption in Mexico. Let me turn the session over to Julia who will introduce our two distinguished panels. Thank you. JULIA PRESTON: ….professor of sociology and public affairs of Princeton
University. He is currently president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He was president of this august body, the ASA, in 2000 and 2001. Doug has been publishing books on
Mexican migration to the United States regularly over the past 21 years based on research that he began in the late 1970s. Two notable books are, in 2002, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors; Mexican Immigration
in an Age of Economic Integration, and Doug is the editor and one of the authors of this book just out, New Faces and New Places; The New Geography of American Immigration. Jorge Castaneda is the
global distinguished professor of Politics and Latin American Studies at New York University. Jorge is a political scientist, a prolific writer and a former diplomat. He was secretary of Foreign
Relations of Mexico from 2000 to 2003 when he made the quest for a bilateral accord with the United States on immigration a central priority of his diplomatic mission. Jorge is the author most
recently of this book; Ex Mex, published late last year. In it he describes his efforts as foreign secretary to achieve that bilateral accord and gives an overview of the situation of Mexican
immigrants in the United States that is an essential primer for anyone trying to understand the current immigration meltdown. I was pleased to be invited to moderate this panel because the work of
both Jorge and Doug has informed, and I hope, improved, my reporting for The New York Times. Indeed I realized that both Jorge and Doug have exemplified for me a role that in American life has
strangely been dubbed that of the public intellectual. It seems that we regard our intellectuals like our hospitals, some public and some private. The term sounds like some kind of glorified tax
category specially reserved for those scholars who conduct research and speak out about the pressing political issues of the day. As I look back, I see that Jorge, for decades, has been the
provocative authority on issues in Mexico and in this country that The New York Times has covered. From the original debate over the signing of NAFTA to the rise of the new Latin American left and the
ongoing dilemmas posed by Fidel Castro’s Cuba; to the evolution, or lack thereof, of democracy in Mexico; to the current immigration crisis, Jorge has been the man to call. He had the research, and
he had the insight, and he is always pushing the forward edge. He was as intellectually exacting when he was foreign secretary of Mexico as he is an academia; a consistency that I believe proved
unsettling to many tradition-bound Mexican diplomats. With his independent presidential campaign in 2005 and 2006, Jorge waged an important battle in the effort to bring, to open the Mexican system,
and bring diversity to Mexican politics. As for Doug, when I became The New York Times national immigration correspondent in April of 2006, I found that I was not traveling to California or to Texas.
The stories were in Mount Olive, North Carolina and Marshalltown, Iowa. They were in Kansas and Georgia and Virginia. And then I came across Doug’s Smoke and Mirrors, which tells how a decade of
ill-conceived border enforcement bottled up Mexican migrants in the United States, interrupting return migration and forcing many to settle here. Bingo. It made sense of so much that I had observed.
This most recent book is a guide to the places where that settlement has occurred and helps explain the underlying social tensions that erupted last year and overwhelmed the national discussion about
comprehensive immigration reform. So, thank you for helping a striving reporter and let’s have the dialogue begin. I am going to start with a question for Jorge. Just so we can understand the policy
evolution, take us back to 2001, the time before 9-11, and how close did we actually get to having the United States think of immigration as a bilateral issue that could be negotiated with Mexico?
JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, Julia, first of all, thank you all for the opportunity to be here with you, and Doug thank you for the invitation and thank you American Sociological Association for the
possibility of being here. It is something that really I am not totally clear about, whether the Bush administration was just going through the motions and never had any intention of really
negotiating in good faith with us on an immigration agreement or whether they were lulled into doing something that they didn’t really understand and then wanted to back out of it and 911 became a
marvelous pretext for backing out of something that they by then didn’t want to do. Or, whether they made a rational calculation at the time, which made a lot of sense; which was that if Bush won
the 2000 election, he won it largely because he was able to get over 40% of the Hispanic electorate, which for a republican candidate, was truly exceptional. Now part of that was because he was from
Texas, part of it was because he had had reasonable stances on immigration as Governor of Texas as opposed to, for example, Wilson in California. It is hard to say. My impression is that when the two
administrations, the Fox and the Bush administration took office simultaneously, we had a very clear agenda of what we wanted and they didn’t, but they did know that they wanted to have a very good
relationship with Mexico, with Fox, and with Latin America. And since this was the issue that we were pushing, and they wanted that relationship, they said “Allright, why not after all, this is
something that Alan Greenspan was already saying at the time, the only way to keep inflation under control in the United States was through legalized immigration expanding it. The AFLCIO had changed
its stance on immigration at the New Orleans convention in 2000 also. You had a growing feeling among conservative republicans that a temporary guest-worker program was a good thing, which they had
not really liked before. And you had a growing feeling among democrats; people like Kennedy and others, that some form of legalization, regularization, or the A-word, were necessary and acceptable. So
all sorts of… JULIA PRESTON: The A-word being amnesty? JORGE CASTANEDA: Being amnesty. You can keep it as long as you say that, if I say it, you know I can get deported or something. And I think
that there was a real possibility of getting this done because Bush wanted it, sincerely I think, he didn’t necessarily know what he wanted, but he wanted it. I am absolutely convinced that Colin
Powell did know what it was and wanted it for personal reasons, for political reasons, for all sorts of reasons. I mean, this regardless of what may or may not happen may not have happened with his
stance on Iraq, he was an exceptional human being and exceptional person with a view of the world and open heart, and a generous man, and he wanted this to happen. And even the domestic policy people
wanted it to happen because they saw the logic of it. Rove saw the logic of this at the time. We’ll see, and I’m sure we’ll talk about it later whether the electoral calculation was a valid one
or not. JULIA PRESTON: But the key point was 9-11? JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, again, this is the discussion. There were many people in the United States and in Mexico who have followed this, who say that
9-11 was a pretext. That the Bush administration had decided to back off on immigration agreement before 9-11, and that, you know, 9-11 was God sent in that sense, paradoxical and I don’t want to
belittle it in any sense. My impression was that, you know, we had a state visit by Fox to Washington between September 4th and September 7th. Even if it was a little bit in my hands, I still think it
was the most successful Mexican visit, presidential state visit to Washington, in many, many years, if not ever, in this message to joint session of congress, the first black tie, gala dinner at the
White House of the Bush administration. A second meeting with congressional leaders. I mean it really worked out very well and among other things, one of the commitments that was made by the Bush
people and by the Fox people was to try and get something done by December, some sort of agreement, and we actually were scribbling numbers on a napkin at a dinner at Blair House. Now those numbers
may or may not have been serious, but when you’re scribbling numbers with the national security advisor and the secretary of state, and the president is at the table and he is seeing that you’re
scribbling numbers on a napkin, you know, it actually may be true. It may not be, but I think that if there had not been 9-11, we would have gotten something done by the end of the year. It would not
have been perfect; it would not have been certainly everything we wanted from Mexico. The numbers were not going to be the numbers we wanted, but the two or three, sort of bottom line issues which
were, yes, there has to be a process of legalization, yes there has to be a temporary worker program, and yes there has to be one, some sort of way for passage from the temporary worker program to
some form of residency. We didn’t want to touch the citizenship issue. We wanted to touch the residency issue. We stayed away from the citizenship issue because at the end of the day, one, that’s
an American question and two, for a Mexican government it is very difficult to push for its citizens to become citizens of another country. We didn’t want to do that because we didn’t believe in
it. President Zedillo had been very visionary in establishing the double nationality law back in ‘98, which was enormously important for Mexicans in the United States who already have U.S.
citizenship because it made it possible for them to apply or retain their U.S. Citizenship without losing their Mexican citizenship. I think this was a very visionary measure by President Zedillo, but
that’s one thing. Another thing is to tell your people “Hey go and become Americans.” I mean, you don’t do that. Even if you think that at the end of the day it’s probably the best way for
them to defend their interests in the United States, which is unfortunately the problem. JULIA PRESTON: Doug, this period that Jorge is talking about was part of a, what we might describe perhaps as a
continuity in terms of policy that really began back in 1993 in terms of increasing enforcement of the border and in the context of very limited interior enforcements; basically, increasing border
enforcement with not much else in the way of changes in immigration policy. What was the impact of that increasing border enforcement over the years? DOUG MASSEY: Well the heart of the problem is
fundamental contradiction in North American economy — in that we, in the United States, joined together with Mexico and Canada, negotiated a treaty to integrate factor markets in North America to
promote cross border movements of goods, of capital, of information of services, and many kinds of people. But within this integrated North American economy, we wanted to pretend somehow that labor
markets wouldn’t be integrated. And, to finesse the fundamental contradiction in the early 1990s, we launched a series of border operations that progressively militarized the border. So the border
patrol in 1986 when this process really started — and then escalated in 93 and 94 — in 1986 the border patrol had a budget under 200 million dollars; by the year 2000 it was 1.4 billion dollars.
It had under 2,000 officers and then by 2,000 it had 12,000 officers. So, as we’re drawing closer economically to Mexico, we were progressively militarizing the border with our largest trading
partner, a close ally, and no conceivable security threat to the United States. Rather than solving the contradiction, or dealing with the problems of immigration, almost categorically it made them
all worse. So by militarizing the border, the paradoxical effect is not that you discourage people from coming, but once they have run the gauntlet at the border, paid the out-of-pocket costs, and
incurred the risks of undocumented border crossing, once they have done all of that, rather than going home to possibly face it again, they hunkered down and stayed. So if you look at the data, what
you find is a rapid decline in the rate, not of entry into the United States, but the rate of return migration from the United States back to Mexico. So the paradoxical effect of militarizing the
border with one of your largest trading partners and their close ally, is not that you solve the immigration problem, in fact you have doubled the rate of Mexican immigration to the United States and
transformed what had been a regional flow of male workers going to three states into a national population of families settled in 50 states. So if your goal is minimize the impacts of immigration on
the United States and minimize the cost, you have actually backfired and you have done everything wrong, and now we have immigration under the worst possible set of circumstances in ways that are
injurious to the immigrants themselves, and they don’t do American workers any benefits, and they’re not beneficial to the United States or Mexico. Everyone is harmed by the current set of
circumstances. JULIA PRESTON: I think we can consider that last year was a pivotal year in terms of immigration policy with the failure of comprehensive immigration reform in June. I’m wondering,
Jorge, from your perspective, what do you see as being the sources of this tremendous hostility to Mexican immigrants that has surged in the United States in the last year? JORGE CASTANEDA: Julia, I
think Doug’s point is very well taken, it is really central, and central to the effort I made in this brief book, to explain perhaps a little bit of how Mexicans see the issue. All of a sudden
you’ve got Mexicans — I imagine that’s the topic of your new book in much more detail — you’ve got Mexicans all over the place. And I imagine many Americans in places where Mexicans have
never been are resorting to the old Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid line, you know, when they were first being pursued by Lord Baltimore in Colorado and God knows where and they follow him the
whole way to Bolivia. And, every two or three minutes, you know either Paul Newman or Robert Redford would say “Who are these guys?” And this is what a lot of Americans are saying about the
Mexicans, you know, “Who are these people?” And the reason they are saying that is because they have never seen them before. You have Mexicans in Ohio, you have Mexicans in Pennsylvania, you have
Mexicans in Minnesota, you have Mexicans in Iowa, areas of the country where, until very recently, there had never been a Mexican before. And, Americans don’t know them, and they are reacting to
them the way everybody reacts to things that are new and that are different, and that are unknown. With fear, with hostility, with animosity, there is nothing terribly strange about that, it’s
harmful, it’s sad, it’s in many ways I would say not very American. Because, at the end of the day this continues to be a much more open and welcoming society, for example, than the societies in
western Europe or Asia with regard to immigration. But, the fact is that you have these people all over the place and nobody knows who they are. So that’s, I think, the first issue which is really
fundamental. The second one though, is perhaps a little more nuanced, which is that these people, the right wing that really generates all of this intolerance, is very much a minority. And, we were
talking about this over dinner now, I mean, the fact is you have two presidential candidates today in the United States, both of whom voted for McKain-Kennedy, both of whom voted for comprehensive
immigration reform, and both of whom have publicly taken stances over the years, not just the last two weeks, for the basic components of any immigration reform. So the broad majority of the country
is not located on that extreme right wing fringe with its excessive abuses of people. The American electorate is not there. And I think this is something that mainly is very positive. I wonder though,
if perhaps together with the stridency of the extreme right we could have a little bit of stridency on the part of the progressive liberal community that would stand up for what it believes with the
same conviction that the right wing uses to stand up for what it believes. JULIA PRESTON: Doug, do you want to take a shot at that same question? This wave of national of anti-immigration feeling,
where do you see that coming from? DOUG MASSEY: Well, I think it comes from, it’s more of a reflection of Americans’ insecurity about themselves and their place in the world. And, the American
middle class, and particularly the American working class has taken it pretty hard in the last several decades. And they are looking for easy explanations, some way of making sense of what happened to
them. And there are no shortages of political entrepreneurs who are happy to bring up Mexicans as the scapegoat. It is an old story in American history and we know from good analyses that
anti-immigrant waves occur during periods of economic insecurity and political insecurity. And, we’re at the tail end of an unprecedented and a three-decade increase in income in the quality of the
United States. And so, people are very nervous economically, and then on top of it we had this demographic shift which is partly a function of our own border policy that channelled immigrants away
from destination states like California, and toward places where there hadn’t been any immigrants before, much less Mexican immigrants. The most native part of the United States is the South, and
the fastest growing Mexican populations are now in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia; places like this. And, so it is, “Who are these people, and where did they come from?” And you’ve
got more Americans in more parts of the country interacting, confronting Mexicans than any time ever in American history. So, it resonated with them when these political and media entrepreneurs began
to demonize Mexicans and use them as a scapegoat explanation. And then the icing on the cake, I think, was 9-11, which really heightened Americans fears and insecurities. And there has been a pretty
deliberate attempt on the part of many people to conflate immigration and the war on terror. And if you listen to Lou Dobbs, you’d think that Mexicans were flying the planes on 9-11. In point of
fact, Mexico has nothing to do with the war on terror; there aren’t any Islamic populations in Mexico, no terrorist cells in Mexico. Mexico has never had a terrorist try to cross into the United
States. Those terrorist cells and those Islamic populations exist in Canada where terrorists have indeed attempted to cross into the United States. But, the Mexican-U.S. border has somehow become
emblematic, the stage on which American securities are being portrayed and expressed, in symbolic terms, in ways that really have very little to do with the underlying realities either of immigration
or the so-called war on terror. JULIA PRESTON: Jorge, the perhaps most visible component of our current policy, which is, I would describe as being enforcement only without any change in legislation
is the, what we call the “fence,” and what I believe Mexicans call “the wall” at the border, this combination of fencing and virtual fencing and whatever it is that they’re doing to enforce
the border. How is that perceived in Mexico? What impact has that had in Mexico, both on the political class and the immigrants? JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, first of all, I mean it plays both the Fox
administration and now the Calderon administration, a very uncomfortable situation, because at the end of the day, any Mexican government — this has been true for the last hundred years or so —
has to deal with the United States. I mean, you just have so many issues on the table at any one time, but you have to maintain an ongoing dialogue, and you have to get along and you have to smile and
you have to be nice and blah, blah, blah. I mean, you cannot sort of get up from the table, slam your fist on it, and say I’m leaving; you have to keep going. And with the wall or fence, it is very
difficult for any Mexican government to do this and to deal with all of the myriad issues that are on the agenda other than the wall. So this is a first, I think, and a consequence. A second one is
that public opinion is incensed in many ways about the idea of the wall more than the fact of the wall because in fact, the fact of the wall is not really a fact yet. It probably will not be. In other
words, the actual number of miles of real wall that will be built by, let’s say, three or four years from now, it is probably going to be very small. But, the notion of the wall has really generated
an enormous amount of animosity. That’s on the one side. Now, it is also true, with all due respect for my country’s political elite, that we are particularly good at picking fights with windmills
so that we don’t have to pick the real fights; we’re very good at that in Mexico. And so, instead of fighting the tensions, the raids, the deportations, family separations, the things that are
really seriously affecting Mexicans in the United States, we’re a little bit directing all the rhetoric against the wall, which is infamous, which is unacceptable, which is terrible, but affects far
fewer people than the raids, the tensions, and all of the terrible stories that Julia, mainly has been writing about in Iowa and elsewhere. Today’s piece on the front page of The New York Times
about the health deportations, let’s call them, that way. So there is this little tendentious nature. It is very easy for Mexican politicians and a Mexican president to denounce the wall in Mexico
City, or even in the United States. It is much more complicated for the consulate in Boston here, whom I know well, to go out and seriously protest and make a big fuss locally about the latest raid on
some factory in this area and people being arrested and deported unjustly. That’s tough. The other thing is not tough talk, at the end of the day is cheap. JULIA PRESTON: So, again, going back, we
have a watershed event which was the collapse of immigration reform in June, 2007 and since then essentially we’ve had a policy of enforcement only that is to say, immigration raids, to a certain
extent a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants, more local police cooperation with federal enforcement. What impact is that policy having on immigrant communities do you think Doug? DOUG
MASSEY: Well, we’re just out of the field doing interviews with one of the new immigrant communities in North Carolina, and what we’ve discovered is that people are terrified, and they don’t
know what to expect. They don’t understand why they are being persecuted. They feel they’re doing honorable work here in the United States, work that needs to be done. Their intention is not to
break laws, but to get along, and they’re terribly afraid. And basically, the response had been to hold up in their house and journey to work when they have to; sneak out to buy things at the store
when they have to, but to show as little public presence as possible and to stick to immigrant areas where they won’t stand out. We only had about a 50% response rate when we interviewed Mexicans in
North Carolina. JULIA PRESTON: Is that different from in the past? DOUG MASSEY: In the past, it was harder to track people down because they’re working all the time, but they were much more open and
willing to talk to us, and that there’s a palpable fear in the immigrant community now. That being said, that fear does not translate into a move back. As long as they have a job here; as long there
is employment, they’ll hang on, and they’ll just go further underground. So, it’s only when the meat packing plant where they work closes down for economic reasons that they consider possibly
moving back. But as Jorge was pointing out earlier this evening, economic conditions in Mexico are not terribly promising. So they’re encouraged by family members to hang on and stay here. We
don’t, I think if there is any change in the behavior, it’s that people are not coming in the same numbers as they were before because the economic conditions are bad. But the rate of return
migration is actually continuing to fall to record low levels, partly because of the border enforcement strategy, and partly because there’s not a whole lot to return to in Mexico either. JULIA
PRESTON: So, just to be clear about that, your feeling is that fewer immigrants are initiating the trip from Mexico? DOUG MASSEY: That’s one of the problems is getting information on this, and
we’re always like a year out of date because we do the surveys and then next year we enter the data and then we analyze it. So it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on, but the latest
information shows that the probability of an undocumented Mexican deciding to come to the United States has fallen, not to historical lows, but fallen compared to what it once was. And, but that the
rate of return migration, the probability of returning once they are here, has fallen even faster. And so, there’s still a net increase, although the net increase is smaller than it used to be.
JULIA PRESTON: Is it possible to distinguish between the illegal immigrants and the legal immigrant community in terms of the impact of these, of enforcement and unemployment? DOUG MASSEY: It
terrorizes everybody, and the past 10 years have been increasing, characterized by increasing hostility towards immigrants of all sorts. The 1996 Immigration and Welfare Reform Acts stripped away a
lot of social rights and access to social benefits away from not simply undocumented migrants, but legal immigrants to the United States. And the suspension of rights in the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act and then the U.S.A. Patriot Act has also fallen very heavily on immigrants, both legal and illegal. And then the fact of the matter is that most families are in mixed
statuses. It is very rare that everybody is illegal or everybody is legal. You have statuses where — because of the huge backlogs in the family reunification categories — where one person has a
green card and is legal, the wife or spouse doesn’t, a couple of kids have been born here and are American citizens and the older kids are still undocumented, and everyone in this situation is
terrorized and afraid. So, it cuts across legal statuses. And then the numbers are such now that out of all Mexicans in the United States, people born in Mexico who are living in the United States,
half are now undocumented, half. A third of all foreign-born people in the United States are undocumented; 40% of all Latin American immigrants are undocumented, and half of all Mexican immigrants in
the United States are undocumented. And if you look at Mexican-American population everybody of Mexican origin in the U.S., one-fifth, are undocumented now. JULIA PRESTON: One thing I wanted to ask
Jorge is that the myth of Atslan was curiously revived in this whole debate mainly seemed to be most dynamic and immediate for the people who were opposed to legalization for Mexican immigrants, were
you surprised by that, that Mexico’s historic claims to Texas would be revived in the American political debate? JORGE CASTANEDA: I was surprised that it would be revived particularly Julia because
I have many very good friends in the Mexican American or Chicano community epidemic or otherwise community who one way or another subscribed to that sort of theory or are sympathetic to it, or every
now and then refer to it. But I don’t know a single Mexican who would even, I mean, think of something like that. It’s, obviously everybody in Mexico regrets that we lost what we lost, and you
know the joke in Mexico is “all these damn gringos they took away the best part, the paved part, the modern part, you know,” but that’s a joke, I mean, that’s what it is you know. I mean this
is something that is not an obsession, a current obsession in Mexico. It’s an obsession in terms of, you know, the past has put a seal on our destiny. Now, some people believe that, some people
don’t. I happen not to, but a lot of people do. But this is not an issue in Mexico; this notion that reconquista is really a much more Mexican-American notion than a Mexican notion. What there is
behind this is an issue, and what Huntington did in his way, which I think is a very conservative and in many ways somewhat ignorant way, but I don’t consider a racist way, which many colleagues do
consider him to be, was to put a finger on a real issue, which is the issue that the situation of Mexicans in the United States today is not the same of previous immigrant currents. It’s not better,
it’s not worse, it’s not that it won’t change in the future, but it is different and it’s different for a series of reasons which we’ve all talked about over the years; mainly the people who
are specialists in this issue like Doug, and the rest of us just sort of repeat what they say. Contiguity is an issue; it’s not the same thing to come from Sweden, to come from across the river.
Continuity is not the same thing; it’s not the same thing to come for 20 or 30 years as to come for now, over 100 years. It is true that you can get by in the United States as a Mexican today
without ever learning English. You won’t get by as well as you will if you learn English, but you can get by. Now people say, “Well, yes but the second generation learns English,” and that’s
absolutely true. The difference perhaps with the past is that if the Mexican, the first generation arrives when he or she is 17 or 18 years old and has a life expectancy of 75, 80 years, well during
those next 60 years from 18 to 78, that Mexican will not learn English. They will not “assimilate” the way the next generation will. But that’s a long time, and so there is an issue there. I
don’t think it’s a central issue, I think this is probably good for the United States, I think it’s good for Mexico. I think it’s exchange of cultures between the countries is favorable for
both countries, but again, I can see how the people in these areas that Doug is studying and Julia has mentioned, who have never seen Mexicans before; all of a sudden they are listening to people
speak a different language, go to different churches, listen to different music, watch different movies, cook different foods; you know, they’re different. And they’re not used to different, and
so they react this way, yes. There is a question there which can be addressed but it’s being addressed. JULIA PRESTON: Doug, do you think the fact that such a large percentage of this population is
out of status, is illegal, has affected the long term prospects for assimilation? DOUG MASSEY: Oh absolutely, we’re sewing the seeds of the future underclass at some point if we don’t take
remedial action. And there’s a real unfolding human rights tragedy in the United States, in that whatever you think of someone who at the age of 22 or 23 decides to come to the United States to work
illegally, out of the 12 million people who are out of status, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 million enter the country as minors; they were brought in by their parents. They didn’t make any —
they are guilty of no sin — except obeying their parents, and they can’t go back to their country of origin because they don’t know, and sometimes they don’t even speak the language very well.
And there is nowhere for them to go in the United States where they can finish high school and sometimes get a couple years of community college, but then they can’t get a decent job because they
can’t, they don’t have the immigration status and they’re trapped between a rock and a hard place with no where to go. And the longer this goes on, the worse it’s going to be for all of us
because, in that, they’re Americans, they grew up here, and they didn’t do anything. You know, many of them were brought in as infants. So the cause celeb that I’m most familiar with is the
Salitorian graduate at Princeton two years ago came to the United States at the age of three illegally with his mother, and when he graduated as one of the top graduates from one of the top
universities in the United States, even Princeton University with its immense power and resources, couldn’t keep him legally in the United States. And he was forced to take a full scholarship to
Oxford University where he is studying the classics. But that, most people are not like him, they don’t have a chance to go into Princeton, and they’re stuck, and they don’t have a future. If
they can’t do anything legally, if they can’t advance their cause legal in the United States, the only options are marginal things in the underground economy, and that’s not something we want to
encourage, but it’s something that we’re absolutely forcing people to do right now. JULIA PRESTON: Jorge, are Mexicans organizing politically in the United States? Is there a dynamic there that we
haven’t seen? JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, there seems to be some movement on two fronts. The first front which the numbers seem to suggest probably since 2001-2002, since 9-11, and maybe even since ‘98
with the double nationality law, is that the traditional Mexican reluctance to request and obtain U.S. citizenship is declining. Mexicans in greater and greater numbers are requesting, and obtaining,
U.S. citizenship. Which stands to reason if you can do it without losing your Mexican rights, if you’re scared after 9-11, or Patriot Act, or even the ’96 Welfare Immigration Reforms, that you
will not have all of your rights even with a green card, then it makes sense to do that. So there is a tendency to pursue citizenship. And then among those who become citizens, there seems to be a
greater tendency now to register to vote, and to vote. And for example, Univision has really been pursuing a very important campaign this year — and I know a lot of Latinos are participating in this
— to register recently-naturalized Mexicans or Latinos from anywhere else to register to vote and implicitly to vote democratic; that’s why they’re doing it. It’s no, Henry Cisneros is on the
board of Univision and I don’t think he’s working for McCain. Now, is this going to materialize in the elections? Well, clearly there are places where it has; Los Angeles is the best example and
there may be others, Colorado, Salazar; although he is not recent Mexican or anything but nonetheless was important. And, I mean the numbers would suggest that. I don’t know if we want to get there
yet Julia, but the numbers suggest, that as both Obama and McCain have said; the Latino electorate can decide the election, and the Latino electorate today could be giving Obama a six to seven point
advantage out of the gate, because it is very likely that somewhere around 9% of the overall electorate, maybe even 10% of the electorate in 2008 will be Latino. And polls seem to suggest that
somewhere around 70% of that 9% are going to vote for Obama. Well that’s 6 and a half percent right there in the national popular vote. Granted, that’s not the Electoral College vote and we know
that people can fiddle with that, it’s happened before. In Mexico of course, not referring to anywhere else. But still, that’s a lot of votes to start off with, and I must say I’m a little
confused. Doug was giving me a good explanation about why, but I’m still less confused, but still a little confused as to why McCain is conceding that 6 to 7% of the vote right out of the gate, by
not standing up for his own stances on immigration. And he says “Well, you know, the right wing will go after him,” and so then what will they do, they won’t vote? They’ll stay home? I mean,
we know they won’t vote for Obama, okay, but they’ll stay home. Well, if you tell them, remember if you stay home, this is the guy with the funny middle name that you’re going to be electing by
staying home. And these guys won’t do that I don’t think if, I think McCain could be much more forthcoming, but for some reason he’s decided to concede that vote. So, I think there’s a very
strong probability that if Obama wins, he wins largely thanks to the Latino electorate, which is obviously not all Mexican, but is probably roughly half Mexican, even if you count the Cubans. JULIA
PRESTON: I’m going to let you take a shot at that, but I want to ask Jorge one more question before I do that, which is; one of the things that people say to me who are angry about illegal
immigration is, “Why isn’t Mexico taking care of its own people?” What should Mexico be doing that it’s not doing? Why hasn’t Mexico come forward more to acknowledge the economic failures
that are driving part of this immigration at least? JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, Julia, this is one of the sort of central themes of the book where I try to place this debate in a historical context.
Immigration to the United States from Mexico began not later than 1890-something and probably around the 1870s with the railroad workers in Mexico being brought to the U.S. to build railroads in the
U.S. So whatever Mexico has been doing wrong, or whatever the United States has been doing to need Mexican labor has been happening now for around 130 years. It’s not something that started
yesterday and consequently any of the quick fixes or simple solutions, ‘all the Mexicans have to do is get their house in order. ‘ Well if for 130 years that hasn’t happened, then maybe it’s
because the issue is a bit more complicated. It’s important to remember that this is the only case in the world where you have a highly developed country sharing a border with what is still a
developing or underdeveloped country. In Western Europe you’ve still got to swim across the Mediterranean or something; here you’ve gotta swim across the Rio Grande and it’s a river, you know,
sort of a river, most of the time it’s not a river, it’s sort of a ditch. It’s not worthy of being called a river. So, it’s not that there are obvious solutions now. Clearly there are two
things that Mexico has to do; one is for its economy to grow, and in order for it to grow a series of changes have to take place in Mexico, and they’re not taking place, that’s one thing.
Secondly, Mexico could do much more to deter undocumented immigration to the United States, but the first thing implies major changes, which are not taking place, and the second thing implies
something in exchange. No Mexican president can try and deter Mexican immigration without showing the Mexican people that he’s really, or she’s really, getting something back in return for doing
so, because if not, it simply will not fly. At some point, there’s an old Mexican saying as with all of these no one knows if they’re true or not, but at some point someone told the President,
“Well why don’t you station military, the troops along the border to stop people from leaving?” And the secretary of defense said “Well, certainly Mr. President will do whatever you want, but
you of course must realize that the first people to leave will be the troops I station on the border.” So, maybe this is not a great idea. You know, this is a very complicated issue. It’s so
complicated it’s been going on for 130 years, and perhaps just to add this point, because sometimes it’s not seen, and not only by the Lou Dobbs’ of the world, but by people with very good faith
and good intentions look at the situation. The immigration to the United States from Mexico in mass quantities — this is one of the important points I owe to Doug and his Smoke and Mirrors and lot
of conversation we had — has been going on at roughly the same rate when we’ve had periods of Mexican economic expansion, Mexican economic recession, American expansion, American recession, left
wing governments in Mexico, right wing governments in Mexico; almost, it doesn’t make any difference. Over the last 100 years the only period during which there was a significant drop in the number
of people coming was during the Cardenas years lets say between 36 and 38 in the middle of the U.S. depression and in the middle of Agrarian Reform in Mexico. Hopefully these two things will never
repeat themselves. Hopefully there will never be another Great Depression in the United States, and hopefully there will never be an Agrarian Reform in Mexico because it was a disaster. But just 2 or
3 years out of 100, that means it’s kind of complicated. JULIA PRESTON: Doug, how do you see this issue playing out in the campaign? DOUG MASSEY: Well I’m actually a little bit hopeful because
John McCain is the Republican candidate and because of his prior stance on immigration, that means it’s virtually impossible for him to use immigration as wedge issue. He has no incentive to beat
the Democrats over the head with an immigration club because he is weak with his own base, having co-sponsored the main piece of immigration reform legislation. Which means that in the debates in the
campaign, that he’s not going to raise immigration as initiative to attack the democrats. And Obama, since immigration is such a no-win situation, because no matter what you do you’ll make
somebody really mad, he won’t have any incentive to raise it either, and he’s from Chicago and you can’t be a politician in Chicago and be very anti-immigrant. So, that means that in the
campaign it’s not going to play as a divisive issue. And people aren’t going to be all stirred up, and there’s not going to be a polarizing rederick all around the issue of immigration through
November. And whoever wins the election then, maybe will have a window afterwards. Especially if the democrats can increase their margins in both houses of congress. Whoever wins the presidency,
they’re already on record for, both the candidates are on record for, supporting Immigration Reform. It opens a window, because it won’t be a divisive issue in their campaign and it will give a
chance for feelings to cool down, for the rhetoric to cool down, and in the end, it’s really only 20% of the population, the electorate, that’s so anti-immigrant. If you look at opinion poll data,
60+% of American voters supported the various features of the immigration reform, so the politics are there, the number is there; what it will take is some political courage after the election to
stand up to this very vocal clack on the right that is so vehemently anti-immigrant. JULIA PRESTON: I think we can take some questions now. Yes, do we have a microphone? AUDIENCE MEMBER: What do you
think the likelihood of a guest worker program, what’s the likelihood of the next Immigration Reform including a guest worker program as a major component of Immigration Reform? JULIA PRESTON: Doug?
DOUG MASSEY: Well, I think a guest worker program is going to be part of whatever package that comes through in the way of Immigration Reform and I think it makes sense from both countries’ point of
view. Most — the average Mexican when they strike for the United States on their first trip — their goal is not to stay here for the rest of their lives and live north of the border. They
typically migrate to solve some kind of economic problem at home and left to their own devices, they come two or three times perhaps, 12 to 16 months per trip, and earn their money and then invest it
back in Mexico and return home. Now, that’s, it’s also true that in the long run there is no such thing as a short-term temporary worker program, there is always permanent migration that results
from it. So, at the same time that you have a that will actually build upon the natural inclination of Mexicans to want to return to their country of origin, you need to expand the legal quota for
Mexicans in the United States. It’s crazy, we’ve got, we’re locked with Mexico into a free-trade agreement, it’s a 106-million-person country, a 1 trillion dollar economy, our second largest
trading partner, we’re committed to integrating the North American economy and lowering the barriers to cross-border movements of all sorts, and yet we give Mexico the same immigration quota as
Botswana; 20,000 visas per year. And it’s just completely insufficient to handle the perfectly legitimate, appropriate demand for residents’ visas from a country that’s so closely integrated in
the United States. And Americans also don’t realize it’s a two-way street, so there are about a million Americans living in Mexico at any point in time. So it’s very much a two-way street and
it’s in part-in-parcel with the broader process of economic integration, and I think the business community is especially keen on having some kind of guest-worker arrangement. The devil, however, is
in the details. What kind of guest-worker program do you set up? The Republicans tend to favor a guest-worker program where you give the visas to the employer and let him hold the workers as
indentured servants. Personally, I’ve advocated a system where you give the visa to the worker and let labor markets allocate supply and demand, that’s what they’re good at. But somehow
employers forget all about market economics when it comes to labor issues and they don’t like labor markets, they prefer to control their workers. So, the devil will be in the details with whatever
guest-worker program comes out. But I think something will be part of the package. Maybe… JULIA PRESTON: Jorge do you think that Mexico will go for a guest-worker program? JORGE CASTANEDA: Well, we
have to, we have no choice Julia for a very simple reason. Let’s suppose that for some unforeseen motive on January 21st the next president of the United States amnesties every undocumented alien in
the United States. Period, overnight, done. The next morning you still got a thousand Mexicans crossing the border. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t, they will find jobs. By the way, they have
jobs in Mexico. A recent poll that just was done by the National Population Council Conapo probably rather has something like 82% of Mexicans who leave have jobs at the moment they leave, and this is
stuff that, I mean, the experts have been saying for years since Wayne Cornelius did his work in Los Altos De Jalisco about 30 years ago. It’s not people without jobs who leave, it’s people with
jobs who leave because you need a little bit of money in order to pay for all the expenses that it costs to come to the United States. So, there has to be a temporary — a migrant-worker program or a
temporary-worker program is a necessary component — not only for domestic U.S. political reasons, but also for Mexico. Without it, probably agreement doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and I agree
completely of course though with Doug, that it’s all in the details. Just to point on what you were saying on the visas; Botswana at the end of the day, Botswana. Mexico has the same number of legal
visas, not change of status for people already, here it’s about just new visas as the only country in the world with which the United States has an immigration agreement, which is a country that has
10 times less people than the United States, than Mexico I mean, and that is generally considered by the United States as not a very close friend of the United States. Mistakenly perhaps and that
country, obviously, is Cuba. JULIA PRESTON: Question? AUDIENCE MEMBER (Sylvia Federassa): Yes, I think that my question is for Doug. This is Sylvia Federassa from University of Michigan. I wonder how
you feel about the attempts at Immigration Reform that failed in Congress. My understanding is that the strategy for Immigration Reform was not only that it had, you know, particular proposals to it
such as a guest-worker program and amnesty and so on, but in fact that it was bipartisan. I think that they were counting on the fact that it involved a coalition of people who were both Republicans
and Democrats and that therefore congress and the senate would pass it, but in fact it never got any bigger, it was just them, you know, and so it didn’t pass. And I’m wondering what could be
different? What sorts of Immigration Reform would you propose that you think would have a chance to pass? DOUG MASSEY: Well maybe Julia is the best one to answer this kind of question. I was very
disappointed that Immigration Reform didn’t get anywhere and it came very close to getting somewhere, and it had bipartisan support, but at the end of the day when the anti-immigrant lobby mobilized
and pulled out all the stops, enough people chickened out that they couldn’t muster the kinds of super majorities they needed to prevail, and that’s what killed Immigration Reform. I was not
particularly comfortable with a lot of elements in the bill that finally emerged because it included a whole lot of border enforcement that I consider to be useless and a waste of American tax payer
money. It’s worse than useless, it’s counterproductive. But, many people seem to think that was the political price of passing things like the Dream Act and passing things like some kind of
legalization program and a guest-worker program. So if that’s…. the situation we’ve got now is the worst of all possible worlds, and we’ve got 12 million people out of status, 3 million people
who entered as kids and have nowhere to go, and so I’m willing to swallow a pretty bitter pill to take care of some of those issues. And if the price was building more, wasting more money and
building a stupid wall, well, then if the American people in their wisdom want to do that, that’s what they can do. But, the numbers… it’s really a lack of political courage to stand up to the
onslaught with this 20% in their supporters who are going to unleash on any politician who supports Immigration Reform. And they’ll be relentless and it takes a lot of political nerve to stand up to
that. JULIA PRESTON: Just so you, I mean, I don’t have a view about, at all about what form of Immigration Reform could pass, but my perception, having covered the debate last year, was that this
comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill was to the Republican party what Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Reform effort in the early 90s was to the Democrats. That is to say, this was legislation that
was created behind closed doors in Washington, Michael Chertoff, the Commerce Secretary, John Kyle, Ted Kennedy. They were closed negotiations that produced a bill which not only included a very
controversial measure like providing legalization for illegal immigrants, but it also incorporated an entire revision of the philosophy of American immigration going forward in the form of a, what was
called a point system; so that this was legislation that essentially when it went to the floor of the senate, had no constituency at all. That proposed to shift the entire philosophy of American
immigration from being based on family reunification to a kind of a more labor-market oriented philosophy that would give people points based on their job skills and their labor qualifications. And
so, in a certain way, I was not surprised that this bill failed because it, in itself, did not have a mobilized constituency while the opponents were extremely galvanized and the only point that I
would make to differ with you Doug, is that this was not a lobby actually, this was grassroots opposition, this was the Howard, what I call the Howard Dean moment, for the anti-illegal immigrant
forces. This was internet mobilization; these people were just totally committed to defeating this bill. And so, in my view, if future legislation is going to have a different outcome, it needs to
have the minimum thing that legislation requires, which is a mobilized constituency. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, my name is Tonya Golas-Bosa. My question is with regard to the comprehensive Immigration
Reforms; as far as I can tell the policies that have been put on the table have all… some of them have included provisions for legalization, but none of them have included provisions for the
legalization of all undocumented immigrants, and this is very similar to the provisions we’ve seen in the past; particularly 1986 where people with even very minor infractions, minor violations of
the law are not eligible for legalization. So my question is, and it seems as if many of the challenges that we confront with regard to the issue of immigration have to do with the presence of a large
marginalized population. So that won’t go away with Immigration Reform, unless we kind of somehow do away with the category undocumented. Someone needs to talk, specifically Dr. Massey, since you
talk about the problems associated with the existence of what one might call an underclass, if there’s, what you think about, I don’t even know if the prospect, since you know, I’m an academic,
I don’t have to be, I can be a little idealistic, but the prospects of doing away with the category undocumented, because so long as we have that category, there will be people in it. DOUG MASSEY:
Well, if you set out to design a dysfunctional system, you would be hard pressed to do a better job that what we’ve come up with in the United States in the last couple of decades. We’ve built a
very repressive, very unforgiving, very narrow system that castigates immigrants at every turn, makes it very difficult to become a legal resident of the United States and makes you excludable under a
variety of conditions that, in the way that, we were talking about this at dinner, the way that the federal government is now beginning to prosecute immigrant violations, they’re basically
manufacturing felons and people with misdemeanor convictions, which under the law, make it almost impossible for them to become legal resident aliens in the United States. So it’s a comprehensive
Immigration Reform that really involves a lot more than simple legalization and adjusting quotas and setting up a guest-worker program. There are just terrible provisions that have been built into
U.S. immigration laws that make it almost impossible for immigrants to contemplate a legal life in the United States. And, it’s very, in my opinion, inhumane treatment. So that a kid who was brought
here as a Cambodian at the age of 1 year old got in trouble with the law as a teenager, and then when he goes to apply for a citizenship, they discover he has an old felony conviction and
ex-post-facto, they can deport him. He’s deportable even though he has never been; you know he left the country as a baby. So we’re deporting people who are Americans that have grown up here, but
we’ve criminalized the whole enterprise to such an extent that we’re basically manufacturing criminals. So what I tell people is that the immigrations and customs enforcement, the whole border
patrol, this is the international component of America’s criminal justice conflicts. And it’s getting bigger, and it’s becoming more and more unforgiving. JORGE CASTANEDA: Just to add a point
that we’ve already made, during the debate last year, less so with McCain-Kennedy, but last year certainly, there were a lot of people, progressive people, liberal people who said, “This is such a
lousy bill,” even The New York Times was sort of tepid about it. Not you. JULIA PRESTON: I don’t write editorials. JORGE CASTANEDA: No, but the editorial write about you. You know, they said
“It’s such a lousy bill, it’s got such a lot of terrible components in it,” which was true, that maybe the status quo was preferable. And what they didn’t realize is that the status quo was
not viable. That there is no such thing as the status quo. That it was either move forward, not great, or move backward. And, of course, what has happened is that there has been a very serious
regression from the status quo of two or three years ago precisely because of all of these practices that Doug and Julia have been mentioning and Julia has been reporting on, which perhaps were legal
before, but were not being done and now they are. So, the notion that the status quo was better than a lousy bill turned out to be a huge mistake, which I hope, by the way, supporters of Immigration
Reform don’t commit again next time, because if they do, it’ll be the same thing all over again. There will be, if a new attempt is defeated, there will be more regression, more movement
backwards, the status quo is untenable and it will either go forward or backward. JULIA PRESTON: I think we’re over here. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi, Ladonna Hagland from Arizona State University. We have
quite a bit of stuff going on in Arizona, as you can imagine, and my real concern is a bit outside of the realm of politics and policies; it has to do with human rights more broadly. And we see in
Arizona, all sorts of violations of human rights, not just the things with the medical deportations, like in the Times today or the raids in Ohio, we see our sheriff in Maricopa County actually going
out and stopping people on the street who are brown and checking to see if they’re citizens and then deporting them. We see people dying in the desert quite often. We have really serious human
rights violations, and I’m a little pessimistic about the prospect of Immigration Reform policies happening in Congress that are really going to address these human rights violations. And Jorge, you
mentioned that the Mexican government is a little bit reluctant to address some of these harder issues, but it seems to be getting so bad in terms of human rights violations that somebody may have to
do something, and I’m just wondering if either of you see any kinds of silver linings on this very dark cloud that we’re living right now. JORGE CASTANEDA: Silver lining, I don’t know. I would
like to think, as mentioned before, that if Obama wins the election and wins it thanks to the Latino vote, that he would really be committed and deliver on his promise to send the reform during the
first 100 days in office. And that having larger, somewhat larger democratic majorities in both houses, and also having people like McCain coming back to their stance on it and pushing for it, that it
can be done. It’s not a silver lining, it’s just the sort of perhaps wild optimism without any grounds, but it’s the best I can come up with. Now, I think that there should be more work done by
everybody like the work that the Times is doing of standing up against these issues which are not against Mexicans or Guatemalans, Hondurans, like the guy there, the guy that is Guatemalan or
Honduran, but it’s against values that the United States has stood for all over the world for many, many years. I mean, these are things that just can’t be done and shouldn’t be done. I think
we, we in Mexico, the Mexican government, but Mexican business, Mexican intellectuals, Mexican politicians should do much more than we do in the United States, we’re still scared of doing it. For
example, the Mexican business community has enormous interest now in the United States. Maseca, the largest tortilla manufacturer it he world, now sells 60% of its total tortilla production in the
world in the United States. Maseca sells more tortillas in the U.S. than in Mexico. Maseca has a huge interest in the United States, and it should go out and defend its people, its consumers, its
nationals. The same is true for Televisa, the same is true for Bimbo, the same is true for the airlines, I mean there’s huge Mexican business interest in the United States and they do nothing. A
Mexican intellectual, you know most of them, or us, will rarely attend adversarial forum. Would love to go and talk, you know, be among friends like here with Doug and Julia and all of you, but if
you’ve got, you know, the minute men in the audience in Arizona, most of us will say “Well you know, I have a previous commitment,” sort of thing. This is a real issue, I mean, we have to stand
up more for it and we’re not doing it, I agree with you completely. JULIA PRESTON: Over here. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, good night. My name is Isabella Yala from Suny, Albany. This question is for
Jorge. You mentioned how for the Mexican leaders it has been in a way easier to talk about, or focus on discussion on the wall rather than talking about the human rights violations in the United
States. And I wonder whether that neglect of addressing this issue comes from fear in a way to analyze Mexico and the situation happening also in the border, south of the border with the Central
Americans, South Americans, as they cross into the country. So I would like, if possible, for you to comment on whether, as Mexico is challenging the United States to address these issues, whether you
have seen or were aware of any changes for any actions that are being taken by the government to address the issues in the south. JORGE CASTANEDA: At least since Zedillo, Mexican, the last three
Mexican governments have acknowledged that we mistreat Central Americans and South Americans for that matter — there is a lot of Ecuadorians — at least as badly as the United States mistreats
Mexicans and probably worse. Now, one thing is to acknowledge it and another thing is do anything about it, and we really haven’t done a whole lot about it. There is a new immigration law now which
is de-penalizing being an illegal immigrant in Mexico, which is a good thing, we’ll see how far it goes, but that said there are two elements I’d like to stress. One, it’s not exactly a
symmetrical situation because the enormous majority of Central and South American migrants who enter Mexico are just passing through on their way to the United States, and so we don’t really have an
issue of a permanent immigrant population with or without papers in Mexico. I’m being schematic; there are some people that are migrant laborers in the Soconusco area for the coffee harvest, what
have you. But, by in large, the immense majority are passing through. So, you know, we do mistreat them, it is terrible what happens, we should do something about it, but there is a window there of
mistreatment, you know. They were only there enough, so many days, and so there’s only so many nasty things we can do to them. So, you know it is different in that sense. And the other point, which
is very important, is that President Calderon has decided to tone down the immigration issue on his agenda largely as a reaction to how much emphasis President Fox placed on it. It’s not so much
because President Calderon is not convinced of this, he is also from an ascending state, Michoacan like Fox was from Guanajuato, he is also sensitive to the issue, it’s not that he doesn’t know
about it, he knows about it, he’s very familiar with it, he is very intelligent and a well-educated leader. But he is doing this a little bit out of traditional Mexican sort of presidential
posturing. I think that that’s a mistake. I think, you know, whether Fox did it right or wrong, he obviously stuck his foot in his mouth on many occasions and has said a lot of silly things, but I
think that basic thrust of this, which was that the Mexican government has to speak out on these issues in the United States, not just in Mexico, but in the United States. I think Fox had it right,
and I think Calderon should continue to do that, but obviously correct the mistakes that Fox and I made, but the important point is to continue that direction, it’s not what they’re doing. JULIA
PRESTON: Over here. I’m just going to take the remaining questions that are the microphones and then we’ll wrap it up. Over there. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello, Etson Rodgriguez from University of
Southern California. First I’d like to thank you for participating on the panel. Secondly, could you please discuss the discourse surrounding the Dream Act and perhaps comment on whether it might be
easier for that reform to pass before the amnesty and the other the other types of reforms. Thank you. JULIA PRESTON: I don’t think that the Dream Act will go anywhere before the end of George W.
Bush’s term. There is one piece of legislation which may have a chance to go forward as a separate effort, which is a piece of legislation that passed that house just this past week that is
improbably sponsored by Zoe Lofgren who is the democrat who is the chairwoman of the subcommittee on immigration. And Jim Sensenbrenner who, as we know, was the author of the legislation in the end of
2006 that inspired all the marches later that year, so I guess it was the end of 2005. And so, this is a very narrow piece of legislation that would just recapture some of the visas that have not been
used, for incredible reasons that will just drive you crazy if I start to describe why it is that in a system that has the kind of backlogs that we have, there are actually visas every year that go
unused. The Dream Act, as you probably know in the fall of last year, I can’t remember exactly when it was, but it, you know, there was an effort to bring it forward again and it failed. And the
failure of the Dream Act so angered Dick Durbin, who is the senator for Illinois who’s basically championed this legislation, that he really has been reluctant to participate in any kind of
immigration legislation absent a total package. So, I think it’s very unlikely that any Dream Act legislation, it appears to be very unlikely that any Dream Act effort will come forward before the
end of George W. Bush’s term. Let’s go over here. JORGE CASTANEDA: Can I just add on that very quickly Julie? I think that both of what happened with the Dream Act and with Ag’s job bill, with
Diane Feinstein’s bill, shows that regardless of other arguments, the notion that you could do a piecemeal was not… was false. I mean it is really the whole enchilada or nothing. Now, you can
argue, well the whole enchilada was not possible, and that turned out to be true, but piecemeal does not work. You can’t get the political equilibrium necessary to get piecemeal done; I mean even
something as uncontrovertable like Dream Act went nowhere. JULIA PRESTON: If any legislation that contains legalization for illegal immigrants of any sort, I think is not going to happen before the
end of the president’s term. Yeah. AUDIENCE MEMBER: My name is Fecina Morales from University of Texas at El Paso and I think my, I have more of a comment than a question, but I would also like
to… JULIA PRESTON: Well our time is short, so why don’t you just make the question, would that be alright? AUDIENCE MEMBER (Fencina Morales): Okay. My concern is about the immigration policy and
the legalization aspect verses the border enforcement aspect that have been joined together in the immigration proposals that we’ve seen in the first few years. And I know it has been referred to
frequently in those debates, the border is usually a trade off, it’s used as a trade off. It’s like, we want legalization and in exchange we’ll agree to this militarization of the border and
what my comment is is that we also have to remember that there are… JULIA PRESTON: I’m sorry can you just ask, because we do have short time, can you just a question. Audience member: Well, that
is a question, that border communities need to be involved in and considered in any type of Immigration Reform, right? Because there are millions of people living on the border, and it shouldn’t be
a trade off for legalization. The militarized borders shouldn’t be a trade off to get legalized immigration. I would like to get some comments about that. DOUG MASSEY: Well I agree with you in
principle. The question is whether it’s worth moving forward if that’s, if further militarization is the necessary price of other reform. If at all possible, I would like to scale the
militarization of the border, it makes absolutely no sense, and as always is the case, the border communities get caught in the crossfire, and it’s a toss up who they dislike most, Mexico City or
Washington D.C. But, because anytime decisions are made in either place, it usually messes up their lives on the border. JULIA PRESTON: I’m going to go to the question from the man in the yellow
shirt because he’s been standing there for a while. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thanks. Two quick questions. One is, there seems to be a lot of cooperation between the United States and Mexico considering the
drug cartels that are allegedly Mexican and I wonder the extent to which Americans are afraid of the importation of drugs from Mexico and how much this enters into that. Second, we keep hearing that
70% of the oil imported into the United States comes from North America. Well, it’s not coming from the United States obviously, so that leaves Canada and Mexico and it seems to me that if Mexico
wants some more leverage on this issue, oil might be one of the cards they could play in some way and I just wondered what you thought of that idea. JULIA PRESTON: Yeah, and then why don’t get that
and your question as well and then that’ll be the last question. AUDIENCE MEMBER: I was actually going to ask exactly a very similar question about the drug cartels, and to what extent immigration
from Mexico and the perception, institutional, as well as the perception of Americans on Mexicans is affected by increasing violence around the border and basically because of, you know, the
competence and the conflict between the cartels in order to control the traffic of drugs into the U.S.? JORGE CASTANEDA: I’ll sort of link the two questions, I guess, I think on the perception
perhaps Doug will wrap it up for us, but there is one issue that is real. Which is that as people smuggling has become big business since the price that the polleros charge went up so much since,
especially since ’96 and then again since 9-11, and again these last couple of years. You know, if you have, lets say 400,000 people coming through every year from Mexico, and it’s a couple of
thousand bucks each, that’s an 8 billion dollar business right there, I mean that’s real money. And it would be, I mean, unreasonable to expect that the organized crime groups that smuggle drugs
into the United States or that smuggle arms from the United States into Mexico would not also get into such a big business like smuggling people from Mexico into the United States. It stands to reason
that that will happen and there are a lot of indices that is happening. So I think that’s certainly one factor that has to be taken into account. The other question is, and perhaps this would be my
conclusion, when we started talking with the Bush administration back in 2000, in fact before they even took office, about bilateral agenda, we tried to insist that there had to be two sides to the
immigration issue and the Mexican development issue. That it made really no sense to address either of the two alone. If you just addressed Mexican development, you’re still going to have
immigration. And if you just address immigration without development, you won’t address the issue in the long term. The Bush administration agreed to talk about immigration but not about
development, we know what happened. Basically the agenda for the next administration in Washington is the same. Does the United States want to play a major role in developing Mexico or not? If it does
then it’s got to put its money where its mouth is. If it’s not willing to do that for whatever reason, then Mexico will continue, roughly to muddle through the way it has been muddling through the
last 10 or 12 years. Now when people say, “Yes, well United States is not in the business of doing that, that’s a very European notion, American tax payers would never agree to build Mexican
highways.” I said, well wait a second, the Marshall plan was that, and most Americans seemed to agree for about that for Western Europe. Other forms, other countries have received huge amounts of
money from the United States for good or bad purposes. I think the money spent in Iraq is about the worst way to spend money in the world, but it’s a hell of a lot of money. The fact that, this
notion that the U.S. taxpayer will not pay for anything abroad is not true. The U.S. taxpayer has paid for things abroad when he or she has been convinced by their leadership that it’s in their best
interest to do so. If the next administration is willing to address both the development and the immigration issue, then maybe the problem will begin to be solved. If it doesn’t, the problem will
continue to be with us and it will get worse in the sense that you will have more people, more deportations, more raids, more detentions, more violence, more involvement by organized crime in this
business because it’s big business. The more the polleros charge, the more attractive it is for people to get into that business. It’s really, it’s a very, very good business, it’s important.
JULIA PRESTON: Doug, you want to wrap it up for us. DOUG MASSEY: Well I agree completely. Drugs and immigration are in many ways parallel processes. They are both demand driven, and we try to attract,
we try to deal with both issues by unilateral repressive actions through interdiction and enforcement, and in both cases all we do is make for lucrative niches for the middlemen to come in and provide
services to either ferry the drugs or the people into the United States and all the studies show that unless you deal with the demand side, you’re not going to get anywhere. But yet we keep going
down this road. We do have a model for successful economic integration and control of migration and that’s Europe. When Europe brought in Spain and Portugal they were roughly at the same level of
development as Mexico. The wage gap between southern and northern Europe was huge. They had a long debate and they decided if they were going to economically integrate, they were going to integrate.
It was an integration project. And so as Spain underwent a very sharp and very painful structural adjustment of economic reforms that were necessary to join the European union, the wealthier states to
the north provided a decade worth of structural adjustment funds to invest in Spanish infrastructure; to build the roads, to improve the social infrastructure, to create a basic social system of
social rights and social welfare. Not one that equalled Germany, the wage gap never disappeared, but when full labor mobility came and integration happened, people were shocked to discover that not
only was there not a Spanish migration out towards the wealthier countries in the north, but there was a massive reverse migration back to Spain. I think that if in 1994 we had set up some way to
regularize the flows of migration between Mexico and the United States, and instead of spending all this money on border enforcement we had channelled into structural adjustment funds for Mexico, in
the same way that the European did for Spain and Portugal, and in the same way that they are doing for countries that are even closer to Mexico in the economic scale in eastern Europe right now, that
we wouldn’t even have a immigration crisis right now. Really Mexico is a very soluble problem. But we have to look at the issue from a very different way and think about migration and development as
complimentary issues to be solved together. JULIA PRESTON: Thank you very much for coming on a Sunday evening to this discussion. Thank you, and thank you Doug.