Different Sides of the Latino Issue: The Mexicans Part I

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryEven with all of the violence on the Mexican side of the border region between El Paso in Texas and Juarez in Mexico, life and business go on. Better than that, many Americans cross the border every day to go into Juarez for a variety of things. These things include buying food, buying consumer goods made in Mexico, and even going for medical appointments. Practices like dentistry and internal medicine are cheaper in Mexico, and the service is overall good. This is why so many Americans head for the border. Likewise, Mexican farmers send their produce to El Paso where it eventually gets shipped to other parts of the United States. It is a symbiotic relationship that has been going on for almost 200 years. The business relationship is now bigger than ever, and many, many Mexicans who own small businesses as well as Mexican businesses that export their products want to see America’s laws toward business on the border region reformed.

Many of these small and medium-sized Mexican businesses hope that America will reform its immigration laws so that those who have family in the United States will be able to join their families living in America. But many Mexicans also want to see America’s business laws reformed to make it easier for them to send their products to the United States as well as to make it easier for Americans to cross the border to do business in Mexico. Many Americans do business in Mexico. Not only do they go for medical services, but many American business entrepreneurs import Mexican-made products to the United States. Because many of America’s laws governing imports leave much to be desired, this causes serious friction between the two countries. One example is that of avocados. A few months ago, U.S. President Barack Obama put on strict tariffs to win the popular support of Florida avocado farmers in a crucial election year.

This did not sit well with Mexican farmers nor with the Mexican government. They cited this as a violation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Still, the Mexican government is trying to work with the U.S. government in trying to get this sorted out. In my view, what so many Mexicans want besides reform in America’s immigration laws is a recognition of the huge economic relationship between the two countries. This is true for Mexicans living and working in the United States—many want to do business in Mexico but are stifled by many of America’s laws. The United States and Mexico are linked not only by a common border but by long-standing trade and movement of peoples. Ever since September 11, 2001, the United States has virtually ignored this relationship, or has not made it a priority. Regardless of who is president, this has to change.

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