Equality and our neighbors to the south

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Over the past 12 years, I have spent a lot of time in Mexico. I have many friends in Mexico whom I respect. I am not an "expert" on Mexico. Yet, every day I read newspapers both from Mexico and the United States. I see that here in the United States we are being accused of "harassing Mexicans," who are here illegally.

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For a reality check, one might want to read the laws for immigration or long-term residence in Mexico. For example, if you as a United States citizen want to spend time in Mexico, be careful. You can't overstay your visitor's permit or you may go to jail, you can't get a driver's license, you cannot work for an income without a special visa, you cannot buy land in some areas, your children will not get free education, nor can you automatically get public health care. If you plan to stay there a long time, bring along a lot of money because to do so, one has to bring with them many times the amount of the basic poverty level of Mexico. Illegal immigrants in Mexico go to jail, and that is not a pleasant place to be. Remember Napoleonic law - one is guilty until proven innocent.

We can only be "fair trade" partners with other nations that treat our citizens on an equal basis. Or maybe, if Mexicans wish to enter the United States, they do so under the same restrictions as apply to United States' citizens entering Mexico. They should at least do so under either Mexican or United States law.

Fair is fair, isn't it?

Wally Olson

Auke Bay



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