P.S. Mexico’s 33rd state

On my way back from Mexico I picked up Newsweek magazine's yearly edition of the issues that will dominate in the next 12 months.  I was rather surprised when I found this article by former Mexican foreign minister Jorge Castañeda, where he explains a very interesting manifestation of the law of unintended consequences, if such exists.

He argues that the border fence that the United States has started to build to keep illegal immigration out is instead keeping them in.  Before, it used to be a cyclical phenomenon where people would cross, work in the United States for a season and then move back to Mexico.  Nowadays, they cannot risk going back and not being able to return, so when they are able to cross they stay and try to bring their families along.  That's most probably the opposite of what the proponents of this initiative originally wanted.

Whereas I don't agree with breaking the law, the first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging that it exists and what its reasons are.  As we've seen initiatives like this don't seem to help much.

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