Trump and Mexico

Here is Victor Davis Hanson, author of Mexifornia (and a long-time expert on the problems with illegal immigration), writing at National Review:

I think concerns expressed that Trump treat Mexico and President Peña Nieto with dignity and respect are well-taken and wise.

But part of the problem inherent in Trump’s pushback is that the present relationship has become asymmetrical for so long that merely returning to a normal 50/50 give and take will inevitably cause hysteria. Given political realities in Mexico, Peña Nieto must push back, but such natural patriotism should not disguise the fact that Mexico depends on the U.S. far more than the U.S. on Mexico — a fact privately conceded by all leaders on both sides of the border.

For decades Mexico, a country richly endowed with natural resources, climate, weather, and geography, has failed to make necessary reforms that might have offered its own citizens the security and prosperity that would have made their emigration unnecessary. This lapse most recently was largely because a ruling aristocracy saw advantage in seeing mostly impoverished and indigenous citizens from Oaxaca and southern Mexico, at great risks to their persons, leave their country.

In the eyes of many in the Mexican government mass flight is a safety valve that has alleviated pressures on social services and demands for parity. Illegal immigration into the U.S. has ensured a powerful expatriate community that oddly appreciates Mexico the longer and further it is absent from it. It helps to drive electoral change in the U.S. in ways that Mexico approves. And, most importantly, illegal immigration results in about $25 billion per annum sent to Mexico in remittances (larger than foreign-exchange earnings from its oil revenues) — in many cases from the impoverished whose dependence on U.S. social services subsidizes such cash to be sent home.

Read more: National Review