U.S., Mexico need new border policy

Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2003

That we've seen the story before does nothing to mitigate the horror of the 19 illegal immigrants who died after being locked in a trailer and abandoned by smugglers in South Texas. Authorities report that more than 100 immigrants were crammed into a trailer and left to their fates by the driver (last) Wednesday.

... The solution, however, lies in formulating a border policy that shatters hypocrisy on both sides of the border. For too long, the United States has huffed and puffed about illegal immigrants while welcoming the cheap labor. For too long, the Mexican government ignored the immigrants publicly while privately depending on the money they send home. The money transfer is the third-largest source of income for the Mexican economy.

... Before 9/11, the new U.S. and Mexican administrations were tantalizingly close to reaching a guest worker accord that would bring some order to workers crossing the border. Given the proper safeguards against abuse, a guest worker program would help both governments keep track of the flow of workers across the Mexican border. ...

Austin (Texas) American-Statesman

May 19

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