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Beyond the Wall

The Wall in El Paso

photo: Wall in El Paso by Jonathan McIntosh

When people talk about immigration policies probably the first thing that comes to people’s minds is the construction of a wall that prevents people from entering the country illegally. This idea became popular due to the new President Trump’s administration but a “border wall won’t make as much impact as better trade policies.”(David McNew/Agence France-Presse). Immigration policies are not only just borders and who gets in. There are other factors involve in these policies like international relations, economic policies, trading, and aid that determines who decides to cross the border. In order for us to understand how these other factors play a role the article analyzes different groups of immigrants that come to the United States during different times and with different backgrounds.

In the article “Immigration policy isn’t just borders and fences. It’s trade and aid, too.”  It makes an analysis by surveying 145,000 individuals from communities in Mexico from 1982 to 2013 to understand the idea of why they are coming to the United States. The analysis came with four different type of groups. Each group came in different times under different economic, social and political conditions in Mexico and the United States. The first group is mainly men with no education and poor communities this group was the majority in 1965 but it declines in 1980 as the economic trends in Mexico got better, wages in the United States decrease, and the budget for the border increase. The second group came to the U.S. after several economic crises in Mexico. The new group was mostly young men from rural areas this group arise due to the inflation rates in Mexico since their coin decrease its value. The new group made U.S. immigration policies to have a major change with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) which allowed more than 2 millions of Mexicans the path of legalization. This new reform made a third group come to the U.S which was mostly women with family ties to the immigrants who were already here which double the number of immigrants after the implementation of IRCA. Finally, the last group was a consequence of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) this new agreement open the doors for a different type of individuals. The group consisted mostly of educated men from urban areas that were seeking to make business with the new policies.

The reason of why I selected this article was to just show or give an idea to the reader that when we talk about immigration policies it is not only about building a wall and the problem will disappear. It is to analyze the different reasons of why people come here, why the policies change, why building fences or walls like in the case of the first group does not really work. It did help to decrease the number of immigrants but only for those who decided to go back and later try to reenter the country. Also, it shows different reasons of why people come to the U.S. besides economic crisis like better policies that NAFTA create to the international relationship of these two countries.

Immigration is a complex topic and if the new administration wants to solve or improve the status of this issues they got to look at other things than just making a wall.

 

References:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/04/25/immigration-policy-isnt-just-borders-and-fences-its-trade-and-aid-too/?utm_term=.48e0f4a489c3

For further reading:

http://www.pewhispanic.org/2015/11/19/more-mexicans-leaving-than-coming-to-the-u-s/

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-budget-idUSKBN17Q0VG

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