Mexican Government Sends Illegal Immigrants To Death—Knowingly
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Antiquarians may recall that, long ago in April, two high Mexican government officials came to the United States and boasted of how much they were going to help us in controlling illegal immigration. Last week the help arrived in the shape of the Mexican government's plan to distribute some 200,000 survival kits to Mexicans who plan to sneak across our borders—a wee bit too late to help 14 Mexican illegals who died in the Arizona desert.

"For the first time," Mexican Interior Secretary Santiago Creel said during his April visit to Washington, "the Mexican government is recognizing that we have a responsibility regarding the migratory flows" into the United States. That sounds like the Mexicans might actually do something to try to stop or slow down the vast flood of their own countrymen pouring out of their own country into ours.

But the decision last week to hand out the survival kits to prospective illegal immigrants tells us just how much help we can really expect. It also confirms, once again, the ugly truth behind the self-righteous gabble the Mexicans always serve up to Americans about immigration. The truth is that the Mexican government and ruling class, unable to provide a decent economy or government for their own citizens, welcome getting rid of them by encouraging them to leave. Indeed, so eager are the Mexican oligarchs to cleanse themselves of their own poor that they're now willing to hand out survival kits to make sure they get out and stay out.

"We are not going to close our eyes," the Mexican's survival czar, a munchkin named Juan Hernandez, head of the Office for Mexicans Abroad, piously told the press. "We have individuals who are dying at the border. This office was created specifically to watch out for their needs." If Señor Hernandez and his comrades in the Mexican state really didn't close their eyes, they might do something to control the exodus of their own people out of their country into ours, at the risk of their lives. What kind of government is it anyway, that has to have a special bureaucracy to deal with its own nationals living outside its own borders?

But of course the Mexicans don't consider moving to the United States to be leaving Mexico. Since they claim we stole their territory in the Mexican war, they think they're simply moving to another part of their own country when they swarm over the Rio Grande and occupy entire cities and states. If the swarm continues, survival kits or no, they'll be right: This will be their country.

Nevertheless, the survival kits came too late to help the 14 Mexicans who died in the desert after illegally crossing the border with Arizona. It might be noted that it was U.S. Border Patrol helicopters and four-wheel-drive vehicles that searched for and tried to save more, not the Mexicans. The death of the 14 gives the Mexican government yet another chance to strut about American "refusal" to take however many people Mexico wants to dump, but if Mexico did anything whatever to reduce the emigration from its side, neither these 14 nor the hundreds of other casualties every year would die.

The survival kits, however, are only part of the package. The kits are part of a larger program to instruct illegals in what to expect once they sneak into the United States alive, and the pre-sneak training sessions include "tips on maintaining self-esteem and on Asian meditation techniques to combat depression, stress and anxiety in a country they have entered illegally and without speaking the language," The Orange County Register reports.

It's hard to find anyone who doesn't think the program is a swell idea. Gloria Chavez of the U.S. Border Patrol says it sounds like a good idea because "our mission is to prevent deaths." Actually, her agency's mission is to prevent illegal aliens, but even her boss seems not to grasp that. Visiting Mexico the same week the survival kit program was announced, Attorney General John Ashcroft  beamed, "Our first priority is border safety."

No one wants Mexicans to die of heat and exposure in the Southwestern deserts, but providing them with survival kits and making it clear to them that their own government wants them to emigrate only encourages more to leave, more to come here and more for whom the survival kits and the Asian meditation techniques won't work and who will die in the deserts anyway. The brutality of the Mexican plan is transparent to anyone who thinks it through. Yet another ugly truth is that although the Mexican government probably has thought it through, there seems to be no one in authority in our government who has thought about it at all.


May 28, 2001

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