If Mexicans were content in their country, would they still come to the USA?

In Mexico the family is paramount. It is very difficult for them to leave their families to cross the border. Yet many do in order to feed their families.
The USA spends billions in fences

border patrol agents

to keep them out.
Once they arrive, billions are spent providing them with health care, medicine, education, prisons, etc.

A huge amount of money is spent to keep them out, and provide for them when they have arrived.

What if this money was spent to raise the quality of life in Mexico? Would they leave if they were content? After all there is no huge expenditures on the border to the North.
Isn’t this obvious, or am I missing something?


Even if comprehensive land reform and a social safety net existed in Mexico, the country still has too many people for the available work that it can offer. People would emigrate from Mexico simply because they couldn’t afford to stay there economically.

Mexico has systemic issues that will not be fixed by throwing a few billions at it. Top of the list would be corruption, which would reduce the effectiveness of your money. And you are already throwing billions towards keeping the system corrupt, in the form of drug money.

I wouldn’t say I’ve spent billions

Little known fact: met migration from Mexico to the USA is close to zero, and possibly negative.

With the re-direction of monies, almost everyone in Mexico now has a job. Would they leave?

Corruption is definitely a challenge. People can walk on the moon, but we cannot fix corruption?

What part of the OP did you not understand?

Not nearly as much as you misunderstood of his post.

Perhaps harmonicamoon DID spend billions and is still suffering from the effects thereof. :slight_smile:

It’s worth pointing out that Mexico’s economy already isn’t that bad. By global standards it’s pretty good, actually: it’s classified as an upper middle-income country, it has the highest income per capita in Latin America, and it has been projected that by 2050 it will be the 5th largest economy in the world. Wiki

Of course there are problems, and of course people who slip across the border have the potential to improve their families’ lives - the US is still a much richer country. But I think sometimes in this kind of debate Americans blithely assume that Mexico is a far worse, more poverty-stricken country than it actually is.

Can you provide some data or examples of this. I’d really like to have a less patronizing view of Mexico, so how is it that you came to this conclusion.

I drew the impression from personal (albeit limited) experience, but the facts from the Wikipedia link I cited at the end of my first paragraph. Yeah, it’s just Wikipedia, but looks like most of the stats have references, so I’d recommend clicking through those links.

As for how all this relates to the OP’s bigger question, if Mexico is a middling but generally decent country but it shares a long border with one of the richest countries on earth, there will always be an economic incentive for them to try to immigrate over. If the US shared a border with Luxembourg, a lot of Americans would probably be trying to get over there, too.

So between the cost of building fences and hiring border patrol agents vs. making Mexico’s economy at or near parity with the US’s…the former is probably a lot cheaper.

I’m not doubting you my man!

But saying that Mexico has a growing middle class and growing industry and manufacturing, that’s a good thing and I really hope it continues. But that doesn’t address the fact that there are a lot of extremely poor people and lack of jobs. In other words, it sounds like that for people who are doing “OK” in Mexico it’s getting better but what of the large numbers of really poor people we hear so much about?

In another sovereign nation? Probably not. How could we? American courts can’t try Mexican officials for crimes committed in Mexico.

I’m certainly not claiming that there are no poor people in Mexico - there are, just as there are in the US and every country. I guess the relevance is that Mexico on the whole is doing okay and has more resources to help its own poor than many Americans might expect. To what extent is the US (or any other richer country) obliged to help the poor in a country that, overall, is already upper-middle income?

Mexico isn’t quite first world, but it’s also not Sudan, though you might think it was from the way some people talk about it. If we stop Mexicans at the borders or deport some who are already here, we’re not consigning them to a life of famine, misery, and destitution. If the US wants to make economic opportunity for the poor of the world a factor in who it decides to let immigrate here, there are far poorer countries to consider.

It occurs to me to wonder, should such a thing even be possible, whether Mexicans would welcome the opportunity to become the 51st state, or a territory.

ok, but does it not stand to reason that those who do come here (illegally) are among the ones with less opportunity in Mexico? Or is that not a reasonable assumption?

Maybe a different type of distribution of resources could be established. Outside of the corruption chain.

Can you show us your math?

How much money do we spend, and if that money went to Mexico, how much would it improve the lives of the populace? We can even ignore the effects of corruption on that for now (that is, some of that money is not going to actually make it to “the populace”, but rather line the pockets of corrupt officials).