SPECIAL LABOR DIA EDITION
I'm a naturalized citizen born in Ciudad Juarez (the most dangerous city in the world, thanks to the drug cartels) but I work for la migra. I get a lot of shit from some of my family members because they feel I shouldn't be doing this job. I always tell them that it's better I got the job rather than some racist gabacho who might otherwise "mistreat" the aliens that come to the country. Particularly the ones that like to make menudo on Sundays. I know I wouldn't mistreat them. Should I quit my job and make my family happy, or keep my job and do it in a humane manner?
I must've answered your family's question back in 2008, when someone called you and the 52 percent of wabs that make up the Border Patrol a bunch of hypocrites. My answer then, was this: "It's easy for Mexicans to dismiss these agents as vendidos, but let's not pretend the United States-Mexico border is a playground on the level of Xochimilco. Lot of bad people inhabit la frontera — drug-runners, coyotes, Guatemalan aliens who invaded Mexico first before setting their beady eyes on the United States — and no one is better than a Mexican to deal with scum, mostly because we deal with it daily in the form of our governments. Besides, don't bash our Mexican migra-we all know those brown Border Patrol agents are Manchurian Mexicans waiting for Obama to become president so they can open the gates once and for all." I still stand by that sentiment (although Obama hasn't complied with his end of our Faustian pacto), and but would ask you to be in the juego, not of the juego. Calling the undocumented "aliens"? You know better than that. By, the way, gentle readers: a member of the Mexican's extended family is migra. And now you know how I snuck into the United States.
Why do Mexicans only purchase one piece of wood from the hardware store at a time? Usually, it's an odd shape, like a 2x2 or one piece of trim, too small to even trim a closet.
Home Depot Diva
Because perfection takes time, chula. Take the Reconquista...
As you're probably well aware, most American conglomerates have set up shop south of the border. Without naming names, how is it that they get away with, in most cases, charging more for the same product, yet pay these employees a fifth of what the same employee makes doing the same job up north? Why doesn't Mexico say, "Hey, you want to sell products here for the same price or better than you sell it for back home, pay the same wages you do up there?" If Mexico were to force these companies into this agreement, there would no longer be the draw to narco-trafficking jobs that pay 400 American dollars a week making human soup, ¿qué no? Not to mention the fact that there wouldn't be eight people in a one-bedroom living illegally up there making $300 a week thinking they hit the lottery. Why is Mexico allowing itself to be bullied by its big next-door neighbor like this?
¡A La Mecha!
On one issue and one issue only can Know Nothings and Aztlanistas agree on, and that's the destruction the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other neoliberal policies wrought on Mexico. Before its implementation, Mexico was largely a statist economy, with heavy subsidies and protections for industry and workers. That created a stagnant business environment, however, especially when compared to the free-market fustercluck we run up here, so Mexico's peso policies didn't stop its residents from going to el Norte. But once globalists on both side of the border (as usual, Canada played an inconsequential role) implemented NAFTA on January 1, 1994, the relaxed regulations (coupled with a devaluation of the peso) destroyed Mexico, unleashing the flood of migrants we have today. The problem with those maquiladoras you mention is that they're merely following the free market — they can pay less in Mexico and charge more for products than in the United States because of our uneven economies, but they can also pull out and relocate to countries with even worse salaries than Mexico and screw everyone further. This is all a long way of answering your question: Mexico can't do a thing because we're so close to the pinche United States — except invade.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.