The federal government, to no one’s surprise, has been no help.
The fundamental reason for the flood of immigration from Latin America, specifically Mexico, is the disintegration of the Mexican economy predominantly resulting from free-trade strategies employed by the North American Free Trade Agreement and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The rampant corruption within the Mexican government has also contributed significantly to the collapse of the Mexican economy. “Due to IMF policies regarding Mexico, its economic output dropped 33 percent in the past two decades” (Small, 2005). During this period, its foreign debt rose 359 percent because of widespread looting of the national coffers. These factors caused the “collapse of all areas of productive economic activity and employment, is the primary driver of the flood of emigrants desperate to leave Mexico, to find some livelihood for themselves and their families in the United States” (Small, 2005).
Stopping immigration into the U.S. from Mexico would further cripple the Mexican economy as evidenced by data collected from the Gallup World Poll. “Thirty-two percent of Mexican respondents in the Dec., 2005 poll claim to have relatives living abroad, and 15percent of those say their households receive a monthly cash aid from such relatives.” (Rios, Crabtree, 2006) According to the poll, approximately five percent of Mexican households, about 20 million people, obtain financial aid from relatives who immigrated to the U.S. Ending this flow of this greatly needed money southward would be harmful for poor Mexican citizens living in depressed city and rural regions. Obviously Mexicans take immigration laws and American attitudes towards immigration personally, how could they not? They do not understand what harm illegal immigration causes for Americans. “Mexicans believe that migration benefits not only the home countries and the families of