Mexico has emerged as a central issue in the 2016 Presidential elections of the USA. Why?
To begin with, much of what is now the southern United States of America – certainly Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and possibly Utah were originally part of the United States of Mexico. They were lost to the United States of America via a combination of treaties, purchases and conquests. Remember the Alamo!
Secondly, the economy of the USA depends on the labour of Mexicans to do many of the menial tasks that USA born citizens are loathe to do. For this it doesn’t really matter whether the Mexicans are documented or not. The labour of undocumented aliens can be exploited because of their status and actually is exploited. We recall a TV documentary that chronicled the death of an American town from which all the undocumented Mexicans were repatriated.
Then too, under NAFTA, there was the export of factories to Mexico, among other nations, where labour was inherently cheaper, causing a loss of jobs in the USA.
Mexico seems to be very alluring to Americans on the lam from the law. They ‘disappear’ in Mexico, sometimes not even bothering to change their names or appearances. Remember the ending of that epic movie the Shawshank Redemption?
Now if one of the presidential contenders is to be believed, Americans of Mexican descent are Mexican and not American, and are incapable of doing professional jobs, simply because they are “Mexican”. The nationality “Mexican” has been elevated to the status of an ethnic race.
Then there is the wall. It is unclear whether the real purpose of the wall is to keep Americans in America or to keep Mexicans out of America, or to control the flow of Mexicans into America. Perhaps it is to signal to the Mexicans that their original land will forever be America, never to return to Mexico. Or maybe it’s a combination of all four. Whatever is the intention, it was made clear that while it is Americans who will build the wall (presumably with no Mexican input) but the Mexicans will finance it.
Research shows that Mexicans and persons of Mexican descent made up 11% of the US population in 2013, a figure that was expected to increase. Further, more than half of all Hispanics in the USA have Mexican roots. While that bloc may not decide an election, it certainly can influence the winners and the losers of an election.
Be on the look-out for the mexico effect in November.