WASHINGTON TIMES — Support for, or opposition to, mass immigration is apparently a class issue, not an ethnic or racial issue. Elites more often support lenient immigration policies; the general public typically opposes them.
At the top of the list are Mexico’s elites. Illegal immigration results in an estimated $25 billion sent back in remittances to Mexico each year. The Mexican government worries more about remittances, the country’s No. 1 source of foreign exchange, than it does about its low-paid citizens who are in the United States, scrimping to send money back home. Remittances also excuse the Mexican government from restructuring the economy or budgeting for anti-poverty programs.
Mexico sees the United States the way 19th-century elites in this country saw the American frontier: as a valuable escape hatch for the discontented and unhappy, who could flee rather than stay home and demand long-needed changes.
American employers in a number of industries — construction, manufacturing, hospitality and others — have long favored illegal immigration. Low-wage labor cuts costs: The larger the pool of undocumented immigrants, the less pressure to raise wages. That was why Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers in the 1970s occasionally patrolled the southern border in its vigilante-style “illegals campaign” to keep out undocumented immigrants while opposing guest worker programs.