Saturday, October 04, 2003

Rep. Tancredo interview

From Insight magazine:
Q: Isn't Mexico responsible for providing jobs for its own people? Why are Americans burdened with providing jobs for Mexicans who don't have them?

A: That's a good question! It should not be a burden the American people have to bear. I'll never forget a conversation I had two years ago in Mexico with Juan Hernandez, who headed up the newly created Ministry of Mexicans Living in the United States.

Hernandez is a very interesting fellow, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico, and a good friend of presidents Bush and [Vicente] Fox [of Mexico]. I asked about the purpose of the government agency he heads, since I had never heard of such a thing.

He said its purpose is to increase the flow of Mexican nationals to the United States. I asked, "Why?"

"It serves Mexico's needs," he said, and ticked off a list of such things as remittances to Mexico of $10 billion a year, which is 30 percent of the Mexican GDP [gross domestic product]. It provides employment for an exploding population, it alleviates social instability due to rising unemployment and it provides training for Mexicans, ultimately repatriating those skills back to Mexico.

I responded to his final aim - repatriation of trained and skilled Mexicans back into Mexico - and asked, "Then your government would oppose amnesty for the illegal Mexicans in the United States?"

He cried, "Oh no! We support amnesty totally."

I replied, "I don't understand." I assured him that if amnesty were in effect in the United States, then Mexicans would never return. He then said something riveting: "By populating the United States with millions of Hispanics who are tied economically, politically and linguistically to Mexico, we are able to exert enormous influence and pressure on U.S. policy and its dealings with Mexico."

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