Mexico Needs to Clean Up Its Act

By Charley Reese
Volume 11, Number 1 (Fall 2000)
Issue theme: "America's porous borders"

It's probably time we realized that whatever self-government we have left in this country is with our local and state governments. The national government seems to have cut us out of the loop. It even shows signs of hostility toward us.

Take, for example, the current situation on the Arizona border. Some ranchers there, whose property abuts the border with Mexico, have grown tired of seeing their property used as a dump and a highway by illegal Mexican immigrants. They have begun to make citizen's arrests.

Now, every American has a right to make a citizen's arrest, but the U.S. government is up in arms. About the abuse of the ranchers' property? About the Mexicans violating our laws and our borders? Oh, no, the government is upset with the ranchers. The U.S. Attorney there says he's researching the law to see if there are any charges he can bring against the ranchers. Some hotshot Mexican official has hired an American law firm to sue the ranchers.

Let's get this straight: it is the ranchers who are being victimized by the illegal immigrants. The ranchers are upholding the law, while the U.S. government's entire sympathy seems to be with the Mexican illegals. It shows hostility to the ranchers who are, after all, doing what the U.S. government is supposed to do.

As for the aforementioned Mexican official and every other Mexican official, they should create a country in which their people can live and earn a decent living instead of being impoverished and exploited by a crooked government and its goons. The gall of Mexican government officials complaining about the treatment of Mexicans in America. They are treated better here than in Mexico. That is why - surprise, surprise - they come here.

The true tragedy of Mexico is that Mexican people love it so, but the country, or at least its government, has never returned their affection. About 20 families own most of the country, and, of course, for the past 50 years it has had pseudo elections while being governed by one party.

A few months ago, two Mexican army vehicles charged across the U.S. border, knocking down a fence, and fired on U.S. Border Patrol agents who were on horseback. When reinforcements arrived, one of the Mexican army vehicles fled back across the border while the other surrendered.

But guess what the orders were from Washington? Let them go and give them their weapons. It was all a mistake. Some of the rank-and-file Border Patrol officers don't think for one minute it was a mistake. They think the army vehicles were intent on delivering drugs, and the one that fled took the drugs back to Mexico.

The Arizona ranchers have a similar view of the Mexican government, and, in fact, over the years I've talked to Drug Enforcement agents, Border Patrolmen and Customs officials who all believe, despite the Washington chatter to the contrary, that the Mexican government is up to its armpits in the drug trade.

At any rate, Americans ought to be sick and tired of the Mexican government pushing its problems off on us. It is the Mexican government's responsibility to create an economy in which its people can make a decent living and live a decent life. Instead, the government exploits the hell out of them and sends them across the border to earn money to send back to their families in Mexico.

It is not the Mexican people who are at fault here. They suffer from bad government, as indeed do we on the national level. Nor is it the fault of the rank-and-file Border Patrol officers, who are not being supported by their own Washington bosses. It is certainly not the ranchers who are at fault. But if you just watch, you can see example after example where our national government shows a hostile face to American citizens.

About the author

Charley Reese is a nationally-syndicated columnist. This May 22 article is copyright 2000 by King Features Syndicate and is reprinted by permission.