The Mexican American Border: "Wetback Nation" By Peter Laufer

1125 words - 5 pages

The book "Wetback Nation", written by Peter Laufer describes many issues regarding the Mexican- U.S. border. Some say that the border should be militarized and tightly controlled because some immigrants come to raise trouble and commit crimes. While others say, cross-border trips should be legalized so that Mexicans can work in the U.S. and provide for their families, without being taken advantage of. For the immigrants who are in the United States illegally, driver's licenses should be issued to ensure the safety of all residents: legal and illegal.In the chapter titled "Who Wants the Border Closed," Laufer discusses valid arguments made for militarizing and tightly controlling the border. Not all immigrants are silent migrates. Silent migrates meaning those you migrate north, work, raise, their children, and do not cause any trouble. Some immigrants come to the United States and engage in criminal activity, which puts a strain on Americans and their economy. Laufer writes, "'the behavior, birthrate, and cultures of minorities and immigrants are destroying our daily lives with a mosaic of graffiti, foreign language, irresponsible behavior, violence, and intimidation'" (Laufer, 196). This quote explains why the border should be tightly controlled, eliminating those immigrants whose ethical behavior would cause major disturbances to U.S. residents and the economy. While this is a valid argument for tightly controlling the border, valid arguments have been made for legalizing cross-border trips.Legalizing cross-border trips would ensure the health and safety of many immigrants. Countless numbers of immigrants do not go to the hospital when they should, nor do they send their children to school. This lack of responsibility is a direct result of the fear many immigrants share, the fear of being deported. This fear has pushed many immigrants into an underclass, which does anything deemed necessary for survival. Laufer writes, "Immigrants in California with questionable legal status would avoid doctors and hospitals, teachers and schools. The result, they pointed out, an underclass filled with uneducated sick people often resorting to crime for survival" (Laufer, 91). This quote offers us a theoretical explanation as to what will happen if cross-border trips are not legalized: both illegal immigrants and legal citizens will suffer. From the standpoint of the Mexican government, legalizing cross-border trips would eliminate the unfair treatment that Mexican workers have encountered. Laufer writes, "By legalizing a victimless crime, such as migrating north for work...It is less likely that employers will take advantage of workers who are in the United States legally. That means fewer cases of inappropriately low paychecks, poor working conditions, and forced overtime" (Laufer, 203). This argument was raised by the Mexican Interior Secretary Santiago Creel. The ethical behavior of United States employers toward Mexican employees has proven to be abysmal...

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