The article is dripping in sentimental notions of the immigrant experience. They lead you off with a story from a school. Everyone loves kids.
“What does independent mean?” she asked at the end of the passage. “Alone?” one student responded. “Free?” another said.“As you know, a lot of people come to the United States from other countries,” she continued, referring to the early English colonists. “Do you know why?”“Los van a matar"(they will be killed), a girl with a ponytail said. “People come from Mexico because there’s no jobs,” another student said. Suddenly, everyone was engaged and shouting — “To be safe!” “In Mexico, they steal your organs and sell them!” — until a petite girl near the front quietly added: “They want a better life.”
Mexico's unemployment is 4.8 percent. These kids mouth the same platitudes that liberals give with the touching final statement being about a better life, what a coincidence. The Times is already priming their readers to think that gosh, even these little kids can see the simple yearning to be free and safe that is causing this flow of immigration. Any in depth reporting on Mexico? No. Moving on.
These immigrants want to set up roots. Border patrol has become tougher though, starting after 9/11 because damn the USG for caring about the border at all after terrorists attacked the nation and the border is a giant weak spot. These immigrants are not migrants though, they care and are setting up shop.
Fewer Laredoans now go south to visit friends or shop, while more from Mexico land here, staying longer instead of just visiting or moving on. Some are desperate and willing to accept lower wages. Others push their children into public schools, setting them up with distant relatives who sometimes apply for food stamps if the children were born on the American side of the border, leading to complaints that Mexican families are more interested in benefits than work.
People have a kid on our side of the border, which makes the kid a citizen. They then set their kid up with distant relatives (wait, the environmental effects must be awful), and sometimes apply for food stamps. Worst of all, people notice this and complain about the easy to see abuse of our immigration and welfare system. Why did you notice racist? Interesting thing throughout the article is the stressing of permanent roots and settling down and permanency. The Times wants to signal to people that there is no changing this situation. Just as easy as a dumb law can "make" a person a citizen by birthplace despite obvious predilections towards Mexico and abusing a system of handouts, a law can be made to remove said persons. This is incredibly comical in an article that mentions Laredo's near 30% foreign born population. They came here, they can be shown the door.
The article pays scant attention to the cartels that use Laredo as a huge point of entry, with the Nuevo Laredo (Mexico/Laredo (USA) river crossing as a main bottleneck.
But along with the legitimate trade — Laredo is the busiest commercial port of entry on the border, processing $98.5 billion in imports last year — comes whatever else the country desires or demands. Late at night, residents near the river often wake up to helicopters and squealing tires as drug smugglers try to outrun the American authorities. Immigrants, meanwhile, have come across in a variety of ways.Some have border-crossing cards that let them travel about 25 miles into the United States for up to 72 hours. Others were born in the United States, but stayed in Nuevo Laredo until the violence exploded about four years ago as the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, rival drug traffickers, fought for territory. An unknown number have also come north as tourists or slipped across illegally.
Laredo has a ton of border incidents involving the cartels. Laredo has been trying to overcome a horrible reputation from the drug war. They have elevated crime numbers, and this is on the safer side of the Nuevo Laredo-Laredo duo. Attempting to close a business deal, my Texas coworkers demanded that any meetings be morning and lunch meetings because they refused to be in Laredo after dark. The Times article treats the police measures to protect the border and to respond to violence as obstacles and insurmountable. It is as if the need for a blended border town comes first ahead of beheaded citizens and Mexicans.
The numbers the Times cites are horrifying when viewed without the friendly school children (most who ARE citizens), the Mexican who gave his kids Anglo names and the happy civic festivities. The school is 99.9% Hispanic and 99.3% economically disadvantaged (poor?). The population doubled from 1990 to 2012. The city is 30% foreign born. It is wrong to notice the immigrants using welfare. It is wrong to question why the spigot is always turned on. It is wrong to yell "Go back to your own country" to opposing football teams because hey, their families came here 13 years earlier and had an anchor baby; they are AMERICAN! It is wrong to question if a city that is 30% foreign born could be seen as American. Expect this same digging for any positives and framing with children, when they get to Somalis living in Minnesota volunteering for jihad "back home".
If the Times has been harping on income inequality, the declining wealth of the middle class and working man, and the opportunities for minorities, why have these immigrants poured in from Mexico so much in the last 20 years? What is so horrific in Mexico that they are fleeing to live in a hellhole like Laredo that the Zetas used for their US entry point? Why would the Mexicans pile into an area to live at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder? Does Carlos Slim's 8%, soon to be 17%, share of the Times mean that reporting and investigating cannot be done? Stock prices are set at the margin, and I guess we know how the Sulzbergers feel. This series is about how immigration is changing America, conveniently hiding even 1980s America and avoiding mentioning how America already has changed. Since reporting will never be done on the real problems in Mexico these people are running from, how about we frame the idea of cities like Laredo in an entirely different way that is more fair to the reality of the situation. Running from a third world country, avoiding a war between competing factions, living on the