An Illegal Immigration Perspective

Cartoonist Daryl Cagle took a lot of heat for this image of the Mexican Flag. Here is a clip from from yesterday's post on his weblog:
I’ve had a crazy week since I drew a cartoon of the Mexican flag, with the eagle shot dead by a stream of machine gun bullets. The cartoon illustrates the terrible violence in Mexico. Since President Felipe Calderón announced his war on the drug cartels, over 28,000 people have been killed in a civil war that shows no sign of easing. I got a spirited, angry reaction on my blog and in e-mails from Mexican readers who objected to my “desecration of the sacred Mexican flag.”

My cartoon appeared at the same time as Calderón‘s state of the union address to Mexico’s Congress in which Calderón claimed to be making progress in the worsening drug war. Mexico’s conservative, national newspaper Reforma, and other papers in their chain, published my cartoon at the top of their front pages. The convenient timing of my cartoon “scandal” was an opportunity for Reforma to make an effective front page dig at Calderón, and soon the cartoon was picked up by almost all of the other Mexican newspapers.
In light of all of the issues around illegal immigration I thought that it my be interesting to discuss something happening on the other side of the border. I sometimes wonder if the real issues around illegal immigration has more to do with Mexico than it does the United States. I am pretty sure that, if I lived in Mexico, I would be wanting to live somewhere else. And the contrast between our government and theirs.. the level of corruption there and here.. gives significant explanation for the one-way immigration phenomena.


  1. That is 6 times the number of Coalition deaths in Iraq in half the time. It seems that would qualify many citizens for asylum. I know that even before this, many areas in Mexico were just as dangerous. A lot of my friends growing up were born here while their parents had fled to the US, intending it to be temporary, but never returned because there was no improvement in safety.

  2. I don't know a lot about the violence in Mexico. But, the problem with a "war on drugs" seems to be pretty simple to me. The more the government wages this war, the higher the price of drugs, the better funded the drug cartels are and the more corruption you have because they have oodles of money. Combine this with a government that is largely ineffective and you end up with a drug cartel with greater resources (and maybe resolve) than the government has.

    The way to fight the war on drugs, is to dry up demand with education and drug treatment programs. The way it's being fought now only increases the profit motive and the criminal element.


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