The Mexican U.S. Connection

Mexico and the United States have been close together, at the same time
being so far apart. Mexico and the U.S. have maintained a healthy neighbor to
neighbor relationship over the centuries. There have been disputes of course,
but for the most part we are working together. When striving to maintain a
healthy relationship between neighboring countries, certain problems arise.
When the countries don\'t have the same standard of living, people might try and
migrate illegally to the better country. When one country has more illegal
drugs than the other, people might try smuggling the drugs. Also, trade between
the countries is always a factor in keeping a healthy connection.
The first issue to deal with is illegal immigration. Doris Meissner,
Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner, announced the INS would
pump 185 more agents and an array of equipment, including two new helicopters,
seven more infrared scopes, eight miles of fencing and 172 additional sensors to
detect and deter illegal immigration traffic along a 16-mile stretch between
Otay Mountain and the Tecate Port of Entry. The area has been inundated by
immigrant smugglers who have been forced east because of increased Border Patrol
activity along the 14-mile corridor from the Pacific Ocean and Imperial Beach to
Otay Mesa. The effort, known as Operation Gatekeeper, was launched in October
Meissner said the latest effort, an extension of Operation Gatekeeper,
would add five Border Patrol agents on horseback to patrol the back country and
three dog teams to be assigned to checkpoints along rural roads. Meissner also
announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would join the operation to
break up illegal smuggling rings at the border. She said the Border Patrol
would step up the use of checkpoints in the Temecula area, where smugglers
usually end up trying to evade the Border Patrol checkpoint. In March, a van
carrying illegal immigrants overturned near there as its driver tried to avoid
agents; eight illegal immigrants were killed and 18 others injured. In Los
Angeles, an alleged smuggler of illegal immigrants who police say was at the
wheel of a pickup truck during a chase in April which ended with the televised
police beatings of two undocumented aliens from Mexico, pleaded not guilty to
federal charges of transporting illegal immigrants.
Rigoberto Sosa-Padilla, 37, was arrested on May 3 while allegedly
transporting 19 illegal immigrants. The beating and chase occurred April 1 when
a truck allegedly driven by Sosa-Padillo and carrying more than 20 aliens led
police on a 80-mile chase from Temecula to Los Angeles. Helicopter news footage
showed sheriff\'s deputies beating two of the aliens, including a woman, with
nightsticks. The deputies have been suspended and the two Mexican citizens have
filed multi-million dollar lawsuits against the authorities Involved.
Next, when there is a definite powerhouse between the two, everything
that happens within the powerhouse, and to the powerhouse, the sick dog on the
floor is affected. "The US election may yet have an effect on Mexico: the
better the protectionist Ross Perot does in the campaign the greater the danger
that Mexico will become an issue. The best solution for Mexico would, clearly,
be a victory for President Clinton. His policies have become pragmatic rather
than doctrinaire: this attitude was demonstrated by the Helms-Burton Act: the
President pulled back from implementing it though he keeps hinting that he might
implement the Act\'s strongest provisions after the elections."
The second is the expected rise in US interest rates. Most economists
are factoring in a half point rise in US interest rates either before, or more
likely, immediately after the US elections on November 5th. It is not yet clear
whether the Mexican stockmarket has discounted an increase in US rates. Higher
US rates are likely to lead to diminished flows of cash to the Mexican market.
Also, drug trafficking is a drastic problem that is battled daily. Juan
Garcia Abrego, recently added to the FBI\'s top 10 most wanted list, who
according to FBI reports, is charged with 131 counts of drug trafficking and
related crimes, is also wanted in connection with more than 70 murders. The
drug kingpin\'s wealth is estimated between 200-million and 13-billion dollars in
property and investments. Mr. Abrego is accused of heading up a huge drug
trafficking operation out of northeastern Mexico, and spending millions of
dollars to bribe Mexican officials under former president Carlos Salinas de
Gortari. The cartel smuggles an estimated 20 tons of Colombian cocaine into the
United States each month.
As was mentioned before, trade between the two countries can become a
huge link-as well as a huge barrier.