I found a very interesting article in today’s Christian Science Monitor.  It details illegal immigration.  But it’s not about Mexicans entering the United States, which you see all over CNN and Wolf Blitzer.  Rather, the story depicts the tale long before the U.S. border is in sight.  According to the National Migration Institute, “the number of Central Americans caught attempting to get into Mexico rose to 240,200 in 2005 from 138,000 in 2002…but [the number] is
expected to rise sharply to 205,000 this year”.
In an effort to prevent this trend, backed by the U.S., Mexico is set to increase its security measures along its southern border between Chiapas and Guatemala.  What is disappointing about this announcement is that the focus is clearly shifting from improving its legal and actual treatment of illegal migrants from Central America to creating a more U.S. style fortress.  This is not the way of progress; in fact, this is reversing the Mexican Government’s attempt to improve the quality of holding facilities and detention centers  and lessening the harshness of immigration laws that call for two years minimum of prison time to a lesser infraction.

Most of all, the Mexican Government should focus on not the symptoms of illegal immigration into the country, but rather the root causes of the phenomenon: illicit drug trade, gangs, official corruption, and general lawlessness that has plagued Chiapas state for sometime.  The energy placed into evaluating the security of the southern border could easily be applied to better addressing these insecurities.  Perhaps the United States should also be rethinking their immigration policy as well.  But, like in Mexico, people will find a way in – probably not in a safe way.  It is a government’s job to ensure that human rights and human lives are upheld.  I think that important point is very rarely articulated in mainstream media today.

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