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Year-round Illegals 

Wanna secure the border? Here's what happens.

Memo to Sue Myrick from Rodolfo de la Garza, professor and immigration expert at Columbia University in New York: "You're not going to stop immigration because the incentives to come are all here."

Of course, de la Garza, being the expert, gives a solution that is not going to happen. "What you can do is reduce those incentives by getting the Mexican state to address the issues that exacerbate the reasons why Mexicans leave. But the Mexican state isn't doing that," says de la Garza, washing his hands like Pontius Pilate.

Of course the Mexican state isn't doing that. What can the Mexican state do? Even if they tell people -- as good ol' Vicente Fox, our bright president does -- that poverty has decreased "significantly" in the last four years, it's not going to stop people from risking their lives for the chance of a better future.

The latest report from the Pew Hispanic Center states that there are 9 million illegal immigrants in this country. But usually in the winter months about 250,000 of them go back home, most of them to Mexico, because there's no work on some US farms during this time of year. Now, however, another facet of increased border security has shown up: illegals are afraid to leave.

Fortunately, in North Carolina there's work year-round for the croppers thanks to the construction and food industries (take a hint, Ms. Myrick, go after McDonald's and we'll see how well you fare against the burger moguls). And there aren't really that many illegals here, so fear of leaving is nothing to worry about locally. But in some small towns in Southern California, people who used to work for seven or eight months, then go back to Mexico for the winter are now staying, because coming back has become more complicated and expensive.

Do you think the migra boys are going to catch those illegals? No, because they are spread out wide across rural areas, and they're staying home trying to save money in order to survive the harsh, workless months, buying basic goods such as rice, beans and toilet paper. Besides, the migra is too busy securing the border.

Of course, since these immigrants don't have much to do in their off time, they will engage in basic human forms of pleasure and survival, such as sex, which means some of them will eventually reproduce. Then you'll have an overcrowding of health clinics during a time when clinics are already filled with people suffering from the flu and other seasonal diseases, After all, illegals don't know how to take care of themselves, right?

And why should we, or Sue Myrick, care about something that's going on 3,000 miles away from us? We're fine here on the other side of the country. Just hope the year-rounders don't find out there's work here all the time. What? They already found out? Almost a third of the illegals in NC were established in California before they got here.

Sorry Ms. Myrick, but the border's closed and these people need work. What is your simple solution to that?

Hernan Mena, a native of Mexico, is associate editor of the regional Hispanic weekly newspaper, Que Pasa.

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