The downfall of the Immigration Bill provides a brief respite from the contentiousness of the various advocacy groups. On the one side are the immigrant rights groups that promote a continuation of an open border policy. On the other side are the culturalists who fear the impact of Spanish speaking, low paid, cash only workers on American culture. These arguments have really not demonstrated any impact on this particular debate.
What really needs to be done is to focus on what it is we want accomplished regarding migration from Mexico, define the character and extent of it, and than establish the means to address it. Being a New Mexican, I should say that the wall concept is not a scenario that has any chance at all in accomplishing its purpose. If drugs can be smuggled across the border, what are the chances that people can be stopped from sneaking across. There was a wall put up when I lived down in southern New Mexico. Nada. We're still where we are.
So then, what is it that we really are trying to do? Are we merely upholding a white Anglo-Saxon heritage against an onslaught of barbarians like the Roman Empire? Or, are there real impacts that this shift in population and population density has had that have gone unaddressed at the national level for decades?
As a veteran water planner in the South West for 10 years, even as a volunteer, I have to say that significant shifts in population, whether from birth or migration, have significant impacts on resource planning, urban growth and economic development. In the Albuquerque region we had a sharp spike in population when Intel opened its production facility in Rio Rancho. In fact, Rio Rancho is now the second largest city in New Mexico as a result of this influx from other parts of the US. The impact on the groundwater as a result of Intel water withdrawals and as a result of the increase in population has complicated the process of regional water planning in the Middle Rio Grande. There is only so much water to go around, and when it is supplied by underground aquifers it takes significantly longer to replace once it is used.
Looking at other areas of the country, and we will find that increased migration has a profound impact on the public infrastructure as well. If we fail to address the additional costs to public health, public education, municipal services, public housing, income support, and include the lack of Social Security or Income tax contributions by day laborers to the impact on the inflow of revenues, we are simply distorting the picture to promote a particular pre-defined agenda.
Deporting the migrants or keeping them out are exercises in futility. Neither are they solutions that deal with the deterioration of the public infrastructure and the lack of investment in their upgrading. See just one aspect of this in a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers in their report card entitled: AMERICA'S CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE ERODING QUALITY OF LIFE.