U.S.-Mexico ties

Dear Editor:Kudos to The Downey Patriot for featuring the 2-part series by Tina Vasquez about the major issue of U.S. immigration policy, and providing a forum for discussion. Ms. Vasquez wrote in detail about her personal experiences in visiting Alabama, and how the immigration issue is being played out there with the state bill HB 56. She offered readers much to think about. I would like to add one observation in response to her ending question, "What would you do for your children if your country of origin provided little in the way of economic stability?" U.S. policies and practices have been a major factor in the economic destabilization of Mexico. One of the most egregious examples is right here in our own backyard - the amount of Colorado River water that has been diverted for U.S. agriculture and cities (including golf courses). Since we started building dams and diverting water on the U.S. side of the border, almost nothing is left for the 2-million-acre delta in Mexico that is on the Sea of Cortez. This used to be a rich area of marshland with wild game and huge fisheries. As the water disappeared, many small communities disappeared; people could no longer provide for their families. Can we blame them if they came to the United States? Our hoarding of Colorado River water is only one example of the U.S. impact on the economic situation in Mexico. A more obvious factor, of course, is this country's heavy drug use. Because our country has contributed significantly to Mexico's economic problems, we have a moral obligation to try and resolve the problems in a humane way. I cannot comment on Alabama life and politics, but I can speak about the southwest - so many of our cities and streets have Spanish names because this area used to be part of Mexico. Mexico is part of our heritage. Thank you, Ms. Vasquez, for your thoughtful observations and reflections, and thank you, Downey Patriot for giving your readers the opportunity to comment. On a personal note - it is a privilege to live amid the international diversity of a state like California. My life is richer for it. --Carol Kearns, Downey

********** Published: March 29, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 50