The other thing Chancellor Merkel said in Mexico
We've been reading a lot about Chancellor Merkel's trip to Mexico. However, are we hearing everything that she said? This is from her remarks:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her visit Saturday to Mexico spoke out against building walls, saying the construction of physical borders won't fix problems with immigration.
"Obviously the main reason for people leaving must be addressed on site first, which means putting up walls and cutting oneself off will not solve the problem," Merkel said, speaking in Mexico City.
"It's an issue you can study well in the history of China with the (Great) Wall of China, you can study it in the history of the Roman Empire. Essentially, only when great empires have managed to forge sensible relationships with their neighbors and to manage migration has it been a success."
The main reason for people leaving must be addressed? Did you hear anything about that in the news coverage? I didn't until I actually read her remarks in total.
Not long ago, Mexicans would always talk to me about people going north in the context that Mexico was failing its people. I had a Mexican friend say it was the shameful reality of corruption and bad policies, like the agrarian policies that have driven so many young men north to work as roofers rather than stay home at the family ranch. Another Mexican said that "no hay nada bueno" (there is nothing good) about the fact that so many had to go north to look for a better life. Another said it is incredible that a country so rich in resources cannot take care of its own better.
Unfortunately, the Democrats' embrace of illegal immigration and sanctuary cities has us talking about U.S. immigration policies rather than those issues that drive people north. We are letting the Mexican political class get away with simply saying "Trump" rather than dealing with structural issues that make the country unattractive to the young.
Jens Manuel Krogstad wrote a very interesting analysis recently about Mexicans and the US:
In 2015, 33% of Mexican adults said life in the U.S. is neither better nor worse than life in Mexico, up from 23% who said this in 2007.
Still, about half of Mexican adults believe life is better in the U.S. and 35% of Mexicans said they would move to the U.S. if they had the opportunity and means to do so, similar shares as in 2009.
As Mrs. Merkel said, let's address the reasons they are leaving first. Again, the Democrats have made it easy for Mexico's political class to skip that and blame everything on the wall, or intolerance, or whatever else is going around.