Arizona

Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Immigrants

The politics of nativism in the Grand Canyon State

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State Out of the Union: Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream, by Jeff Biggers, Nation Books, 304 pages, $25.99

At the core of Jeff Biggers' State Out of the Union is a genuinely interesting investigation into the stark—sometimes stark, raving mad—nativism that has driven Arizona politics recently. Unfortunately, this account is buried under a pile of grievances and political talking points, so the incomplete and tantalizing outlines of that could-have-been book are discernible only after you've dug through the debris. The effort is worthwhile for the very patient reader, since Biggers does yeoman's work in tying together the threads of bigotry and opportunism that have placed Arizona at the forefront of America's current spasm of anti-immigrant fervor.

Biggers, a former staffer for Sen. George McGovern (D–S.D.), is an award-winning author of books on coal, Appalachia, and Mexico's Sierra Madre region. He is also a prolific Huffington Post blogger who combines an obviously sincere interest in immigration and other topics with an inability to resist grinding his ideological axes. State Out of the Union, subtitled Arizona and the Final Showdown Over the American Dream, offers a similar combination, alternating incomplete treatments of extraneous and hardly unique-to-Arizona matters such as gun rights, the Sagebrush Rebellion, and the 10th Amendment with the history of immigration issues in the state and the harsh policies of recent years.

Biggers is at his best when he lets Arizona's crazy cast of characters speak through their own words and actions. Gov. Jan Brewer asserted in June 2010 that "the majority of illegal trespassers" from Mexico are transporting drugs. Former state Senate President Russell Pearce—the father of S.B. 1070, Arizona's controversial anti-immigrant law—claimed in September 2010 that "there's been 300 to 500 beheadings and dismemberments along that border." Then there was the bogus charge, parroted nationally starting around 2009 by conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, that Phoenix had become an international kidnapping capital. Biggers ably refutes these canards with statements from bewildered border sheriffs and police officials who point out that Arizona's crime rate, far from surging on a wave of predatory illegal immigrants, has been dropping for years.

Little commentary is needed when it comes to Russell Pearce. The Mesa Republican was elected to the state Senate in 2008 after he was caught plagiarizing material from the white-supremacist National Alliance for a political email message and after he endorsed neo-Nazi J.T. Ready's unsuccessful 2006 run for Mesa City Council. Last May, Ready murdered his girlfriend and her family before killing himself.

Biggers capably documents the extent to which nativism permeates Arizona politics and molds its political leaders. With the exception of Pearce, all of the major names associated with Arizona's immigration follies converted to the cause out of political convenience. Brewer, who assumed the office of governor when predecessor Janet Napolitano resigned to take over the federal Department of Homeland Security, reinvigorated her sagging 2010 election campaign by signing S.B. 1070. And while Joe Arpaio is closely associated in most people's minds with the controversial law, he didn't embrace immigration enforcement until almost a decade and a half into his reign as sheriff of Maricopa County, after voters showed signs of tiring of his prisoner abuse and similar lawsuit-magnet antics. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu discovered an interest in immigration issues after moving to Arizona to reinvent himself in the wake of a failed political career in Massachusetts. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the "maverick" one-time media darling, performed a head-spinning 180-degree turn on immigration when it became clear that his support for relatively lenient policies threatened his political viability.

One of Biggers' more distracting obsessions is the charge that "carpetbaggers" dominate the political forces behind S.B. 1070 and the anti-immigrant movement. It's true that Brewer, Arpaio, Babeu, and McCain are transplants to Arizona (although Pearce is a native). But so are almost two-thirds of the state's residents. Some of Biggers' good guys, including Parraz, also have out-of-state roots. (Biggers never points out the irony of migrants to Arizona playing such a militant role in opposing immigration.)

Biggers really wants to find sinister business interests at the roots of the anti-immigrant movement, asking, "What were the underlying corporate interests behind Arizona's anti-immigration and radical Tea Party agenda?" This question comes after he details Mexican Americans' suffering not just at the hands of mining companies, which paid immigrants less than American-born workers, but also at the hands of labor unions, which refused membership to, and lobbied against, immigrants. Biggers credibly suggests that the Corrections Corporation of America, which denies an NPR report that that it had a hand in drafting model immigration legislation similar to S.B. 1070, benefits from the law because it provides additional inmates for the company's jails and prisons, but he also describes Pearce raging at the business community for putting "profits over patriots" by spurning his crusade to seal the border.

Perhaps Biggers' weirdest digression is the ink he spills on the often appalling crimes of men named Pearce, Romney, Udall, and Flake—not the modern-day politicians but their 19th-century ancestors. While an interesting slice of Americana, these stories are irrelevant to modern policy arguments, unless you believe the sins of the father should be laid upon the children.

The immigration fight currently raging in Arizona, as brutal and bigoted as it is, is not about the "Arizonification" of America. Rather, S.B. 1070 and all the unpleasantness that goes with it are about the Americanization of Arizona. As Biggers notes, Arizona's harsh policy was preceded by California's brutal treatment of Chinese immigrants in the late 19th century, among other nativist surges around the U.S. He also points out that the Obama administration "deported a record number of immigrants—more than his Republican predecessor—and ramped up Border Patrol and border security funds to unprecedented levels." Ultimately, despite himself, Biggers reveals that the dark forces at work to close the border and vilify immigrants include a large cross-section of the population, not just in Arizona but across the country.

And not just across the country but around the world. Nativist spasms in crisis-racked Greece, Italy, and France show that demonization and exclusion of the Other are the all-too-common results when different people come into contact, especially when they're subject to economic stresses. Biggers' "final showdown" is more likely a continuing struggle.

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  1. Just as soon as we ban guns, corporations, and Republicans, opposition to illegal immigration will subside, and paradise shall commence.

    /Chuck Schumer.

    1. Seriuosly. I mean we haven’t seen an increase an crime or a lowering of the standards of government services since Obama opened the border have we?

      1. Well, like, DUH, bruh. When Bushpig was deporting people, it was ’cause he was a granny-hating racist neo-Nazi, but Hussein I is preeminently wise and judicious. He must have real cause to deport those silly immigrants, unlike that sinister neo-Confederate, Bush. I BET HE HAS A PORTRAIT OF ROBERT E. LEE IN HIS STUDY HAHAHAHHAHAAHAA.

        Time to bend over again — Hussein I’s campaign needs more donations to defeat the Nazis.

        /Mother Jones.

  2. Thanks for starting the day with a review of a book I’d never read instead of a nut-punch, two chiles. I’ll remember that when I’m distributing punishments to all of mankind. Yours will be slightly less intensely painful, and I may knock a few centuries off of the duration.

    Really though, you guys usually review books I’d never read based on their most likely being polemics and the idiocy/ideology of their authors. And while this one has that, I would also never read it because it’s kind of niche to Arizonans.

    Still, I guess I’m a terrible Libertarian/libertarian because I don’t favor open borders until after government provided services are terminated (instead of the other way ’round, which most seem to favor).

    1. I don’t have a preferred order. I’m just for them both in general.

      1. I guess that’s the thing, I think there can only be one order (end services, open borders). I think opening borders first prohibits the ending of services.

        1. The problem is that anti-drug forces could just as easily hide behind the welfare state to enable their preferred policy.

          “Well, naturally I’d favor letting people do as they please,” they’d say. “But until we get rid of the welfare state, we can’t do that. As long as there’s a welfare state, you and I have to pay for people who do drugs and then go on food stamps.”

          And you could go down the line with all sorts of nanny state stuff that’s tangentially related to public health, because of Medicaid, a welfare state program.

          So exactly how much liberty are we prepared to sacrifice to “compensate” for the welfare state?

          1. Besides which, if you’re waiting for the end of services you’ll be waiting a LONG time. I don’t think closed borders are a good thing for us in the long term.

            1. The US has over a million legal immigrants becoming citizens each year, that is hardly closed borders.

              1. The position I was referring to is a preference for closed borders.

              2. says you?

                and DHS says that the change in LPR (Legal Permanent Resident) size has only grown by 620k from 2009-2011.

                So I’m not sure where your million/yr figure derives from.

                    1. “”‘In 2011, a total of 1,062,040 persons became Legal Permanent Residents of the United States “”‘

                      http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/as…..r_2011.pdf

                    2. As to citizens it was over a million new citizens in 2008 but has since dropped to 600,000 in 2010 due to the economy.

                      http://www.migrationinformatio…..oric-2.xls

                1. says you?

                  1. Dammit, it ate my comment.

                    says you?

                    Says Whiterun Guard.

                    I don’t favor open borders until after government provided services are terminated

                    I don’t imagine he means no immigration at all, but I’d certainly call the opposite of open borders to be closing our borders to more immigration. I’m ok with fixing our immigration system before our welfare system (or vice-verse, I’m not picky), and he is not.

          2. True, but slightly apples and oranges. Open borders (whether legitimately or not) increases both the burden on services AND the mechanisms for keeping those services in place (i.e. votes). So no one is going to immigrate here for the economic mobility AND the free stuff, and then just all of a sudden decide to limit free stuff. They’ll perpetuate, entrench and likely expand the free stuff environment.

            I mean it’s sort of a moot point since neither is ever going to happen until the country collapses, but still, taking for granted the way things exist right now, I think it’s impossible to have both things unless they come in the order I described.

            1. What about the people born here who want free stuff? Do we get to throw them out as well?

              1. “What about the people born here who want free stuff? Do we get to throw them out as well?”

                I would rather kick them out FIRST. The guy who mows my lawn or who picks my tomatos can stay – he actually does something productive and I don’t give a damn what his status is with the INS.

              2. No, if we stop the free stuff, then they can stay.

                1. WG,

                  I wholeheartedly support ending the welfare state – but those who are here illegally are actually LESS likely to be using such services than people of the same income level who were born here.

            2. The problem is that I don’t find the “these are people who will vote for free stuff, forever” argument intellectually respectable.

              There is pretty much nothing that can be said about Mexican immigrants today that couldn’t also have been said about Irish or Italian immigrants a century ago. But if you look at the demographic voting patterns out there right now, pretty much the only reason Romney’s competitive is his high numbers among those Catholic blocs.

              It’s difficult to know if Hispanics are supporting Democrats in droves for the free stuff angle, or because they perceive, rightly, that significant numbers of GOP voters plain old hate spics.

              And if the “free stuff” angle is the real reason, why do we limit immigration from Korea or China?

              1. So Romney plans to end the free stuff? It doesn’t matter which team they vote for (or support, even without voting), they are voting for a continuation of spending.

                I’m in no way saying the reason we supposedly limit immigration right now is because of ‘free stuff’. We limit immigration as a pander to people that are against immigration, and to support the INS work program. Obviously no one in power cares if we go bankrupt, so it’s not about the mentality of immigrants.

                My point is that, theoretically, opening the borders now would effectively prohibit any reduction in government spending in the future. I mean are there a bunch of small government libertarians somewhere chomping at the bit to get into America, if only it weren’t for the draconian immigration laws?

                1. So Romney plans to end the free stuff?

                  Not what he said. He said they’re not going to automatically vote for guy perceived as giving free stuff just because they’re poor.

                  It doesn’t matter which team they vote for (or support, even without voting), they are voting for a continuation of spending.

                  Unless you get them to vote libertarian. We’re trying to get people to do that period. That they’re maybe children of illegal immigrants doesn’t change that angle.

                2. My point is that, theoretically, opening the borders now would effectively prohibit any reduction in government spending in the future.

                  Where’s the evidence for that theory? I can make a theory too. In my theory, opening the borders would take away Democratic support since the primary reason the hispanic bloc votes Democrat is because of immigration (I really believe this by the way, I’m not just being contentious). But without strong evidence for these theories, they’re not worth very much.

                  I mean are there a bunch of small government libertarians somewhere chomping at the bit to get into America, if only it weren’t for the draconian immigration laws?

                  Are there a bunch of socialists somewhere chomping at the bit to get into America and get on welfare, if only it weren’t for those draconian immigration laws?

                  No and no to both your question and mine. They’re just people trying to make a living. I don’t think they inherently lean toward the the Democrats or libertarians, but I DO think they lean more economically conservative. The pressure of the immigration issue is the main thing pushing them toward the Dems. They’re not going to automatically support more welfare if they’re able to make some money.

                  1. Are there a bunch of socialists somewhere chomping at the bit to get into America and get on welfare, if only it weren’t for those draconian immigration laws?

                    Judging by the half million demonstrators who shut down LA a few years ago and the student protesters they trot out every time the DREAM Act comes up for a vote, I’m inclined to say “yes”. Aside from the fact that less discernible English is spoken, those demonstrations are little distinguishable from an Occutard rally – complete with the World Worker’s Party sponsorship. If you bother listening to the stated objectives of these immigration organizations and activists, it’s not all about hard working dirt farmers just wanting a chance to live in a dirt floor hut and pick your vegetables for half of minimum wage. That narrative is as much a canard as the racist conspiracy theories you ascribe to the right. If you think that a free education, free school breakfast and lunch program, COBRA, SCHIP, WIC and the patchwork of state programs all available to illegal immigrants coming from third world poverty aren’t a draw, you’re delusional.

                    IMO, Whiterun (and Ron Paul, who has stated similar beliefs) are right. You cannot open the borders to a welfare state and preserve the state. That’s why the European social democracies are so closed off to newcomers. You can have one or the other, but not both.

                    1. Judging by the half million demonstrators who shut down LA a few years ago and the student protesters they trot out every time the DREAM Act comes up for a vote, I’m inclined to say “yes”.

                      Since when is immigration reform socialism?

                      Aside from the fact that less discernible English is spoken, those demonstrations are little distinguishable from an Occutard rally – complete with the World Worker’s Party sponsorship.

                      Yeah, because it’s a demonstration dominated by the only party in favor of immigration reform: the Democrats. Not because hispanics have some natural affinity for the socialist state.

                      That’s why the European social democracies are so closed off to newcomers.

                      And how’s that working out for them?

                    2. I wonder what “immigration reform” really means in the minds of those Democrats that actually do the thinking for their followers.

              2. There is pretty much nothing that can be said about Mexican immigrants today that couldn’t also have been said about Irish or Italian immigrants a century ago.

                Except all of the stuff related to the welfare state, since it didn’t exist at the time.

            3. Open borders (whether legitimately or not) increases both the burden on services AND the mechanisms for keeping those services in place

              It also increases tax revenues. Some studies I’ve seen on immigrants have found they pay more in taxes than they take in benefits, even the illegal ones.

        2. I guess that’s the thing, I think there can only be one order (end services, open borders). I think opening borders first prohibits the ending of services.

          Not only do we now have an ever increasing welfare state, but we’re stuck with an economy with almost no real growth, contracting real wages, and the lowest percentage of the population working and paying taxes we’ve had in decades. Sorry amigos, but the golden goose is pretty tapped out right now.

          1. Which is why a lot fewer are coming now. It is not a mindless horde trying to cross the border. It is mostly people moving to where there is work for them. When the economy slows, so does immigration.

    2. Same as me, and I can’t bring myself to identify as a libertarian anyway.

      1. I self-identify as libertarian, and I am definitely a Libertarian (although I haven’t voted since 2000 – for Boooosh, because I hated Gore on a personal level).

        Being a libertarian sucks, but being a Libertarian rules, because every so often you get the pathetic little mailers from local and state Libs running for something. And they’re so sad they’re funny. It’s great.

        1. I’m sure we’ve got those elections all wrapped up this year. Yessir, this is our year alright.

        2. I think the Johnson campaign gave my address to all the LP mailing lists. Now I also get those sad little mailers.

        3. There’s a Libertarian running aorund here (Montgomery County, MD–I can’t believe he made it on the ballot!). He has no chance though I’ll still vote for him. His signs’ tag-line is “Less We Can.” I love it.

          1. There’s a Libertarian candidate in my state (Indiana) who seems to be doing alright for a Libertarian.

            He’s getting some debate time, and he’s at least around 7% in the polls. I’m not sure how that compares to Libertarian showings, or 3rd party showing in general.

    3. You know who else distributed punishments to all mankind?

      1. Barack Obama?

      2. Mankind itself?

        1. Damn you, you realist!

      3. Uwe Boll?

      4. STEVE SMITH

    4. A nice interim solution would be to let anyone in who has a job and don’t give them welfare if they later try to sign up for it.

  3. So how is Arizona out of the Union when all it did was pass laws which enforces the laws of the Union, that is the United States?

  4. Arizonans feel under seige — not by people who mow their lawns, but by border violence — because of incidents like this: http://www.azcentral.com/news/…..ranch.html

    And yet even Reason conflates Arizonans’ desire to do something to protect themselves with “nativism”, and their desire to protect themselves and their property from with “closed borders”.

    Arizona’s population is about 1/3 Hispanic.

    Whether or not Arizona’s sometimes desperate or rash efforts to protect their state from a crime wave are the right ones or the best ones, what I see here is pretty much just Godwinning the whole state of Arizona. That strikes me as ridiculous, and if anything, it makes me want to come to their defense when I wouldn’t otherwise. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    The Drug War is to blame for nearly all of the violence at the border. But Arizona has no power to end that, either.

    1. “from with” should just be “with”

    2. So why didn’t we close our border with Canada during Prohibition? The Maritimes were a bootlegger’s paradise.

      Was 20’s and 30’s Gangland violence all that different from Drug War violence today?

      1. The elites in New York and DC wanted liquor, and often profited from the trade.

        That said, your post doesn’t have much to do with what I wrote.

        And we ended Prohibition. If we end the Drug War, and the related border violence ceases, I’d bet 5:1 that Arizona will quickly lose its appetite for border enforcement.

        1. “If we end the Drug War, and the related border violence ceases, I’d bet 5:1 that Arizona will quickly lose its appetite for border enforcement.”

          Doubtful. Having lived in AZ and coming from a conservative family I can tell you that much of the hysteria comes from the idea that somewhere out there someone is breaking teh law. It’s the people who scream,” WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND!?” that push for increased laws and enforcement. Violence on the border is largely a red herring.

          1. Be careful about projecting your family’s attitudes on an entire state.

            There’s a lot of what you describe in Arizona, to be sure. There’s a lot of it in San Francisco, too. It just takes on a different guise.

            That’s how the Federal government gets away with doing what it does.

    3. Crime wave? Crime peaked in Arizona back in the mid 90s.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Arizona

      1. South Tucson remains comparable to Camden, NJ.

        As you know, much AZ is not near the border.

  5. The basic problem I have with all the high minded condemnation of Arizona that I have read is that everything about the Arizona laws that I have read indicates to me that they closely match the Federal laws on immigration.

    Now, I am not going to say that the Federal Laws don’t need to be changed; they do. But the ‘it’s just MEAN of a state to enforce laws that are on the books on the Federal level’ attitude grates on my nerves. Law enforced on the whim of the State is bad law. It seems to me, from reading the debates on this, that the ‘pro’-immigration side is largely for not enforcing the laws that exist … and vaguely in favor of changing the laws at some misty time in the future. This gives me a very poor notion of their morals and ethics.

    The Anti (illegal) immigrant forces may be bigots, but it is the ‘pro’-immigration forces that are scofflaws, and who apparently wish to trap large numbers of non-white people in a legal limbo in which they can be exploited.

    1. “The Anti (illegal) immigrant forces may be bigots, but it is the ‘pro’-immigration forces that are scofflaws, and who apparently wish to trap large numbers of non-white people in a legal limbo in which they can be exploited.”

      Exactly. That is an important point that Reason seldom, if ever, seems to mention. It’s easier to join the leftie chorus and condemn “bigots” than it is to sort out just WHY we have such fucked-up immigration policies, and who profits (see Prohibition, again).

      Baptists and Bootleggers just take on different guises.

      I’ve lived near the border. There’s a lot more to the story than bigotry. As I posted above, AZ is close to 1/3 Hispanic. CA’s stat is just a little higher.

      This is a problem created by Federal policies, primarily drug laws and the neo-Prohibition War on (some) Drugs, and completely screwed-up immigration policy that incents people to enter the country illegally.

      AZ’s reactions aren’t necessarily the right ones, but AZ is paying the price for what amount to corrupt, exploitative Federal policies — not to mention objectively racist policies when you look at prison population stats.

      1. I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of labeling the War on Drugs and related policies as Racist. It seems to me that they are, at least in addition and possibly instead, classist. The Political Class and the Intellectual Class hold the poor in contempt, although they usually cloak this in solicitude. They clearly think that those who didn’t go to The Right Schools are incapable of running their own lives, and the Political and Intellectual classes are generously prepared to do it for them.

        And the clearer this becomes to be, the more I understand the Terror that followed the French Revolution.

        1. I wrote “objectively racist”, meaning that they end up sending minorities to prison, in large numbers, for nonviolent offenses.

          WRT the origins, you’re right, except that the people who go to the “right schools”, like our last few Presidents, also play around with illegal drugs. They just love the power that comes from using government guns to tell OTHER people what they can and can’t do.

          1. I think one must excuse Bush II from this characterization, at least partially. He admitted early in his political career to being a drunk in remission, and I expect such people to have an absolute horror of drugs. I don’t AGREE with them, but I don’t think their anti-drug stance is a matter of “one law for you peasants and another for me”.

      2. Ridiculous labor law is also a contributor. The reason a lot of places hire illegal workers is because they can’t get enough value to justify the expenditure if they are employing people in compliance with every labor regulation in this country, and people aren’t prepared to actually take money out of their wallets at the checkout counter to support their high minded ideals.

    2. I agree. Have you read Mexifornia? The author is not an a”ti-immigrant bigot, but he lays out sound arguments against the current lackadaisical attitude toward our immigration laws. To sum up two of the best arguments (I thought):
      1. The lives of illegal immigrants are not improved by being allowed to live in the USA. They are relegated to a class that can only do manual labor and from their 40s onward has no other option but to accept welfare.
      2. By letting the corrupt Mexican government send the unhappiest citizens over here, they have far less incentive to change their country.

      1. oops “anti-immigrant bigot”

      2. I think there is another factor that doesn’t get mentioned much; Mexico’s second or third largest source of hard currency is money sent ‘home’ by Mexicans in the U.S.. What happens in Mexico if this suddenly stops? And, do we really want that happening in a country with which we share about 2000 miles of border?

        The problem has complexities – important complexities – that neither side of the public debate seems willing to grapple with.

  6. If corporations benefit by paying Mexicans way less than their American counterparts, why would they sponsor SB 1070?

    I don’t think the author or most Americans have experienced true “nativism” or nationalism, which can get HARDCORE in many places in Asia. Just take a look at the rhetoric and anger emanating from the land disputes among Korea, Japan, and China.

    The USA isn’t a racially monolithic nation with a 5-10% foreign / immigrant population. There’s a little “bigot” in all of us who perpetuate stereotypes. But in the end, Americans doesn’t really obsess over buying only “made in American” products, morally condemn those who favor foreign products, fuss over our children playing with foreign kids, or post “foreigners not welcome here” signs on their business (forbidden by law, of course). All of that a reality elsewhere.

    The hysteria over kidnapping and beheading is based on a grain of truth. In Korea national outrage over the US importing mad cow disease and foreign teachers coming there just to have sex with their woman is not uncommon.

    1. “exporting”

    2. There is a mitigating factor to the vitro the Chinese and Koreans lavish on the Japanese; the Japanese behaved very badly to both countries in WWII, and have been less than forthright about owning their guilt (the Germans do rather better on the Holocaust than the Japanese do on the Rape of Nanking). The Japanese have a GREAT DEAL of fence-mending to do with their neighbors, and their “Who us?” attitude hasn’t helped the situation at all.

  7. Every state have different law and this is their right but now here peoples are trying put their aspect into the main stream.

  8. What strikes me about all the commentary regarding AZ is this need to define the underlying motivations behind it, i.e., bigotry, crime, big business, etc, specific to AZ and the conservatives in power. It is essentially the same as the Federal Law and if these charges of bigotry and corruption apply to AZ, then they apply to the country as a whole. AZ simply wants to give their police the power to check status and enforce, essentially, the Federal law. A power that is historically only granted to federal agents. If the charge is that the AZ police are corrupt/racist and will abuse power, then why not claim that on a federal level? Is the implication that federal agencies tasked with enforcing what is, essentially, the same law, are immune to corruption or racism, but the “republican” establishment in AZ is motivated by it? If immigrants flee their country for a “better life”, then what happens to their country? If everyone who wants a better life, leaves, then the conditions at home don’t change. Wouldn’t it be better for future generations if these people stayed and attempted to change their country from within? As of 2008, 12.7 million Mexican immigrants lived in the U.S. Roughly equivalent to the combined population of the 4 largest cities in Mexico. Approximately 12% of the current Mexican population. Imagine if that many folks, rather than leaving, tried to change conditions of that country.

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