The U.S. Joint Forces Command recently issued its annual report on worldwide security risks, and one element of the report deserves careful attention: Mexico, our southern neighbor, is among the few countries in the world in danger of ““. Like Pakistan, also listed as being in imminent danger, Mexico is at risk because it has been unable to quell instability brought by criminal gangs. In Pakistan, it is tribal groups with Al-Qaeda sympathies. In Mexico, it is the drug cartels.
There is plenty of room to discus what the United States can do to bring about stability in Mexico, but it is clear that we must do something. A collapse of the Mexican government would be a direct threat to our country. It is also clear that we can’t continue to permit illegal immigration from Mexico through our porous southern border. Illegal immigration has already saddled our local and state governments with crime and other social ills, flooding some communities with people who have little or no respect for our laws or our citizens. The porous border also lets drugs into our country, as well as the same drug-lords and their lackeys that have destabilized Mexico.
The integrity of our southern border must be a priority for the incoming Obama administration. We can permit documented guest workers from Mexico and a reasonable liberalization of our immigration policies (so long as we do not grant amnesty to the criminals who have entered illegally before). It is true that we need a certain number of unskilled migrant workers, and our immigration policies must accommodate this. But we must make every effort to secure our borders against the stream of undocumented criminals and drug smugglers entering our country, and we must do so with renewed urgency as the prospect of an anarchistic Mexico run by drug-lords starts looking like a distinct possibility.