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Reconciling Armed Borders and Free Trade

July 30, 1991



As a cattle rancher whose family has lived on or near the Mexico-Texas border since 1870, I say it is nonsense to claim that free trade could help stop illegal immigration.I have seen Mexico destroyed in my lifetime. Mexico might support a population of 30 million. It now has nearly 90 million. Because of Mexico's financial desperation it has no money to educate its children. It cannot build an industrial base large enough to give jobs to more than a small fraction of its workers. Governmental corruption is endemic and cannot be controlled, much less eradicated. Mexico cannot produce enough food to feed its present population, much less the millions to come. It has no mone y to pay for imported food. The only hope for tens of millions of Mexicans is to come to the US. It is the pipe dreamers who say Mexico can be made so prosperous that its citizens will not wish to emigrate. That is like hoping that Brownsville will be like Beverly Hills. Robert Wheeler, Tilden, Texas

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