Poor people have a right to migrate to the United States, and migrants should not be stopped by force, according to a letter from Mexico’s president to U.S. President Donald Trump.
President López Obrador’s May 30 letter, provided by the Wall Street Journal, claimed a migrant’s “right for justice,” saying:
President Trump. Social problems are not resolved by taxes or coercive measures. How do you transform the country of fraternity for the world’s migrants into a ghetto, a closed space, where migrants are stigmatized, mistreated, persecuted, expelled and the right for justice is canceled to those who tirelessly seek to live free of misery?
The letter also suggested that poor Mexicans have a right to migrate into the United States: “It is worth remembering that, within a short period of time, Mexicans will not need to migrate into the United States and that migration will become optional, not compulsory.”
Al presidente Donald Trump en son de paz. https://t.co/5XdiY7hfeL
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) May 31, 2019
Obrador’s letter did not formally reject or accept Trump’s demand that Mexico block the huge Central American migration into the United States, nor did it directly denounce Trump’s threat to impose rising tariffs on Mexico.
Instead, it repeatedly claimed poor people have a right to move into the United States.
In one section, the letter appropriates the Statue of Liberty as a supposed symbol of legal migration, saying “The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol.”
In reality, the statue was built to show other nations how America’s Constitution and culture help create a thriving democracy. Since then, many progressives have tried to argue the status is a symbolic invitation to migrants.
Since 1965, when the nation’s immigration laws were loosened, the U.S. population of Mexican-ancestry citizens and illegal immigrants has exploded to 30 million. That huge population delivers about $30 billion in remittances to Mexico each year.
Obrador also suggested that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt endorsed easy migration:
President Roosevelt was a titan of liberties. He proclaimed the four fundamental rights of humankind before anyone else: the right to freedom of speech, the right to freedom of religion, the right to live free from fear, and the right to live free from misery.
Additionally, Obrador argued that “universal justice” will triumph over national borders, saying:
With all due respect, even though you have the right to express it, the slogan “America First” is a fallacy because until the end of time, even over national borders, universal justice and fraternity will prevail.
Nothing by force, everything by reason and Law!
In the United States, many establishment figures also assert that Americans’ homeland is a nation of and for immigrants, not a homeland for 280 million America-born citizens and their children. In 2018, former GOP Gov. Nikki Haley told an Indian audience, “The one thing about America and what I have always loved is America is a country of immigrants. It’s the fabric of America to have multiple cultures. Multiple populations. Multiple heritages that do come into America that make it what it is.”
The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Sen. Dick Durbin declared in February 2018 that “rejecting the notion that we are a nation of immigrants [is] to deny our birthright as a nation … to really defy who we are, what we are and what we will be.” Also, he declared, “We have a diverse nation, and that is our strength as far as I’m concerned.”
Progressives also insist that Americans must not favor their people, children, ideas, and traditions. In November 2014, for example, former President Barack Obama told cheering supporters:
Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently. And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration. If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks’ — even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.
In contrast, Trump has repeatedly argued that America is for Americans. In his May 30 letter announcing the new tariff threat, he said:
As everyone knows, the United States of America has been invaded by hundreds of thousands of people coming through Mexico and entering our country illegally. This sustained influx of illegal aliens has profound consequences on every aspect of our national life—overwhelming our schools, overcrowding our hospitals, draining our welfare system, and causing untold amounts of crime. Gang members, smugglers, human traffickers, and illegal drugs and narcotics of all kinds are pouring across the Southern Border and directly into our communities. Thousands of innocent lives are taken every year as a result of this lawless chaos. It must end NOW!
The current state of affairs is profoundly unfair to the American taxpayer, who bears the extraordinary financial cost imposed by large-scale illegal migration. Even worse is the terrible and preventable loss of human life. Some of the most deadly and vicious gangs on the planet operate just across our border and terrorize innocent communities.
For years, Mexico has not treated us fairly—but we are now asserting our rights as a sovereign Nation.
The United States is a great country that can no longer be exploited due to its foolish and irresponsible immigration laws. For the sake of our people, and for the sake of our future, these horrendous laws must be changed now.
As President of the United States, my highest duty is the defense of the country and its citizens. A nation without borders is not a nation at all. I will not stand by and allow our sovereignty to be eroded, our laws to be trampled, or our borders to be disrespected anymore.
Each year, approximately four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including about one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.
The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.
This policy of inflating the labor supply stimulates economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.
This policy of deflating wages by flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations.
The economic policy also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy furthermore moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.