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The Ironies of Illegal Immigration

illegal-criminal-record illegal immigrationEstimates suggest that there are 11 million to 13 million Mexican citizens currently living in the United States illegally. Millions more emigrated previously and are now U.S. citizens.

A recent poll revealed that one-third of Mexicans (34 percent) would like to emigrate to the United States. With Mexico having a population of about 130 million, that amounts to some 44 million would-be immigrants.

Such massive potential emigration into the United States makes no sense.

First, Mexico is a naturally rich country. It ranks 19th in the world in proven oil reserves and is currently the 12th-largest oil producer. Mexico certainly has significantly more natural advantages than do far wealthier per capita Singapore, Taiwan, or Chile.
Mexico also is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and earns billions in foreign exchange from visitors. It enjoys a temperate climate, is rich in minerals, and has millions of acres of fertile farmland and a long coastline.

In addition to being strategically located as a bridge between North America and South America, Mexico has ports on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

It is not an overcrowded country: Mexico ranks in the lower half of the world in population density. Too many people and too little land are certainly not the reasons why millions of Mexicans either emigrate or wish to emigrate to the United States.

Second, popular progressive narratives in both Mexico and the United States cite America for all sorts of pathologies, past and present. The United States is often damned for prior colonialism and imperialism, as well as current racism and xenophobia.

Why, then, would millions of people south of the border leave their own homeland and potentially risk their lives to encounter a strange culture and language, to live in such a purportedly inhospitable place, and to adopt an antithetical system based on supposedly toxic European and Protestant traditions?

The answers to these two paradoxes are as obvious as they are politically incorrect and therefore seldom voiced. Life in Mexico is relatively poor, dangerous, and often unfree. In contrast, the United States is rich, generous, and secure.

Mexico—unlike, say, Japan or Switzerland, which are far less naturally endowed and yet far wealthier—has never fully adopted Western paradigms of free-market economics, constitutionally protected free speech, due process, gender equity, private property rights, an autonomous press, government transparency, an independent judiciary, and religious diversity and tolerance.

To the degree that Mexico can make strides toward these goals, its population will stabilize and become more affluent—and also become less likely to emigrate.

More importantly, millions of Mexican citizens recognize (at least privately) that the United States is not the bogeyman of mostly elite critiques. Instead, it is one of the world’s rare multiracial, equal-opportunity societies. It is generous with its entitlements even to those who cross its border illegally, and far more meritocratic than most of the world’s highly tribal societies.

Maybe that is why millions of impoverished people from Mexico have left their homes in expectation that they will be treated far better as foreign, non-English speakers in a strange land than they will at home by their own government.

Indeed, if the U.S. treated immigrants in the fashion that Mexico does, then Mexican citizens would probably never emigrate to the U.S.

In sum, illegal immigration is both logical and nonsensical.

After all, the Mexican government is quick to fault the U.S., but it is rarely introspective. It does not explain publicly why its own citizens wish to flee the country where they were born—or why they are eager to enter a country that is so often ridiculed by the Mexican press and government.

Mexico apparently does not take care of its own citizens. But once they arrive inside the U.S., Mexico suddenly becomes an advocate for their welfare. No wonder: Mexican expatriates send back an estimated $30 billion a year in remittances.

Real and would-be emigrants themselves also act ironically.

On both sides of the border, they often fault the U.S. and demand that U.S. immigration law be suspended—but only in their case.

Emigrating Mexican citizens wave Mexican flags at the border as they try to enter America, while their counterparts inside the U.S. do the same when they protest being sent back home.

Apparently, no one in Mexico or in the U.S. ever wishes to admit that Mexican citizens really like the United States—apparently far more than they do their own homeland.

Reprinted with permission from - The Daily Signal - by Victor Davis Hanson

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Bo Dalton

The estimate of 11 to 13 million illegals in and on American soil, reaping american benefits is an estimate put forth by the Democratic Party and is not accurate ! The real number is much closer to 38 to 40 million, with a million more sneaking in every year !. Let’s get real Americans, We cannot afford this horrific immigration and if left unaddressed we will not have our country in five more years. It’s time to get off our asses and tell those two “IDIOTS” Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi we will not tolerate them any longer. They have to go and I mean “RIGHT NOW”

Pete Lussier

The answer is freedom….. The Spanish Elites have been keeping the people poor and powerless… Just like the liberal democrats are trying to do here in the US.. Thank God for the Republicans and our Constitution…. For the first time they now have a native as president….. But they will keep him down as the Elites here are doing to our President. This is no big deal to understand. The Truth is obvious….


I had a conversation a few months ago with a former coworker. He’s from one of the smaller Central American countries and is now a U.S. citizen. His wife will soon join him here, after meeting the criteria required by the federal government. When I asked if they were planning to stay in the U.S., he didn’t hesitate to say that there is nowhere else that offers the job opportunities, personal safety, and stable government based on “freedoms and equal rule of law” we enjoy here. He still loves his homeland, but there is no future for him there. How nice it was to hear that a legal immigrant chose the U.S. not for the freebies that so many come here for, but for the opportunity to work and to provide for his family.

Francis Spencer

Perhaps if we could stop the mailing or any other means of sending money across the border. This could be an incentives for Mexico Government to take steps to make their country a better place to live. Too much Government corruption and Law enforcement corruption in Mexico. Until then a WALL or Some type of BARRIER MUST BE PUT IN PLACE.


This should be required reading for chuck % nancy


In the past I have worked with illegal aliens who were using counterfeit documentation to qualify them for the job. In two separate instances I was told about the wife of the illegal declaring the father of the ninos went back to Mexico leaving the mother with no support qualifying her for public assistance and with the father working under a false identity there is no way to detect this fraud. I have heard this from 2 different frauds at 2 different employers so I am certain it is wide spread. They think it’s funny but I don’t. Nearing retirement I see how little I will get to exist on while non contributors absorb all the social funding. I believe President Trump is on the right track and pray he doesn’t back down from media pressure. Nancy Pelosi & Charles Schumer DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.

ahem tonto

Any true American views this scenario as an attack on our nation. Foreign nationals surreptitiously entering our nation. Some armed, Some carrying a contraband of illicit drugs. All pent on taking advantage of the American taxpayers. We should be forcing those individuals right back across the border into Mexico. They are knowingly and willingly violating our federal immigration statutes and being placed above the rule of law by politicians and government agents and being permitted to stay and rob taxpayers of our money.

Michael Robertson

As usual, Hanson hits this nail squarely on its head. However, those who would benefit from reading it – Mexican and Americans alike, either will not, or will disregard the thesis put forward.

Marie J. Conger

I agree with most of what was stated in the above report. The new Mexican president is trying to change things in Mexico, according to what I have read in the paper recently. Let us give him more time and see if he can bring about the changes that are so obviously needed. Also we are somewhat to blame. If people in the U.S. did not want more and more illegal drugs, much of the crime violence in Mexico would decrease. Much of our own crime violence would decrease as well. I think that drug use is at the bottom of the problems for both countries.

Thomas H

How would Mexico treat Americans if the border situation was reversed? I go back to how that American soldier (who accidentally drove across the border) was treated there: first jailed, then almost killed while in jail, and then kept there for a long time before being returned. Enough said!

Greg Tomas

Here’s a radical thought……With all the money, property, assets, etc. that gets confiscated from scumbag drug dealers, those funds should be used to finance the building of a wall, since most of the illegal drugs are coming through the Mexican border. Let’s start with El Chapo for our first down payment.


No matter the explanation, no matter the reason … Illegal is illegal, you can go no further.


There are 11 to 13 million ‘Mexicans’ in this country illegally? Double that and you will still be short! So many people in this world want to come to America to be free but they don’t see the concept of fighting for your own country. We have brave Americans all over the world fighting for people who don’t seem to have the will to fight for themselves! How long have we done that?

Bob L.

The 11 million number of how many illegals are in the US is nearly 20 years old. Fact is, currently the total number from all over the world, is unknown. 20 million is a new number some sources are using, but with the surges in recent years, that number now seems far too low. The 2020 census is probably going to be a shock, even with a lot of illegals avoiding being counted.


I’m beginning to see Chuck & Nancy’s border control policy more clearly now. Save $5 million, just make the average citizens of the U.S. like those in Mexico; poor, in danger and unfree, then there won’t be any reason to want to cross the border.


I feel sorry for the Mexican population but expecting the American citizens to support them is asking a little much. Build the wall maybe blocking them out will help move them move toward self support.


Recent studies indicate that there are 20 to 30 million illegal immigrants. It is far higher than previously thought. This is a national emergency!

Joel Young

Build the wall. Nothing else. No numbers,statement,”surveys or opinions matter until The Wall is Built…

Gregory Emerick

It’s been at 11 million for the past 30 yrs. Are you telling me that has never changed?

Phyllis poole

There is housing in Michigan with one shed after another all connected. Mobile home parks are not the best but this trashy area is abominable !
I think the people anywhere near the area should protest! I wonder if Nancy and Chuck would be happy with such structures near their mansions !!?