The Corner

The Shoe’s on the Other Foot

After Arizona passed a mandatory E-Verify law in 2007, lots of illegal aliens left the state and headed back across the border. Mexican officials were outraged at the burdens imposed on them by these immigrants:

A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora was in Tucson on Tuesday to say Arizona’s new employer sanctions law will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state.

At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora – Arizona’s southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns – cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money.

Thinking of our own small towns’ dealing with these very problems as a result of Mexican government policy, I have to fight back schadenfreude when I read this sort of thing. Along these lines, the recent Associated Press story about President Calderon complaining that we’re deporting Mexican criminals back to Mexico (a complaint that takes some real huevos, since they’re his own people) had this nugget at the end:

Rafael Fernandez de Castro, head of the International Relations studies at the Monterrey Technological Institute, told the conference that about 200,000 Mexicans per year are returning to their country, and that Mexican schools are facing a new problem: tens of thousands of Mexican children are coming back each year with little or no Spanish.

“In the last couple of school years in Mexico, literally tens of thousands of children have turned up with last names like Sanchez, Fernandez, or Hinojosa and, it must be said, they don’t speak Spanish, they speak English,” Fernandez de Castro said. “We have to ask California and Texas how they managed to integrate these Mexican children who went to the United States and didn’t speak English.”

He overestimates our success in integrating them. More likely, they don’t speak English all that well either, being products of “alingual education.”


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