World
In this photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a silver Jeep Cherokee that suspected smugglers were attempting to drive over the U.S.-Mexico border fence is stuck at the top of a makeshift ramp early Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 near Yuma, Ariz. U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Station seized both the ramps and the vehicle, which stalled at the top of the ramp after it became high centered. The fence is approximately 14 feet high where the would-be smugglers attempted to illegally drive across the border. The two suspects fled into Mexico when the agents arrived at the scene. (AP Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Former Mexican official: Immigrants will become Mexico’s burden if US doesn’t take more

A former Mexican cabinet member says the U.S. should accept more low-skill migrants from Central America, because otherwise the migrants would stay in Mexico.

If they can’t get into the United States, “they’re going to stay in Mexico, creating a burden for us that we have to carry,” Jorge Castañeda said on “Al Punto,” a Spanish-language show on Univision.

“I think Mexico should raise its voice much more clearly and forcefully to say that if the United States wants a wall, it needs to have more doors in this wall, with more bells at these doors so that Mexicans and Central Americans can enter the United States with papers,” he said, as translated.

He criticized the items in the bill meant to address border security, as well as concern to the number of temporary work visas the bill will create, which he believes to be too small.

The Center for Immigration Studies reports that Castañeda criticized the Mexican government for being too passive when discussing the bill with the United States, out of respect for not becoming involved in foreign affairs.

Immigrants hoping to enter the United States, legally or illegally, will invariably pass through Mexico to get there, Castañeda said. Assuming they can’t get into the country, with the heightened border security, he predicted that they will just stay in Mexico.

The U.S. needs to provide more temporary work visas to ensure that these illegal immigrants become U.S. citizens, rather than a “burden” that Mexico will have to deal with.

Castañeda projected that the number of temporary work visas the bill will create, currently sitting at 20,000 per year, should be raised to “at least 150,000 to 200,000.”

Mexico has a Gini index at 0.48, a measure of income inequality, meaning that economic distribution has a nearly 50/50 rate of unequal dispersion in Mexico. Compared to the United States’ 0.38 index, it stands to reason that Mexican citizens would like to immigrate.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter