Writing in City Journal, Shepard Barbash has published piece entitled, “Helping Mexico Help Itself: A more prosperous, democratic southern neighbor would reduce crime and illegal immigration,” that I found quite informative. It’s a story about education, drugs, immigration, economic disparities, political corruption, and lots more, and it’s a story that helped me understand those issues in a much more nuanced and integrated way than I had understood them from my careless monitoring of day-to-day news. Mr. Barbash, who served as chief of the Houston Chronicle’s bureau in Mexico City and has written books about Mexico, began his essay in this way:
Two crises have deepened America’s anxieties over immigration since Congress tried to reform the law two years ago: the global recession and an outburst of murder and mayhem in northern Mexico. The recession has aroused antipathy for foreigners who compete for jobs. The violence along the border, which stems from a high-stakes campaign by Mexican president Felipe Calderón to bust apart several large drug cartels, has inflamed fears that our borders aren’t secure.