Economic Security: Who's losing Latin America?
That's what The Center for Security Policy is asking today in the wake of mass demonstrations by and on the behalf of illegal immigrants in the United States.
These activities demonstrate two realities: First, life is good in this country and the opportunities for economic advancement are extraordinary for those willing to work hard.
Second, life is typically not so good in Mexico and the other Latin American nations from which these illegal aliens principally come. Unfortunately, if present political, economic and social trends continue south of our border, there will likely be many more immigrants coming here unlawfully in search of better lives, and to flee increasingly hard ones in their own countries.
In fact, a prospective surge in illegal immigration - perhaps coupled with a further radicalization of those already in this country - are just some of the reasons why these worrisome trends should command far greater attention from American policy-makers and citizens alike. Despite the serious and almost-without-exception adverse implications of events throughout Central and South America for our strategic, trade and security interests, however, neither the Bush Administration nor either party in Congress is doing much to address them.
In asking the question, CSP looks at the very troubling political trend in Latin America and the rise of hard leftists in positions of leadership. Castro is joined now by Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Ollanta Humala, and soon will likely add to the list Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the "rabidly anti-American former mayor of Mexico City."
CSP begins their conclusion by repeating the question.
The consequence of all these elections may well be the complete undoing of Ronald Reagan's legacy of successfully countering and, with the notable exception of Castro's Cuba, defeating totalitarianism in our hemisphere. At some point in the not-too- distant future, the question will be asked, probably with political repercussions: "Who lost Latin America?"
There is trouble brewing within our own hemisphere. In many ways, the wave of illegal immigration is a symptom of a greater, more difficult problem to solve - a problem not solvable within our own borders.
For, as long as it remains exponentially better 'here' than it is 'there', America's economic security faces an increasingly significant and sustained threat.