This weekend our neighbors to the south are handing over the keys of Los Pinos to the Mexican-Lite version of John Edwards, which is not entirely a bad thing. But let's forget presidential politics and how good Felipe Calderon was (I do mean that), and let's take a broad look at Mexico.
We all by now have heard the news that illegal or "undocumented" border crossings have decreased in the recent years. Certainly the alphabet soup of US federal and state agencies are taking credit for that, but that is far from the case. The reason why we are seeing a decrease in Mexican immigration is because for the last several years, if not decade or more, the Mexican economy has been growing and improving. This story gets overshadowed in light of the current drug war.
Historically, Mexico's economy has sucked. Things got so bad that the PRI, the party that created what was then the Mexican state, realized it could no longer continue that path and adopted neoliberal reforms in the early 1990s. There was, without a doubt, some economic "losers" caused by the sharp pain of austerity and economic liberalization. Certainly, some of those who lost went elsewhere to find opportunity (namely the US). Those reforms though are paying off. Mexico, economically speaking, is more properous than ever before.
Now I know you guys are screaming, "WHAT ABOUT JUAREZ!?!?! THE VIOLENCE!?!?" What is happening in Mexico has happened before in Colombia. To be fair, what happened in Colombia was far worse when you consider all the political assassinations, and terrorist acts that occurred. Eventually though, the State wins. Just ask the Medellin, Cali cartels and the guerrillas. One of two things will happen in Mexico, the State wins and/or the US government rolls back some of its drug policy (which at that point expect Altria to wipe the floor with any cartel in distribution, production, marketing and financing). Granted, Colombia still has some issues, but it is far safer place for its citizens and foreign investment than ever before. Oddly enough, Venezuela, which was probably the better place in 1990 than Colombia, is now far worse than Colombia today.
We should all want a stronger Mexico. A stronger Mexico means more opportunity for everyone on both sides of the border. Immigration will even be a much smaller issue than it is today with a more prosperous Mexico.