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Next wave of illegal immigration to U.S.: Chinese tourists via Mexico

BY: Jessica | Category: Politics | Post Date: 2009-06-01

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Current state of Mexico's tourist industry
Mexico's tourism industry has been badly effected by Swine flu virus and reports of drug wars. Mexico tourism depends heavily on US tourists but due to economic slowdown in United States, that number has gone down too. Last week my friend went to Cabo with his wife from United States and the round trip costed him $1200, which included airfare and hotel stay. In good times, this would have not been less than $4000. Moreover, he said that beaches were scarcely occupied and hotel occupancy was substantially low. This has resulted in a heavy blow to the overall Mexican economy too.

Illegal Immigration
There are estimated 12 million Illegal Immigrants in United States from Mexico. They simply cross the border through deserts, jump border wall, use underground tunnels or get smuggled with the help of smuggler gangs. People pay anywhere between $1000 to $10000 to get into United States illegally, while others do it on their own. These are mostly act as cheap labor working in farms, construction and office support staff (like janitors). Many of them return back to Mexico, after their seasonal work is done.

Chinese tourists - Easier to visit Mexico in future
With tourism numbers down from United States, Chinese tourists will now find it much easier to enter Mexico (see the press release below). Although majority of them will return to their country (aka China) but many of them will indeed come with dreams of entering illegally via Mexico into the United States and then stay permanently.

Chinese tourists may be the next big wave of illegal immigration in United States
Although there are many illegal Chinese nationals in United States (mostly who overstay after their US visa expires), this number can significantly grow if we see a huge wave of Chinese tourists entering United States via the porous US-Mexican border. Unlike many illegal Mexican people, these people may never go back as their home country is not just a border away.

Bad for Mexico as well
This will inadvertently tighten Mexican-US border, which will make even people from Mexico to enter United States illegally. The revenue Mexico receives from remittances far exceeds than they can ever get from Chinese tourists.

Concerns of U.S. National Security
I am no expert, but there have been numerous reports on how Chinese people steal data from US corporations and send it back to China. Similarly these people can act as agents for Chinese intelligence agency (may be) and damage other US interests. Nothing surprising about it - Even China would not accept illegal immigration from United States (if it existed).

Although I welcome Mexican government idea to welcome tourists from China, they need to ensure that there is a good accountability of them returning back to their own country. If it is not done then US Mexican relationships will also suffer in future.

Related Press Release:

MEXICO CITY, April 23, 2009 (Xinhua) -- Mexican government has taken concrete steps to make it easier for Chinese citizens to visit Mexico, but major improvement is still needed, a senior tourism official said Thursday.

Mexico has scrapped visa requirement for Chinese nationals living in Macao and allowed Mexican consulates in China to process visa applications, said Alejandro Rojas, head of Mexico City's Tourism Department.

It has also extended visas for both tourist and business visitors to a maximum term of 10 years and a maximum 180 days for the visa holders to stay in Mexico, said the Mexican official.

In order to promote Mexican tourism, the Mexican government has eased visa restrictions for technicians and business people from other parts of China, and put up signs in Chinese at international airports in Tijuana and Mexico City, in addition to training 16 Chinese-speaking staff members, Rojas said.

This article represents my personal views and does not represent any concrete or proven Illegal Immigration occurrence that is about to happen. All I mean that there is a strong possibility in my opinion of happening.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

About Author / Additional Info: Just an American, and yes some of my best friends are Chinese-Americans.

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Comments on this article: (1 comments so far)

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Comment Comment By Comment Date
Very Thoughtful
I will not be surprised if it starts to happen. Bottomline, USA is too liberal for illegal aliens and very strict those who try to enter legally.
Friend 2009-06-01

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