There are many strange elements in the current debate over illegal immigration, but none stranger than the mostly ignored role of Mexico.
Are millions of Mexican citizens still trying to cross the U.S. border illegally because there is dismal economic growth and a shortage of jobs in Mexico?
Not anymore. In terms of the economy, Mexico has rarely done better, and the United State rarely worse.
The Mexican unemployment rate is currently below 5 percent. North of the border it remains stuck at over 7 percent for the 53rd consecutive month of the Obama presidency. The American gross domestic product has been growing at a rate of less than 2 percent annually. In contrast, a booming Mexico almost doubled that in 2012, its GDP growing at a robust clip of nearly 4 percent.
Is elemental hunger forcing millions of Mexicans to flee north, as it may have in the past?
Not necessarily. According to a recent United Nations study, an estimated 70 percent of Mexico’s citizens are overweight and suffer from the same problems of diet, health concerns and lack of exercise shared by other more affluent Western societies.