In recognition of our shared destiny, the three countries [The United States, Mexico and Canada] should create a North American passport that would, over time, allow their citizens to travel, work, and innovate anywhere in North America. . . . In the North American context, much like within the European Union, our economies and societies are far more integrated than our immigration system recognizes. . . . Moreover, Americans on this side of the Rio Grande must acknowledge the “Mexicanness” in the United States and treat Mexicans living with the dignity and respect they deserve.” We have more than 10 million undocumented immigrants in this country because we didn’t create a realistic, legal avenue for the Mexicans who would—and should . . . come to the United States over time. – CNN, 2/4/15, Why We Need a North American Passport, Andres Martinez and Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
Fact Check: We have 10 million illegal [not undocumented] immigrants, mainly from Mexico, because we did not effectively enforce our immigration laws—and that’s the only reason. The writers claim that if we had let these 10 million people in legally, they eventually would have returned home. They allege that our immigration law enforcement “trapped them” in the U.S. and kept them from moving back and forth across the border.
But they offer no proof that our lax immigration law enforcement in recent decades could “trap” or restrain anyone, particularly during the Obama years. Indeed, the only things “trapping” them here are jobs (which many Americans would like to have), public benefits, and little fear they will be arrested and deported.
The CNN article suggests that we simply do away with immigration restrictions, give everyone a “North American passport,” and let people move wherever they please. The writers cite the example of the European Union as to how this would work.
In reality, the European Union (EU) is an excellent argument against such an arrangement. The EU with its open border policies basically undermines the national sovereignty of European counties and crushes their diversity with one size fits all regulations. Those countries are losing the right to control their economies and their cultural identities. More and more, the EU government headquartered in Brussels is exercising dictatorial power over its member states.
This certainly isn’t a path we should wish to follow. What these writers are suggesting is suspiciously similar to the North American Union proposal that was floating around a few years ago. It advocated more or less open borders in preparation for merging the U.S., Mexico, and Canada into something like the EU. That would threaten our national sovereignty, which we have good reason to maintain.
We have no reason to embrace “Mexicanness.” Mexico is a country with a considerably different cultural profile from ours. It has a government significantly influenced by cartel gangsters; a heritage of corruption and bribery; and a legal system that presumes defendants guilty until proven innocent. Its lower economic standard of living means that many of its citizens will want to come here, despite the negative impact this has on our job market, our public assistance, and our infrastructure and resources.
Canada has much more in common with the U.S., but also has features we would not find agreeable. One example is not upholding the rights guaranteed by our Bill of Rights. Canada is very restrictive of gun ownership and does not respect freedom of speech as we do. If a Canadian makes a politically incorrect statement—such as one deemed offensive about immigrants—he can be heavily fined or even imprisoned.
Certainly, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico can engage in mutually beneficial trade, while striving together for common goals and objectives. They can accomplish these things while remaining separate and sovereign countries.