The money movers of the world are everywhere and yet they are invisible, very much like the undocumented worker who feeds it. Western Union moves money, lots of it, and I mean LOTS OF IT. Money transfers are known as Remesas in Spanish and it is a word that was not very popular or widely known until recently.
Remesas represent a large source of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico just to mention a few countries. Remesas are also a good measurement to see how a country has failed to its citizens. More remesas mean more people forced to leave the native country in search of a better life.
Warning, extremely politicized side note (you may skip the reading):
Last week, Mr. Bush promulgated the law that supports the construction of 700-mile wall along the US-Mexico border. The so-called “fence” by the bill is being touted as a way to keep undocumented immigrants from crossing the border. I believe this is stupid and a waste of money. It is also a shame for any country to build walls nowadays; it is especially shameful for the United States. They should also send back the Statue of Liberty or at least turn it 180Â° so it gives its back to immigration. I still remember the Berlin Wall and all the money that the US spent in propaganda to bring it down. Will the new “fence” include barbed wire and mines?
Can a wall stop undocumented immigration? The short answer is no. The long answer is that the empire will have to build two BIG walls: one in the US-Mexico border and another in the US-Canada border. They will have to build a WWII-like fleet of ships to patrol the East and West Coasts. All airports will have to deny the entry to airplanes coming from abroad. Even then, immigrants will find a way into the low-wage jobs awaiting for them in the United States. The problem with immigration is the same as with drug trafficking: As long as there is a huge demand for them, they will find a way.
The best way to turn undocumented immigration into documented immigration is through laws and regulations. Give the immigrant a legal way to come to work and go home afterwards. You can not scream and yell about the American Dream throughout the world and expect people to be deft about it. Why stop the immigrant who wants to fulfill her American Dream?
Why should the United States be responsible for all those worker from the “Third World”? Well, the empire is young, a little over two-hundred years, but old enough to have caused havoc in many parts of the world through wars, invasions, coup d’etats, guerilla-warfare, assassinations, terrorist acts, massacres, embargoes, and a very long et-cetera. It is harvest time. The same goes for Europe.
Do not be surprise! There will always be immigration in this planet and in others as soon as we humans can find the way. At present time, immigration, like justice, is blind and is concerned only with distribution and retribution. If most of the wealth is, right now, in the northern hemisphere, the workers will migrate to the north. This flow will continue until the wealth is better distributed among the North and South, West and East.
The concept above brings us back to today’s post. Immigration takes the workers to the North and the West; Western Union brings back the wealth to the South and the East.
This is the last of the transnational series. Tomorrow will move to another aspect of the daily life in La Antigua Guatemala.
© 2006 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.