Conquer Mexico. You know. Kind of like conquistadors, only north to south this time.
Get together a big army, pour over the border, crush all resistance, occupy the country from the Rio Grande to the Rio Usumacinta, and annex it to the United States. Make English the official language and teach it to everyone. Award NFL franchises to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterey. Make everyone an American citizen. Add 31 new stars to the flag (one for each Mexican state), 62 new members to the U.S. Senate, and get on with life.
Illegal immigration? Mission accomplished. Problem solved.
There would be no need for a border fence, because there would be no border.
There would be no need for Mexicans to sneak into the United States to look for work, because they would already be in the United States. If they wanted jobs in the upper 50, they would just hop on a bus and head north.
Not that they would have to, because hard on the heels of the lead tanks would come swarms of companies, investors, entrepreneurs and real estate developers intent on doing business and creating jobs on the new frontier. They would be closely followed by the Army Corps of Engineers, which would be there to build roads, bridges, schools, dams and water systems. Between the two, there would probably be more people heading south looking for work than heading north.
Labor unions would no longer nag Congress to ban Mexican trucks from U.S. roads, because every truck from Maine to Quintana Roo would be on a U.S. road. Besides, they would be too busy organizing workers in the former Mexico to care.
The business of smuggling Mexicans into the United States would collapse, because they would already be in it.
The business of smuggling marijuana into the United States would also collapse, for the same reason.
Democrats would no longer sneak around trying to turn 12 million illegal aliens from Mexico into citizens (and Democrats), because all 112 million Mexican would be instant U.S. citizens (and PRI, PAN or PRD voters). And so on.
But wouldn’t conquering Mexico require an army of 4 million to 5 million, which is about three times as many as the current Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines combined?
Absolutely. If we want to conquer Mexico, we’ll have to recruit, train, and equip an army of 4 million to 5 million, over and above the present armed forces. It would probably take two or three years. So we better get started pronto.
But where would we find 4 million to 5 million volunteers? Hint, there are about 15 million people looking for work at the moment, and up to another 15 million who are under-employed or who quit looking. Just 15 percent of them signing up would do the job.
But wouldn’t annexing Mexico just mean that Mexicans would outbreed gringos and end up running the U.S.? Not anytime soon if the CIA’s World Factbook is to be believed. The Factbook, which contains essential demographic information on every country in the world in case the agency has to change a regime on short notice, gives the population of Mexico as 112.46 million vs. 310.23 million for the U.S., so gringos would initially outnumber former Mexicans in the expanded U.S. by nearly 3 to 1.
Mexico’s birthrate is higher than the U.S. birthrate (19.4 births per thousand vs. 13.8) but it’s also falling faster than the U.S. birthrate. In the meantime, think of annexing Mexico as a way of keeping Social Security solvent for another generation.
But aren’t Mexicans and Americans so different that they could never be merged into a single nation, even voluntarily, let alone at sword’s point?
Again, data in the CIA Factbook suggests otherwise. For one thing, Mexico is not the poor agrarian country Americans often think it is. Its annual GDP is $1.5 trillion. The Mexican per capita income was $13,500 in 2009, only a third of the U.S. per capita income of $46,400, but still 83rd highest out of 226 countries — and higher than the world average of $10,500. That’s not too shabby.
More than 77 percent of Mexicans live in urban areas, compared with 82 percent of the U.S. population. Nearly two-thirds of Mexico’s labor force (62.9 percent) works in services, and nearly a quarter (23.4 percent) in industry. The comparable figures for the U.S. are 79.1 percent and 20.3 percent.
Mexico’s literacy rate is 91 percent.
The U.S. rate is 99 percent. Mexico actually spends a higher percentage of its GDP on education than the U.S. does (5.5 percent vs. 5.3 percent).
Sure, there are differences between the two countries, but these sorts of numbers suggest that if Mexico were annexed by the U.S., most Mexicans wouldn’t have any more trouble fitting in than, say, Texans.
Come to think of it, the overwhelming majority of the 12 million who are here illegally don’t. Why shouldn’t the rest of them?