A future US guest worker program may not be made up of very many Mexicans at all. Mark Krikorian at NRO points to the fact that the advantage enjoyed by Mexico’s workers disappears when compared to other potential labor pools. A per capita income of nearly $10,000 a year puts Mexico near the top of the developing world. Many maquiladoras, a cornerstone of NAFTA, have closed shop and moved to China as a result. In an era of cheap transportation, the proximity of Mexico may, as in the cases of the closed maquiladoras, count for little. Krikorian says:
Egypt is home to nearly 80 million people who make less than half the average Mexican. India and Indonesia together have 1.3 billion people with one-third the average Mexican’s income. And Pakistan and Bangladesh together have more than 300 million people with less than one-quarter the average Mexican’s income.
And how much of Iraq’s working-age population would leap at the chance to get out, regardless of the wages offered?
That’s a lot of “willing workers” who will work cheaper than Mexicans.
Will the Mexicans gain their amnesty only to urge Uncle Sam to close the gate behind them?