Peter Laufer


On his book Calexico: True Lives of the Borderlands

Cover Interview of October 12, 2011


My hope is that Calexico is another step toward ending the demonization of migrants from Mexico by the xenophobic demagogues who capture so much attention in today’s over-mediated news landscapes.

We need to appreciate the new immigrants join our nation of immigrants.

The most important economic gain of opening the border is the neutralizing of illegal border crossings by otherwise law-abiding Mexicans and hence freeing up the overworked Border Patrol to stop those we do not want entering America.

Immigration fuels our economy. We are an aging society with a low birth rate. If we welcome workers from Mexico who need not fear persecution and prosecution in their daily lives, they will engage our economy on multiple levels that they fear to do while undocumented. They will buy more goods and services. They will not feel forced to hide in jobs that offer minimal employment opportunities but will feel free to improve their working conditions. This will result in more disposable income and provide the opportunity for the culture to reap greater good from their talents and efforts. More border dwellers will spend their pesos in Gringolandia and tourist traffic from south to north will increase.

And consider the political gains: Just putting the Mexicans-Go-Home nativist U.S. politicians out of business is good enough.