Drugs and Immigration: Blame Trump, but blame Christie less

With America’s huge substance abuse problem, Gov. Christie, at least, is trying to improve matters. Unfortunately although he once offered some help to immigrants, he is now supporting President Trump’s deportation policies. Trump is an unmitigated disaster on immigration and of no help to the drug problem. In fact both problems are somewhat intertwined. As a result, Trump threatens harm to both Mexico and America.

Governor Christie signed yesterday a  “sweeping piece of legislation that mandates insurance coverage for up to six months of substance abuse treatment, imposes the nation’s strongest limit on initial opioid drug prescriptions and requires education for patients and doctors about the risks associated with the drugs.”

However the new law will benefit primarily those who are wealthy or have insurance – some 20% of those who need help. The poor are left largely in the lurch. They will be even worse off if Trumpcare disenfrachises those on Medicaid.

Trump on the other hand with his maniacal stance on deportation and “the wall” can do only great harm. Mexicans have long held a suppressed grudge against the U.S. In our early days Mexico lost 55 percent of its national territory to U.S. conquest. They continue to see the U. S. as an insensitive bully, and Trump is proving their point. He is only alienating our neighbor and trading partner.

It is the American insatiable desire for illegal drugs which is at the root of our substance abuse problem. Not the Mexicans. Our  “War on drugs” has failed miserably. The result for Mexico has been narcoterrorist drug cartels which routinely kill and kidnap people, and bribe police, army, and government officials at all levels. Mexicans have been rendered fearful and with failing governance. It’s no wonder they (and other Central Americans facing similar conditions) have crossed our borders.

Also our government has done little to prevent cartels from buying powerful weapons in the U. S. and bringing them to Mexico where they create a reign of terror. Furthermore, the U. S. government has not done enough to prevent laundering of drug dollars that are then remitted to Mexico or foreign banks that the cartels use. Hence we want billions of dollars of drugs and we remit weapons and cash to thugs who make life in Mexico unbearable.

It is a terrible approach for Trump to so demonize Mexicans and insist on a huge wall and massive deportations. Implementing tariffs or fees on Mexican imports to pay for the wall would only increase the cost of items to American consumers. A trade war would seriously harm the economy of both countries. Such would only increase Mexican citizens, facing poverty and violence, to seek asylum in our nation.

We in turn would be harmed as Mexico is our third largest trading partner. We depend on their exports of oil, cars, fruits, vegetables and many assembled items. Latinos and particularly Mexicans now generate 40% of the GDP in Southern California, are our main agricultural workers, and their presence and earnings permeate and strengthens our economy.

Governor Christie at least has a better approach by generating some extra treatment beds, an increased effort at education. and reducing the availability of opioids. Trump’s fear-mongering to his supporters can only lead to both countries spiraling downward with no solution to our drug or immigration problems.

An important step to solve these matters is for America to take the lead in reducing its addiction. Even with a wall drugs will find a way to demanding users here, and impoverished, narco-frightened Mexicans will find a path to America. Mass deportations will strain our labor force and increase unemployment in Mexico. With saner U. S. drug policies and more drug funding Americans will be more productive and have safer communities. Mexico will see reduced impoverishment and violence and less need to sneak around, over, or under our border.

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