2010 Archives

William McKenzie: Better schools are Mexico's way forward


The following is from Bill McKenzie's column in the June 7, 2010, edition of The Dallas Morning News. The conference, "Challenges and Opportunities in Mexico: Implications for US-Mexico Relations," was sponsored by SMU's John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies on March 25-26, 2010.

June 9, 2010

I don't know whether the flow of illegal immigrants is bad in enough places to justify President Barack Obama's decision to send more National Guardsmen to the border. But I do know that if Mexico doesn't better educate its students, all the Guardsmen in America won't stop it.

The reality is Mexico is locked in a vicious loop. Miryam Hazan of the Migration Policy Institute put her finger on this when she told a recent conference at SMU's  John Tower Center that Mexico has a "low-wage path to development."

In other words, it has banked on lower-skill jobs to keep its economy going. Not a smart approach, to say the least, in today's world. Not when you look at emerging nations like India and China, which are progressing by producing more engineers and scientists.

Mexico hasn't taken that path, and, therefore, it has a hard time retaining its people. Not only has Mexico lost low-wage workers seeking better jobs to the north, it can't provide enough jobs for its educated workers.

Read the full column.

More about the conference - Challenges and Opportunities in Mexico: Implications for US-Mexico Relations

More about Miryam Hazan's panel discussion - Migration and Development

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