UNA - SoCal Division Events - 2006

Board Meetings

Division Annual Meeting

November 4, 2006
R.M.S. Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA
9:00-10:00 AM Registration
12:00 – 1:00 PM Luncheon, Speaker TBA
Cost: $35, includes afternoon public forum

Beyond the Border, Sharing the Responsibility for Immigration
Public Forum

12:00 – 1:00 PM Afternoon Registration
1:00 – 2:30 PM Welcome, Panel Discussion, Q&A
2:30 – 3:30 PM Afternoon coffee/tea and Networking
3:30 – 4:30 PM Keynote and Plan of Action

Cost for Afternoon Public Forum Only $10. Does not include lunch.

Organizational Point of View:

Beyond the Border, Sharing Responsibility for Immigration is a public forum designed to empower and inspire community leaders, business leaders, educators, activists and government to take responsibility for addressing the eighth Millennium Development Goal; to Develop a Global Partnership for Development. The immediate mission is to create an on-going task force for creation of fair, sustainable, environmentally friendly development for Mexico.

In so doing, the Public Forum will be addressing the root causes of Illegal Immigration from Mexico into the United States. For the very poorest people in Mexico, the United States means opportunity, education and a living wage. It means property for the family, medical care and upward mobility. All of these things are denied the poorest citizens because Mexico’s economy has suffered a series of mismanagement-caused setbacks over the years and has failed to keep pace with population growth. The migrants are on the move because the country is belatedly struggling to adapt to the pressures of economic globalization. Mexico’s inconsistent regulatory environment and the poor state of its infrastructure discourage job-creating investment.

Corruption and public safety problems debilitate a sizeable part of Mexican society, costing the nation an estimated $60 billion per year. A substantial portion of Mexico’s population, estimated as high as 45 million, has an income of less than $1,000 per year. At a time when labor market entrants number well over a million a year, the country is having trouble holding onto jobs, having lost over 800,000 to China. Mexican job seekers head to where work is available. Mexicans working in the U.S. send home an estimated $17-$20 billion a year, supporting a substantial part of the population in many regions.

Mexico is struggling to reach the 7 percent economic growth rate that many economists believe is needed to eradicate the country’s widespread poverty and close the gap between rich and poor. In recent years, the government has been unable to achieve anything more than a 3 to 4 percent growth rate. Lack of reforms in the energy sector, tax system and labor regulations are thought to be hindering economic growth. Problems in the educational system create poorly prepared workers. Much of the workforce lacks the skills needed to fill jobs and factories are having problems attracting qualified workers.

American economic policy has long touted the benefits of free enterprise, open markets and the rule of law. As such, we must put emphasis on closing the economic gap, or risk the continuation of mass migration. Of the $8 billion spent on foreign economic assistance annually, only $30 million currently goes to projects in Mexico. We need to change that policy to ensure Mexico becomes an economic success. There is no reason why it can’t become an example for other developing nations. As Congress debates the illegal immigration issue, it should also review the old programs that rebuilt Europe and Japan after World War II and consider doing some of the same for Mexico. A booming Mexican economy would ease the pressure on workers to migrate. An economically successful Mexico would also be a larger market for U.S. goods and services in the future.

The Mexican government is striving to change things. Last year, the country generated 750,000 new jobs. While this was admittedly inadequate to meet needs, it was a substantial improvement over previous years. The American economy ranks #1 in the world. It is linked to Canada (#8) and Mexico (#10) by the North American Free Trade Agreement. As such, Mexico should be treated as a major U.S. partner and rapidly developing country with a number of problems. Promoting a prosperous and stable Mexico should be our No. 1 foreign policy priority. Mexico’s economic development and our immigration crisis are linked. One can’t be resolved without addressing the other. How we handle the illegal immigration issue will have a big impact on improving or worsening U.S. relations with many of the countries in the Western Hemisphere. It is no longer an issue with only domestic political ramifications; it has also become a foreign policy matter. Since many in Latin America perceive the U.S. as an imperialist bully, an exploiter of natural resources and an unabashed supporter of right-wing dictatorships, we can’t afford to botch this matter. We need to make it clear that we understand the entire problem of economic development and are willing to push social reform programs along with the free trade agenda.

On November 4, 2006 our discussion will include human rights, treaty obligations, job creation, labor relations, fair trade, law and order, and political will on both sides of the border. It is a vast and endlessly interesting subject, and the conclusions from this day will be the beginning of a partnership and ongoing discussion about sustainable economic development with the Consul General of Mexico, the United Nations and citizen activists.

For more information contact Diane Gonzales, (949) 290-1738 or


Division Board Meetings - 2006

Division Board Meeting - July 29, 2006

Division Board Meeting - April 8, 2006

Division Board Meeting - January 28, 2006

Executive Committee Meetings - 2006

December 17, 2006


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