Mexico and California are caught between a rock and a hard place

Strategy Page notes that Mexico is on the horns of a dilemma when it comes to illegal aliens.  Here’s an excerpt.

The government [of Mexico] announced it would spend $50 million to hire lawyers in the United States to defend Mexican citizens there illegally and faced with deportation. This is all about money and a lot more than $50 million. The Mexican central bank tracks how much money Mexicans abroad send home and in 2016 it was $25 billion, almost all of it from Mexicans in the United States and much of it from Mexicans in the United States illegally. That remittance cash accounts for more foreign exchange than Mexican oil exports. The remittance income is rising. It was nearly $22 billion in 2013 and is expected to rise to $28 billion in 2017, unless the United States enforces its immigration laws like Mexico does. Mexico has for decades tolerated illegal migration to the United States because the corruption and bad government in Mexico did little to provide jobs for the growing number of unemployed Mexicans and created a lot of potentially troublesome young men and women. Tolerating and, for many Mexican politicians, openly supporting the illegal migrants, was a popular policy and the government came to regard it as a right. But it was also about money and the remittances created a huge source of foreign currency flowing back to Mexico.

. . .

Mexico has more severe laws against illegal immigration and illegal migrants than the U.S.  It also enforces them more vigorously than does the U. S. By mid-2014 Mexico agreed to undertake Operation Sur which was supposed to curb illegal Central American migrants from entering Mexico. Operation Sur increased surveillance operations along Mexico‚Äôs southern border and improved border inspections. The government also tried to improve registration of legal migrants. In addition to the criminals, local police forces in southern Mexico have been accused of extorting money from illegal migrants and police corruption has long been a major problem. Despite Operation Sur, Mexico did little halt illegal migration across its northern border.

All this was noticed in the U.S. and politicians there found themselves under increasing pressure to enforce American migration laws as vigorously as Mexico (and Canada) did. By 2016 that brought to power an American government that seemed serious about applying Mexican practices to illegal migrants and actually did so. That was unpopular in Mexico and will probably lead to unexpected changes inside Mexico. But the practice of blaming your northern neighbor for your problems is losing its punch even in Mexico.

There’s more at the link.

There’s even more to it than the remittances sent home by Mexicans (legal and illegal) in the USA.  About 80% of Mexico’s foreign trade is with the United States.  If Mexico refuses to cooperate in dealing with the US’s illegal alien problem, and refuses to renegotiate NAFTA, guess what’s going to happen to most of that foreign trade?

California’s facing the same problem in a different way.  It’s said to be home to more illegal aliens than any other state in the USA.  President Trump appears to be wildly unpopular among, even hated by, many people there.  The state government is now considering a bill to declare the entire state a sanctuary for illegal aliens . . . but then what?

  • The US government would undoubtedly seek to enforce US law, which constitutionally takes precedence over state law in areas where they conflict.
  • California would probably refuse to recognize as legitimate, or cooperate with, any measures enacted by the federal government.
  • The federal government has all sorts of avenues of pressure available to it.  It can stop sending federal funds to the state, and also embargo electricity, water, and fuel shipments to California, plunging the state into chaos.
  • However, California can retaliate.  It can stop sending taxes to the federal government, which would actually gain it money, since it’s one of the few states that contributes more to the central government than it receives from it.  It might even seize federal property, and seek to use it for the state’s benefit.  Both measures would, again, lead to retaliation by the federal government.
  • The last time that sort of thing happened, it led inexorably to the Battle of Fort Sumter.  Would California be insane enough to go that far?  It’s not impossible.  It’s governed by moonbats – and logic has never been their strong suit.

Pass the popcorn, folks.  Both Mexico and California are going to make interesting watching over the next few weeks and months.



  1. So, it's not actually CA that sends the money to the IRS.

    Each employer writes out a check to the IRS for money deducted for Federal Taxes and sends it to the IRS. Sacramento is not involved, and so Sacramento has no way to cut off those funds.

  2. Depends on how you slice it. If you include retiree benefits, the state actually receives roughly $50 billion more than it sends to the federal government. California is #1 in retiree benefits, non-retirement benefits, grants, and salaries and wages from the feds, and #2 on federal contracts.

  3. Cutting Grants and federal contracts would put a ~115 billion hole that the state/counties/cites would have to fill and as a previous comment said, the taxes from the businesses would still be coming in.

  4. You ask if Callies are stupid enough to whack themselves, from 30 years of experience, yep.
    Remember, these are the dimbulbs that are building a $6 billion high speed train from nowhere to nowhere and already the cost has escalated to something $20 billion.

  5. The Us would also have the option of embargoes against California: No electricity or water from the Hoover Dam, for example. No rail traffic. No air traffic. Those sorts of things.

  6. One problem CA has is that it has no claim to territorial integrity, outside the territorial and then state boundaries granted by the federal government. Thus, any secession would not necessarily include areas that chose to secede from CA and remain in the US.

    Not to mention, all the "fighters" they might muster are probably more majority loyal to the United States vs CA. I suppose they could call up the Hollywood Blvd denizens to fight?

    And the United States already has many strategically placed, well supplied and armed bases in CA territory. Most with the ability to bring in supplies via air or sea avoiding convoys through enemy territory.

    And finally, this is for both Mexico and California, you do not start a war with the US where the good ole boys can jump in their truck on Friday after work and be in the sh** by mid-day Saturday and back home for 2nd shift on Monday.

    One might also wish to point out that California is isolated in oil and gas pipelines and deeply dependent up on Alaskan oil shipments.

  7. As I suggested in another venue, the difference between 1861 and 2017 is that in 1861 the Federal government wanted to stop states from leaving the Union.

  8. Let 'em secede. They'll find that they need the rest of the states more than we need them.

    Wall California off too, as far as I am concerned.

    We have other west coast ports. The loss of revenue from that alone will bankrupt the state. Plus the loss of agriculture markets and such….

    I think your numbers are wrong, or calculated differently than what I see. They are closer to 100 billion in the hole if the Feds cut 'em off. Plus, if they secede, they can't have the rest of us help pa for their continued deficits…they can use the dollar, but not for long….then they are bankrupt.

    California need the US more than the US needs California. It won't be pretty, but in the end the US will come out ahead. California, not so much.

  9. Could someone please remind these loonies that they got Al Capone for tax evasion, when they couldn't get him on anything else?

    As a former self-employed person, I know for a fact that one owes the total amount of federal income tax for your income level, no matter what. When employed by someone else, half of that income tax bill shows up your W-2, and the other half the company just pays directly. When you're self-employed, you pay both halves.

    If the employer (i.e. State of California) stops paying its half, every public employee in California is going to find the IRS dangling a criminal tax evasion case if they don't cough up the dough. A few (hundred thousand) felony tax evasion cases, and you may find that quite a lot of Hillary's vote surplus in California will not be eligible to vote again. (And not own firearms, but most won't miss that until they have a moment when they really miss it.)

  10. I was born, live, and work in California, so I have a front-row seat to the insanity.

    If you think they're upset now, wait until Trump releases his rumored restrictions on H1B visas. Most (not all, but most) of the high-tech moguls backed Hillary, and worked against Trump. But – thanks to their support for the Democrat party – the government has ignored their abuse of the H1B system.

    It was intended to be a way of getting skilled workers if none were available locally – to qualify, the visas allegedly went to the very best in their fields, possessing skills impossible find in this country. Who would be paid above-market wages. Instead – ask anyone actually working in the field – it's become a way of hiring lower-end tech workers at below-market wages. Workers that don't complain because if they're fired they have 30 days to find a new employer AND get their visa transferred, or leave the country.

    If he imposes some of the rumored changes – much lower quota limits, and a much higher required minimum salary for each worker – you should be able to hear the howls of outrage all the way to Texas (where it will blend in to the howls from employers in Austin and other, smaller, tech centers).

  11. Following on – and they can't even push California succession too hard; unlike the crazy successionists, they depend on the US economy.

    I'm getting a king-sized bowl of popcorn and settling in to watch the show.

  12. CA, if you secede, then we can succeed. Please go for it you neo-Confederate racist bastards. Oh wait, that's only when the South says they would like to leave. Nevermind.

  13. Well, let's not be too hasty here. back in the '80s a measure was introduced in the Colorado legislature calling for CO retaining all gas tax monies that were beign sent to D.C.; the issue was CO sent dollars, D.C. returned pennies. It died in committee, but the concept has value.

    So Cali decides to have a tantrum and stop sending $$ to D.C. From a Constitutional standpoint, that won't work, but it does open the idea to discussion. Undoubtedly, D.C. would enforce compliance, much to the detriment of any and all in Cali – the applied leverage would hurt, and the trick would be to cause enough pain to gain compliance without killing the subject – but it would open to widespread discussion the brainless sending of more, more, more to D.C. and what D.C. does with it.

    A reminder: it is The United States of America, not America With a Huge Central Government and Fifty Insignificant Political Subdivisions. If a little inconvenience, initiated by the low IQ crowd in Sacramento, can resurrect that concept, I'm hard pressed to see it as a completely bad thing.

  14. It would be a very strange war with Mexico. In my view it would end in about a year, the US government would win and demand Mexico take back California.

    I could be wrong.


  15. There's another battle at stake here: the 2020 census, and the redistricting that comes with it.

    Congressional districts are appointed based upon total RESIDENTS, not registered voters, eligible voters, or even citizens.

    Take away immigrants and California loses *SIX* Congressmen and electoral votes. Obviously not all of those are from illegals, but it's still massive.

    Expect this fight to get ugly.

    The impact of non-citizens on Congressional apportionment

  16. There's a far easier way to bring California to heel.

    Shut down all internet traffic routing in or out of the state.

  17. "In the name of protecting our valuable and irreplaceable natural resources and preserving the Earth, I President Donald J. Trump, hereby announce that hereby all water transfers across state lines is banned, and direct the Army Corps of Engineers to shut down and seal off all cross state aquifers, in the following order of priority…"

    Bye, LA.

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