Manuel Pérez-Rocha’s OtherWords op-ed Misguided U.S. Economic Policies Drive Many Mexicans to Come Here is clearly a conversation-starter.

“This is an excellent and correct perspective on the immigration debate and it is one that deserves front-page exposure in our daily papers as well as honest discussion on TV and elsewhere,” commented Paul Surlis on the OtherWords site.

Common Dreams agreed, running it on Monday. The article has attracted 40 comments so far on that site. “This article is a must read for everyone especially the immigrant bashers,” said “maxpayne.” Some of the 40 comments, however, veered into territory that seemed to be a bit beside the point and even bigoted. For example, “Trylon” said, “what is needed from the Rio Grand [sic] to Tierra del Fuego is ZERO population growth. Period. I swear, intention ultimately to invade the United States seems to begin in utero.”

Comments posted on Truthout, which also ran the op-ed, also illustrated how emotional immigration issues are in the United States. And several readers made concrete suggestions. Instead of spending millions upon millions for a boarder [sic] fence we ought to spend the money helping Mexico fight corruption,” Lawrence Seib suggested. “And by all means kill NAFTA.”

“I wish that each and every Mexican in this country could take a simultaneous 30 day vacation,” an anonymous poster said. “This country would simply fold up without them, but very few of us realize that.”

“Phil A.” said he agreed with Perez-Rocha. “The choice for many –especially from rural communities in Mexico and Central America is literally starve or leave.”

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