It matters little that California crops would rot in the fields without Mexican workers, that produce prices would skyrocket, the service industry go into crises, and the labor market collapse. Mexican villains are indispensable as scapegoats. They bear the guilt for the U.S. deficit, for the end of the war economy and subsequent unemployment, for the decline in educaiton and health, for the lack of programs for industrial reconversion and labor retraining. Proposition 187 in California, xeniphobia, barely disguised racism—these are all directed against the identified enemy, Mexico. Can Mexican immigration be curbed by denying education to children and health care to the sick? Do Mexican workers emigrate in search of schools and hospitals or in search of jobs? Never mind that they contribute more in taxes than they draw out in social benefits. None of that counts when xenophobia and discrimination rule the day, There is evidently something politically orgasmic in erecting fences and digging ditches to “secure the borders.” Erotic perversion reaches its extreme when Mexicans are murdered just because they are Mexican. Natural-born killers and natural brown victims.
from A New Time for Mexico by Carlos Fuentes. 1994 (Trans. 1996).