The US Relationship with Mexico and Central America - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1931 Words
Date:  2021-06-09

Before the end of the 20th century, only a few of Central American natives lived in the USA. There were scarce populations of Salvadorans and Guatemalans who resided in San Francisco and Chicago respectively. In the 1980s, there were approximately 94,000 of Central American natives in the United States. The number increased over the next couple of decades to reach an overwhelming total of over one million Central American inhabitants (Gonzalez, 2000). The increase in the population is traced to the amplified wars in the Central American countries. Many of the citizens in these countries migrated to the USA in search of a peaceful land where they could find stable sources of livelihood. Most of the immigrants came from Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The Mexicans also migrated into the country in large numbers thereby adding on the existing number of immigrants.

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The U.S. Relationship with Central America

The U.S. has been providing developmental funds to the Latin American region since the end of the World War 2. However, the funding has continued to fluctuate over time due to the changes in the administration. Currently, a majority of the population in the Central American region live in poverty despite neighboring a prosperous country such as the U.S. (Gonzalez, 2000). The region is faced with the problem of poor sanitation and lack of adequate food for consumption by the residents. Urban development in the area is also slow, and it is also evident that electricity supply in the country is minimal. These are some of the reasons why the U.S. has continued to fund these countries to try and alleviate the living conditions of the residents. The lost decade of the 1980s brought a looming disaster to the region whereby the countries faced increased debt crises which made the U.S. intervene (Gonzalez, 2000). The nations tried to devalue their currency against the U.S. dollar only to make imports more expensive. The per capita income of the countries worsened over time until the end of the lost decade. The relationship between the USA and the Central American countries improved during this period since they ended up collaborating on various projects that were aimed at easing the lives of citizens.

The increased warfare in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala saw the loss of lives by residents of these countries. The number of deaths in the region had surpassed a quarter million. Most of the weaponry used by the soldiers in the war-torn countries was manufactured in the U.S. Some of the Central American natives tended to blame the U.S. government for the supply of ammunitions. During this time, the countries had a strained relationship despite the fact that many of the residents in these countries sought refuge in the United States. Claims were made by international groups that the wars were government sponsored, an issue that brought increased constraints among the countries (Gonzalez, 2000). These groups went further to instigate that the assassinations that were being witnessed in the country were political based. The Bush and Reagan administrations failed to give proper help to the immigrants from the war-torn countries who had been entering the country through the Mexican border. As the war continued, many of the U.S. citizens were not sure whether their government was helping in restoring peace in the region or backing the continuation of the conflicts. Strained relationships between the U.S. and some of the Central American nations arose. The last was as a result of Nicaraguan soldiers receiving training from U.S. training bases in Panama (Gonzalez, 2000). As a consequence of the influx of immigration from the Central American countries, the Congress intervened to ensure that those who were accepted into the country were taken through the process of naturalization to become citizens of the USA. Also, the move by Congress was meant to ensure that there was a balance in the number of natives being received from the Central American nations as well as from Mexico. To date, the U.S. still accepts thousands of persons from these regions despite being at logger's heads with some of these countries. Today, most of these natives occupy a significant place in the U.S. workforce such as gardeners, nannies, and home cooks (Gonzalez, 2000). These residents introduced a new perspective regarding the lifestyles of the indigenous inhabitants of the U.S. The natives have also established own welfare groups that cater to their needs and ensure that they live in harmony with the rest of the citizens.

The U.S. Relationship with Mexico

During the violent civil unrest that had ensued in the Latin American countries, most of the people in these countries fled to the United States and Mexico (Gonzalez, 2000). However, Mexico was not as suitable a place as it was in the U.S. and therefore, a majority of the emigrants opted to settle in the U.S. The Mexico/U.S. border at that time was a busy channel that catered for the movement of the runaways. The territory of Mexico was divided into half by the U.S. forces in the mid-19th century. New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona, and segments of Nevada were all formerly Mexican territories. Over the century, there were constant confrontations between the U.S. and Mexico as they tried to establish superiority over each other. Mexico has been a country that has a direct impact on the stability, prosperity, and security of the United States for many years. The two nations share a stretch of 2000 miles border that serves as the gateway of imports and exports between them. However, over the years, the relationship between the two countries has continued to experience challenges. Mexico's weak security systems have indicated the incapability of the countries' legal and court system. The last has been one of the things that the country has been criticized for and worsens its relations with the U.S. Up to date; Mexico continues to struggle with low levels of productivity, poor infrastructure, weak education system, and low standards of living that impair the economic growth of the country.

The influx of immigrants into the U.S. soil during the Central American civil unrest was attributed to the lack of another supportive country. Mexico was used as a pathway by the majority of immigrants who were denied access into the United States in a formal manner. The Reagan and Bush administrations refused to help thousands of Mexicans who entered the country in search of peace and stability (Gonzalez, 2000). Many Mexicans found their country not to sustain their needs and hence opted to cross into the U.S. in search of better sources of livelihood. Since the country was underdeveloped at the time, immigrants from the warring countries did not find it favorable. Mexico was also adversely affected by the civil war in the Central American countries since the trade with these nations stalled. As a result, Mexico had to engage in commerce more with the U.S. The increased interaction between the countries is what led to emergence of more conflicts that finally saw the U.S. participate in the war with Mexico and grab a significant portion of its territory. Various leaders tried to improve the coexistence between the two countries, but up to date, the relationship between the two nations remains estranged.

Reasons for Intervention and Invasion

When civil unrest broke out in the Central American region, there was the need for intervention by neighboring countries. The U.S. took the initiative of accommodating as many immigrants as possible. The country also tried to restore peace in the affected countries through the provision of soldiers who were deployed to Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The three countries were the most affected and the war continued to tear them apart. During an earthquake that hit the region in the 1970s, the Somoza soldiers took advantage and stole relief supplies that were worth millions of dollars (Gonzalez, 2000). As a result of this act, there was a public outcry that saw the Catholics and other independent parties turn against the Somoza regime that they had supported for over half a century. However, the U.S. government remained supportive of the Somoza leadership which was not welcomed by other Central American countries. Consequently, there was the formation of multiple groupings that raided the Somoza in guerilla attacks.

The immigrants from these countries who managed to find themselves in the U.S. territories settled in Los Angeles. These persons brought forth many problems to the U.S. more so regarding security. The majorities of them were unable to secure jobs to source their livelihood and hence resulted in unlawful acts such as squatting on government property and constant protests in the streets. Soldiers were ordered to shoot on sight any protesters that would be seen roaming the streets (Gonzalez, 2000). After the election of Carter as the president, he necessitated the removal of the Somoza reign which had continued to cause havoc in the Central American region. However, the removal came at a late stage as the Somoza rulers had caused increased and massive damages. In their place, the U.S. administration supported the Sandinista Revolutionists. However, after the election of Ronald Reagan, he reverted to training the Somoza soldiers and even equipped those financially to ensure that they reclaimed their power (Gonzalez, 2000). The U.S. government used the CIA operatives to train the soldiers and destabilize the existing government. The act further worsened the situation, and there was increased warfare in the region during the Reagan era. The invasion of the Central American region by the U.S. forces was a major blow for the countries since their economic welfare was completely sabotaged. While the U.S. government continued to increase the warfare in the region, more immigrants continued to stream into the country.

Differential Conditions

The governments in the Central American region escalated the war for many years which had adversely impacted them. Immigrants from these countries continued to increase over time with a majority escaping to the United States, and others fled to Mexico. Those who entered the U.S. first were the Salvadorians who formed their territories in Los Angeles. However, other Salvadorians were forced back home after the war despite their country being in a total mess. Due to the repatriation of over 14, 000 Salvadorians, the government strained to meet their basic and economic needs (Gonzalez, 2000). The Guatemala war that lasted for more than forty years was linked to being triggered by the CIA who initiated the 1954 coup in the country. Before the coup, the country was among the richest in the Central American region with vast tracts of land that supported the population. The land was the most valuable asset to the Guatemala people, and every elected president ensured that they increased the size of productive areas. The Guatemalans ill-treated immigrants who had fled from other warring countries. For example, all Indians in the country were required to carry passbooks wherever they went. The US government turned a blind eye on such issues as long as their interests were protected (Gonzalez, 2000).

As more persons fled from El Salvador, there were consistent questions as to why they would do so yet the U.S. government supported the reigning administration. During the Central American civil war, the U.S. enacted a policy that necessitated the accommodation of refugees from communist countries only (Gonzalez, 2000). However, the policy would later be absorbed due to public pressure as well as the Central American Mass departures. The new law emphasized on the need to accommodate all citizens who had been affected by war, racial segregation,...

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