By Javier Ortiz (for Safe Democracy)

Javier Ortiz writes about the US plans regarding the border with Mexico, and about the Spanish efforts to stop its own illegal immigration, and says that for both countries it is like trying to repair a pipeline in bad condition: an escape is soldered, but the next instant, the water pressure provokes yet another leak. Ortiz believes that the social and economic development in the origin countries of the immigrants must be bolstered, so as to improve the living conditions of potential immigrants to the point where immigration is no longer the only escape.

Javier Ortiz is columnist of the newspaper “El Mundo” and political commentator in the public radio and TV of the Basque Country. He was Vice-Director of “El Mundo” and responsible for its opinion articles. He has been journalist since he was 18 years old. During Franco’ s regime, he went to jail and was exiled due to political reasons. He has been writing in different Spanish and foreign media, and he had published eight books.

BUSH WANTS TO BUILD A WALL that will divide the USA from MEXICO. He claims that each year a million and a half people try to cross the border illegally. However, these numbers are not entirely accurate, since the estimates include more than one attempt made by the same individual).

In Spain, the continuous influx of ships crowded with Sub-saharian immigrants has triggered all official alarms. In attempts to regulate this illegal immigration the overwhelmed Spanish government will rent an artificial satellite to watch the traffic of ships between the African shores and the Canary Islands. The plan is to institute a form of aero surveillance that will monitor the traffic of ships and detect those transporting immigrants, in hopes of intercepting them with patrol units before they arrive to the shores. However, there are so many illegal immigrant ships in any given day that the patrols would be unable to cope with the numbers.

It is impossible to know how efficacious those measures will be, in both the US and in Spain. To monitor by earth the enormous borderline between Mexico and USA may require and incredible deployment of resources and people. It seems it won’t be much easier to block the immigration between Africa and Europe. Even if they manage to block the Canary via, there are many other possibilities for crossing.

The immigration to the First World is like a pipeline in bad conditions: an escape is soldered, but the next instant; the water pressure provokes another one. The key point is the pressure.

Looking at the problem with more serenity, what is to be done to reduce the pressure is quiet clear. It is necessary to bolster the social and economic development of the immigrants’ origin countries, so that their citizens are not as impelled to escape from them.

In order to foster such development two key conditions would have to be met.

The first would be for the First World to transfer the required funds for such effort.

The second would be, the establishment of local political regimes with governments that do not pocket the federal funds. Both conditions are opposite to the logical of capitalist states, which strongly resist efforts to reduce their profits and which do not want to give up their already set-up business contracts with the current corrupt governments of Africa.

Some sensitive voices alert the West about the fact that, resisting a calculated resignation to “the least” (the minor effort) for Third World development, may put “the most” global security in jeopardy. And they are right.

But it is difficult, if not impossible, for the capitalist system to learn to calculate in the mid and long term, denying itself the benefits that it has within reach.

It is egotistic by nature.