There´s a boom in the retirement industry in Mexico. Presently, there are around half a million Americans retiring in Mexico. They do this because they get great weather, nice people, and with the same income they can live much better lives.

Today, when I was teaching at IE, a student of mine said that this number is expected to grow to 15 million in 10 years and that there are tons of new retiring communities being built. As he was saying this, I was thinking about the fence that the United States is building to protect itself from Mexican immigration and thought that, paradoxically, in 15 years the fence could be used by the Mexicans to protect themselves from US immigration, as percentage wise if the retirement home projections are true there will be a larger proportionate immigration going South than North.

Now giving that this is the case, why build the fence at all? Mexico and USA should do what Northern Europe did with Southern Europe in the EU: open the borders. What that did, surprisingly, is that income rose everywhere and most people stay put.

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Hernán L. Romay on October 25, 2006  · 

Well, maybe that´s one of the “real” reasons for the US to build a fence, so that those spenders remain within… I have a tendency to think American strategists do consider these types of collateral effects. Maybe I´m overestimating them.

I think foreign policies should be mirrored. Eye for an eye, if they hurt one side.

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Dabis Camero on October 27, 2006  · 

I’m completely in agreement Martin. A fence is just the stupidest thing a few people from the US can be thinking to build. The intelligent, human and efficient approach is to open borders and allow all the exchange to happen.

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david burnett on June 30, 2008  · 

I think that almost everyone is in agreement that the border fence is a horrible idea except the people who are afraid of change and some politicians who are afraid of the same. Open trade would help everyone. I, for one, am seriously considering moving south of the border. One of many reasons is health care. I just recently had a visit to the local hospital and am appalled at not only the way I was treated, but the lack of treatment. I was sent away without!

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