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US - Mexico Border Solutions | MEDICARE in Mexico? | An Independent Voters View

Updated on May 26, 2010

For folks that maybe newer followers of my ramblings here at Hub pages, you should know that I do comment on political issues but I generally refrain from writing up Hubs just to rant on any issue without also having some solution for the problem at hand. So after much deliberation and thought on the subject of illegal immigration, including some spirited debates with Customs and Border personnel I know, I have reached some interesting conclusions and even some possible solutions to the problem at hand.

First establish Ellis Island South – “Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry, yearning to breathe Free.” I think it is time for the US to renew the spirit of the Statue of Liberty. When it comes to the illegal alien workers, we really have to stop for a minute and recognize what it these folks want and what they have been willing to risk in the past to get here.

On average the illegal worker has saved for years to get the $1500-$5000 dollars to pay a ‘Coyote’ to get them across the border. They have risked the uncompromising deserts of the Southwest, being locked in a connex, or stuffed under the back seat and chassis of cars. Face it; these people are committed to get here and create a better life. I heard the old joke recently, the goes like this, “If you look at your breakfast you can see the difference between committed and involved. The Chicken was involved in your breakfast by supplying an Egg, but by supplying the bacon the Hog was committed.” These are exactly the kind of folks that came over on the Mayflower, committed to the opportunity of ‘The New World’, the same kind of committed the Irish showed up with at Ellis Island during the potato famines, The same kind of committed the East Europeans showed up with, the Italians etc., throughout our history we have honored those who put it all on the line for a chance at the opportunity America holds out. Not a guarantee of results; mind you, but the promise of opportunity.

The fact is that with an estimated 12,000,000 illegal workers (IW’s) already in the country, (this represents 9%of the population of Mexico). It’s time to rethink the work aspect of this and also separate the potential Immigrant from the Migrant worker. I don’t have any supporting research on this but I would suspect that 60% or more of the current IW’s would prefer Migrant status as opposed to Immigrant. Most are here because they have family in Mexico that needs the money, money not for a new TV or Washer or Dryer but for more essential things like food and shelter. The kind of reasons many Americans would be migratory for given the same circumstances (remember the Dust Bowl and “The Grapes of Wrath”).

For this 7to 8 million workers we need to set up a minimal; standard for entry, that include a basic medical check, and an employer at the gate willing to hire them. This would be the reason for an Ellis Island South. Instead of having to save $1500 or more for an Illegal entry, you could charge them say $200 to cover basic costs. These Migrant workers would not be authorized any US services like Social Security, Unemployment, or Medical Treatment (Emergency Treatment in a US hospital would be billed to the Mexican Government). On the later we need to negotiate with the Mexican Government to establish migrant clinics (maybe even regional hospitals) that serve these folks at the same cost as these services are provided in Mexico. The rules would allow the employers to pay in a band from say 80%-120% of the minimum wage; and occupations would be limited to unskilled labor type jobs. These include field work, simple labor, I’m sure there are others that would come to mind. Their visa would require them to periodically (annually) check in with the government and have a 3 year expiration. When they then must put foot on Mexican soil for a day or two and then having followed the rules may return.

Immigrants must have a three year US work history with no record of derogatory information, meaning a clear police record. They must pass a Basic English, American History (basic facts), and Drivers License test in English. They are then issued a ‘green card’ and minimum wage rules apply for employers. They are then eligible to compete for skilled labor positions,(except State, Local, and US Government) and they become tax paying Immigrants with all the rights and privileges normally extended, most importantly the ability to bring immediate family with them at a designated point in the future (say 6 months) call it ‘establishment time’. Immediate family would be defined as Spouse, Children, Parents, and Parent in-law. This individual would be on a fast track to Citizenship of say 1 year for the primary green card holder, and 3 years for immediate family, all must pass the Standard US Citizenship exam etc etc.

These rules and facilities should be established immediately along with the completion of our fence and other measures along all of our borders. How to do this in a hurry you ask? I propose we use the Military Reserves (not including the National Guard). The way I envision this is to allow service members exiting active duty with a service obligation, to continue at current pay grade in border service with an accelerated release date at a 2:1 ratio. That is if you did 3 years active duty and you now have 5 years remaining on your service obligation, instead of doing it in the National Guard and being eligible for overseas deployments but maybe no deployments at all (with Iraq winding down) and just local duty, you serve on the Border for 2 ½ years and your service obligation is over. For retirees, once you lock in for retirement you get to serve your last two years before retirement on the border (This would maintain an appropriate rank structure in the force). To minimize costs this would be treated as a deployment with essentially the same sort of camps set up (maybe not as rudimentary but say unaccompanied tours) as overseas contingency operations. Duties would essentially be manning the Border, Fence Line and the 200m Kill zone (yes I said Kill zone) in front of the fence. The border would be well marked, defined and warning signs in multiple languages would be placed well in front of it. Now we have the bad guys locked out from overland unauthorized entry and to keep them out of light planes set up an no nonsense Air Defense Identification and Engagement Zone. We do have the technology to accomplish this and folks with the skills to do so.

Now I can already hear the rumblings of both the right and the left politically on this one so keep reading ‘cause it gets better. I have recently read a press release (see link below) on how certain Me3xican Hospitals are upgrading their facilities and standards to meet US Medicare Standards so they can accept payments from US retirees living in Mexico. There are already over 1,000,000 retired Americans living in Mexico and there are already 8 hospitals that meet the criteria and more on the way. The Amerimed Hospital in Puerto Vallarta advertises “All doctors are bilingual US Board certified. Hospital is open 24 hours. We offer emergency and urgent care. In addition to in-house consultations we offer hotel consultations.” With healthcare costs only 30% of what they are in the US for the same services, you have what I call a unique Eureka moment facing us here.

I have further researched the living in Mexico and am seriously rethinking my retirement plans base on what I have found. In a place like Puerto Vallarta I could by a nice two bedroom apartment in a gated community for around $60-110K. I nearly have that much equity in my current house and my Army retirement would go a very long way even in the tourist trap of PV.

Now if we give economic incentives so we have an equal number of US retirees living in Mexico, as we do migrant workers, in the US the cost savings for Medicare would pay the border security costs in probably one or two years. Remember Healthcare services and drugs are on sale 70% Off! The long term effects could be enough to subsidize the early retirement and Medicare enrollment to say age 55 for those willing to relocate and to encourage this we could increase the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security in the states to say age 70.

This influx of US retirees might well take some of the pressure off of the jobless rate in Mexico itself, as we would of course need our gardeners, maids, and cooks down there as well. I could see the whole border situation stabilizing inside of three years with just this initiative alone.

Some other possible actions and benefits would be to require the migrants and immigrants to set up a 401K that can only invest in US Treasuries and 1% of their income must be contributed with a 2% match by the employer. US expatriate retirees must put 30% of their IRA, 401K in US treasuries as well. But the normal rules of withdrawal are suspended so they can take less out each year they are over 70 and make withdrawals with no penalty for those retiring under age 59 ½. While it would not completely fund the US Debt it would give a real floor to it so the ratings may remain higher in the future.

I could see this sort of program extending to other countries as well like Belize, The Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua (They have some really beautiful gated Golf Course communities super cheap!) . If Aruba can knock its prices back maybe them too, along with Panama, and Columbia. After all if it’s only Mexico then inflation will kick in with no competition and would wreck the whole plan. Who knows maybe even Brazil or Argentina might want to get on board.

Now I recognize this is an oversimplification but good plans are simple ones. I think we may have a place to start here, and welcome comments and debate on this issue. I think the hard right gets to keep the pressure up on the United Farms Workers this way, along with the consumer benefit of cheap produce, and a well-tended garden. The left gets easy access for migrant and immigrant workers (although if they can’t vote they may be less enamored). But they get the gardener and the maids and nannies too. Those of us in the middle get all of those benefits plus a great warm and sunny climate to live out our years only a short flight away from our home country (and a reason to go visit the grand kids now and then and the means to spoil them rotten (He He!)).

I say it’s a Win-Win-Win situation all the way around…

Note: I particularly want to thank my good friend and fellow vet and hubber 50 Caliber His comments on several recent hubs of others gave me much reason to pause and think this through. Thanks Dusty!!

Did you like what you read? If so Vote it up! Was it useful, funny, awesome? Click the button and let me know thanks for stopping by.

I welcome rational debate but please keep your comments civil..


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    • PaulStaley1 profile image


      7 years ago from With the wind---(or against it)

      Interesting! Mexicans are a wonderful, hard working people and deserve to better their lives. If I was living in abject poverty in Mexico I would move north to help my family. Great hub!

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 

      8 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      Thoughtfully and compassionately written. Yes, indeed.

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 

      8 years ago

      Hey where's Hmrjmr ???? Hope all is okay,...

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Why don't we just annex Mexico already?? Enjoyed the read!

    • Army Infantry Mom profile image

      Army Infantry Mom 

      8 years ago

      Excellent,. Excellent solutions and thoughts you have,.. but I am not surprised coming from you. If only I had a magic Jeanie and one wish,.. you'd be publishing this from the oval office,..LOL HOOAH !!!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hmrjmr - I have not read one of your hubs for quite some time. What was I thinking! This is one of the most well thought out hubs that I have ever read. Instead of everybody fighting, and the vilification of hard working people - we need to find a new way, some sort of common sense program that will actually work well for everyone involved. Thumbs up! I think that I am going to Stumble this one.

    • equealla profile image


      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Illegal immigrants are a serious problem in my country too. Unfortunately there is no real solution yet as to manage it in such a way for all to be happy.

      Our biggest and most sincere problem is the exploitation of illegal drugs amongst our own children. This is causing most of us a "little grief and dismay" against the illegal immigrants.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the info Sir

    • profile image

      Greg Abramowitz 

      8 years ago

      There is a facebook page called

      The Border Solution - US/ Mexico / comprehensive & bipartisan

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      I thank all who have left comments for your kind words on this subject. It is time I think for this to be a positive national debate with the idea of real solutions that address the root causes of the problems both in Illegal migrant workers, and the drug flow.

      IF all sides can approach this with all the old tired politics set aside I think we could figure it out. Help spread the word and let's see if we can..

      PS, Dusty I'll get those links to ya. Haooah!

    • billyaustindillon profile image


      8 years ago

      I have just read through your hub Hmrjmr1 and was most impressed with the fluidity of the argument. I shook my head and damn, this makes sense. When was the last time you heard sense on this topic? We need to address this problem and in doing respect people for what they are. There are some great ideas here and suggest a doable solution.

    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 

      8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      I like the idea of an Ellis Island south (mabey an Ellis Valley or Ellis Plateu). I am one of the people who thinks we have too many criminals because we have to many laws. If we gave these folks a legal way to be here and work here i think the sign up would be way closer to 90% than 60%. The only ones who woudl not want legal status are the criminals who can not get it anyway and the gangerster types. And they woudl be easier to find if everyone else was legal.

      Thanks for the well thought through hub. I just made one about annexing Mexico but I think your idea could come to frutation way easier than mine could.

    • girlpower profile image


      8 years ago from eugene oregon

      now if that wasnt the best explaination i have heard about all this immigration issue, will be forwarding it to all my lists and a few of my regular congress people. great hub.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hmrjmr, I think you have some good ideas that could work. Good hub.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      This is a courageous view. For a solution of a problem, the country should not only look to the interest of her but also it is in necessity to think the problems of the other country. After all we are all the citizens of the Globe.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Hammer, pow I floored! I was thinking "damn I'm glad that a superior writer and organizer has written clearly what I'm talking about, then you go and out me! LOL I've got 100% equity in this land and a healthy sum in my monthly allotment pay out and I have a great contact in and out of Belize, she sets up vacations and the path of ease if one wants to relocate there maintaining US citizenship. It takes 20k in a bank account and bringing it to Belize makes you welcome to buy and stay. A permit for a revolver or 1911 pistol of 10 rounds or less can be purchased and that right there is all I could ask for. I spent 5 days there in 2007 and the clear blue waters and fishing was fantastic. You've just added fuel to the fire for me to get serious about relocating if I sold at half market I could still leave here with 200K.

      THANK YOU! for putting a clean legible plan as well as giving proper respect to the fine, hard working folks wanting something better for their families. I have hired them back in 2 of 3 businesses I owned in California and they are good respectful,thankful men and women. I enjoyed invitations to their humble homes and been fed some hand made Mexican meals as well as being the recipient of 10 dozen tamales at the holiday seasons that will knock your lips off. I was taken in and taught how to make them and once a year I take a week and make a big batch of, elk, deer, pork(Javalina) as well as the ones that are packed with sweets for a treat. Next to gulf shrimp and lobster they are my 3rd favorite.

      The disrespectful flag desecrating Mexicans are US citizens more than not, and the media casts them as Illegals, the power of lies are destroying their name. It is sad. I get my medical care in Mexico, it and prescriptions are quite affordable. Dentists, a gold crown in the US 750 to 1000 bucks, Mexico, 250 bucks. Glasses, 350 bucks, Mexico 125 bucks. I could go on here but I'm probably going to ex-pat to Belize or Casa Viarta in the next 2 years. I will look at Puerto Vallarta as well. If you have a list of links feel free to email them to me.

      You are a wise man with talent that has made me rethink a few things, this one is a fucking home run, ball to the moon. I Love You, Peace Dusty

    • NamVetRich profile image


      8 years ago from Springfield Oregon

      Bravo!!!!!!!!!! Living in Sonoma County northern CA. for over 30 years and watching the expansion of the grape industry it is staggering. With out the day laborers this I know for a fact could not have happened. This, like you said, is a very hot topic but I believe everyone should read this Hub, my one comment which you answered is that most if not all of these people get paid in cash, millions of dollars, and the majority of the money goes back over the border, no taxes etc. We need more Hubs like this one.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      You've got some solid ideas, here!!!

    • eovery profile image


      8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      This sounds a lot better than what a brainiacs in Washington are doing

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Sheila - Can't say if I were in your shoes I would think any different thanks for stopping by and checking it out.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      You read the story about my father-in-law, so you know I'd be leery to move to Mexico. Quite simply, I wouldn't trust them.

    • Hmrjmr1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Georgia, USA

      BPOP and Tom - Thanks so much for stopping by, It's time we took a hard look at all of it and do what is right. This may not be the whole answer but it sure is a place both sides could start. GBY!

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      I applaud your common sense suggestions as good solutions to immigration. Kudos to you sir!!!!!!!!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      I am impressed. You really thought this through and it shows. I for one would not be interested in retiring in Mexico, but many people are doing just that. Let's face reality, we need to devise a comprehensive plan to deal with this growing problem. If we don't our problems will escalate dramatically. I think it is possible to act humanely and secure our borders at the same time. Burying our head in the sand just won't cut it. I voted this hub up!


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