My husband owns his own company and one of his clients has a facility in Monterrey, Mexico. For the past several years, he's traveled to this magnificent location as part of the work he does. I'm glad I had the opportunity to travel with him to see the city for myself.
It's a beautiful place - a huge sprawling conglomeration of modern tall buildings surrounded by neighborhoods and historic churches. While the population of Monterrey proper is around 2 million, the people in the surrounding valley area pushes that number much higher.
It is a huge valley surrounded by mountains. In the summer, the trip up to the mountain parks is a respite from the heat. In the spring and fall, it is breathtakingly beautiful as the butterflies (primarily monarchs) migrate. They have a spectacular national park known for his geographical aspects. In some areas of the park, it looks like God took a huge chuck of the earth, turned it on its side and planted it in the middle of the valley. We've all seen striations in rock, but these run vertically, providing great climbing opportunities and amazing photographs.
The people are overwhelmingly kind and welcoming to strangers. They love the 'tourists' and business people who travel to their city and take every opportunity to speak with them to practice their various languages.
Since the city is surrounded by mountains, it's been relatively insulated from the drug wars permeating the nation. But no more. There have been several incidents, including a shootout near a prominent school in the city. While I'm somewhat concerned for my husband's safety, I know he is being careful and his client has a bodyguard/driver for the people coming to their facility.
I tell you all this so you understand that the perspective I have isn't one of a casual observer to what is going on and what could happen. In talking with people who live there and who travel there on a regular basis, there is great concern that the nation is on the verge of collapse as a result of the drug wars and the way both the government and the gangs are responding to each other.
While I hope and pray that doesn't happen, it could. And the United States needs to be prepared for what will happen if it does.
Right now, our southern border is porous - and not much of a border, when you get right down to it. States trying to protect the border (and their citizens) are getting no real help from the federal government - and national security is one of the few Constitutional responsibilities the federal government actually has.
We all hear the arguments that people (from many nations) coming across our southern border are only seeking a better way of life. I have no problem with their goal, only their method of attaining that goal, which is illegally, rather than through the proper channels. But this post is not about illegal immigration - it is about what we could face if millions of Mexican citizens decide to flee their nation should the drug wars escalate.
How would we deal with the huge influx? Would we consider them to be refugees? Would we try, finally, to seal the border to control the access? If we allow them in, how might we handle all the people who, in many cases, would decide to stay rather than return if Mexico recovered from the problems that led them here?
Experts in the federal government plan to contingencies all the time. Do they have one for this scenario? I sure hope so.