From my personal observations the average Mexican who emigrates to the United States is content with his general way of life in Mexico except that he lacks adequate economic opportunity and it is this which sends in search of a job to the United States. Those who successfully emigrate to the United States (legally or illegally) must learn English and in general be assimilated into our culture, which is a burden for both parties. Some manage to live near the border and cross over on a regular basis to work and then return home to Mexico. This causes them to spend considerable amounts of time in transit (including border wait times) and burdens the United States with the expense and risks involved in allowing foreigners to cross over. U.S. companies that have built factories in Mexico must deal with a corrupt political and economic system while their workers lack the labor protections found in the U.S.
Having considered this I wondered if there were not an a better alternative. While there are some border towns the extensive boundary between the United States and Mexico is largely unused space. What if as an experiment the Federal government of the United States were to take a section of land abutting the border, say about a half mile long and half as deep, and build a fence around it like the fence that lines the border. Then the government would take bids from companies to build factories in this area with an eye towards producing goods to be sold in Mexico. Once the factories are built a large gate would be opened through the border connecting this rectangular section of land with the country of Mexico. Mexican nationals would then be allowed to enter the area and take jobs in the factories without passing through Customs and Immigration. The security that once ran straight down the border will now go around the perimeter of the complex locking it together with Mexico. If the idea proves successful this complex can be extended as far as desired or more compounds could be started at other locations along the border.
By this rather simple operation consider what we have done. Mexican citizens who once wanted to immigrate to the United States are now happy to live near the border and take advantage of U.S. business acumen, wages, and relative freedom from corruption while still enjoying their general way of life in Mexico. The U.S. will benefit from reduced illegal immgration and a reduction of expenditures for policing the border. The goods produced will not just be goods to be sold in Mexico but goods that Mexicans cross the border to buy in the U.S. Outlet stores could be opened in the complex or in the adjacent area in Mexico so that fewer Mexicans will cross the border for shopping purposes.
Needless to say complications and controversies will arise. The idea that that there are jobs available on U.S. soil that only foreigners may have will have the unions up in arms. Conservatives will see this blurring of the borders as a step towards one North American country with a further aim towards a world government. Mexico will have to deal with a massive internal migration towards the border as people apply for these jobs. To remove the possibility of a new drug trafficking route the sewer system for the complex could run into Mexico rather than into the U.S. Whatever the complexities though I submit here for your consideration whether or not the benefits of this proposal will not outweigh the harm.