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The 51st State? 

An open proposal to Hillary Clinton

Dear Secretary: What better way to solve the illegal immigration problem than to annex Mexico, give it commonwealth status and turn all those illegals into instant legals?

No more surreptitious sneaking back and forth, no more sucking off our colonial teats, no more bitter, largely uneducated "second class" citizens depleting resources that are under another country's stewardship, no more avoiding taxes and sneering in the face of the U.S. legal system by making a dash for the border. After all, if we're truly the Land of Plenty, let's accommodate the "tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to be free."

Mexico is largely a lush, sprawling land of rich diversity and tremendous natural resources. All we have to do is "adopt" Mexico and its citizenry; rid the country of its corrosives, toxins, gangsters, murderers, political corruption and unbridled mayhem; make it a bit more hygienic, ecologically responsible and less polluting; mandate that it take concepts such as civil liberties, women's rights and kindness to other creatures more seriously; and reevaluate its national priorities.

No more fences or slinking across the border via the Coyote Express. No more of this macho, bad boy Sureño vs. Norteño crap. No more greedy vicious cartels terrorizing folks with impunity.

The Mexican people would gain legal status and all the benefits and responsibilities that go along with it. If English-speaking Canada can tolerate (and coexist with) Quebec, than we should be able to swing a deal with Mexico. After all, we're already a bilingual country—look at much of our signage and packaging! And if you think the U.S. annexing Mexico isn't such a great idea, perhaps Mexico would like to annex us.

The turbulence that continues to churn up the Rio Grande foams with toxins, corrosives and heartache. Krazy Killer Kartels out of control, wholesale beheadings, murder, mayhem. NAFTA doesn't work, Mexicans stream across the border, melt into the migratory menudo, cut your lawn, feed your kids . . . and become "virtual" citizens sans documentation.

I think the best way to get control over these issues is to legalize marijuana and annex Mexico. We bring 100 million people under our beneficial national umbrella, make sure they're fed, educated, repaired and happy, and we get to share in Mexico's bountiful, largely untapped natural resources. We'll have more room, more cultural wealth and geophysical diversity, cheaper ganja, and a greater world presence—and less hostility, divisiveness and poverty.

Stephen Gross is a writer, editor and photographer from Guerneville.

Open Mic is a weekly op/ed feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write

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