Mexico City (Oct. 19)
That Jews planning to emigrate to Mexico should be informed of the true conditions of this country, to offset the fantastic rumors that, for personal or political reasons, have been set afloat, was the resolution adopted at a mass meeting of the principal Jewish organizations in Mexico City, the night of October 16.
This declaration, to be made to the European and American press, is to be formulated by a commission made up of two representatives from each organization, and the draft of it is to be submitted for approval to each organization before being issued for publication. Whether the declaration made by the Jews of Mexico is to be a warning or a welcome is as yet not clear.
After the speeches of General Calles both in the United States and Europe, asking for immigration and welcoming the Jews in the name of the Mexican government, it was thought that thousands of men who had cherished the hope of reaching “America” would turn to Mexico instead. It was this fear-for fear it is with the resident Jews-that has led them to take direct action in the matter.
The true conditions of the Jew in Mexico are very difficult to estimate. From opinions voiced, it was possible to paint either a brilliant or a bloody future for him.
It was pointed out by some speakers that most of the Jews who come here are tradesmen, and they are first of all faced with the difficulty of knowing neither language nor customs. As for the Jewish workman he is not able to compete with the Mexican workman, not in skill but in wages. No Jew will take the same low wages the Mexican will, and those who have employed him do not want to do so any longer because as soon as he becomes acquainted with the conditions of the industry the Jew establishes his own workshop-and forms competition. Peddling, into which the immense majority of the emigrants are forced, is already overcrowded. The livelihood they can earn from it is a miserable one, and the resulting living conditions, adjusted to the amount of money earned, are so poor that the individual, in far too many cases, becomes degenerated.
To offset this contention, it was said that Jews are accustomed to create industries and enterprises. Seeing that peddling is unprofitable, they would naturally enter into and develop new fields, proving of value to the country as well as reaching a fair prosperity themselves. Mexico is not an industrial country, and for this reason exactly, it would stimulate their initiative, and as they have conquered commerce they can easily control other industries.
At all events, it was said, the chief matter of importance is that, while Mexico is a good country for settlers, it is absolutely not in a condition to receive a large quantity of newcomers, particularly now, that the Jews who come here should be told that the conditions here are far different from the many-years-mecca of all immigrants, the U. S., and that while Jews who must leave their homes will be welcomed and aided, those who are not being forced by either social or economic conditions to come, should consider carefully and be prepared to risk everything and suffer many hardships, gambling on the final outcome of a position which a relatively new element will have in a country where hardly anything can be predicted with certainty.