[See also Time To Get Mexico Out Of Our Hair!, by Joe Guzzardi]
On November 16th and 17th, Mexico City was the scene of a special gathering: the "Primer Parlamento de Líderes Migrantes Mexicanos que Viven en Estados Unidos de America"—"The First Parliament of Mexican Migrant Leaders Living In The U.S.A."
This isn't the first time these meetings, discussing ways to subvert U.S. immigration policy and increase Mexican political power, have been held in Mexico.
In 2003 Mexican-American state legislators and mayors were invited to the "First Public Awareness Conference for Elected and Appointed Latino Officials" attended by such politicos as California State Senator Gil Cedillo, pusher of drivers' licenses for illegal aliens, and California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.
Then, in 2004 there was the "Primer Foro de Reflexión Binacional", which invited such Mexican-American luminaries as University of Texas "Mexican Studies" professor Jose Angel ("we're going to Latinize this country") Gutierrez and disgraced Clinton HUD secretary Henry Cisneros.
The recently-held "parliament" however, was composed of Mexican immigrant leaders, 540 of them, who met in the Mexican Congress building. One of the stated goals of the gathering was to make sure immigration is a major topic in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.
I think VDARE.COM readers would agree that it should be—but for different reasons than the assembled "parliamentarians" wanted.
The parliament was organized by Mexican congressman Jose Jacques, who boldly declared that "From this parliament will come forth a plan of action for the defense of our migrants and their families, that their rights be respected…"
Jacques, by the way, was first elected to the Mexican congress while residing in the United States, and more recently visited Capitol Hill to meddle in U.S. immigration policy.
Congressman Jacques, who is in the opposition PRD party, accuses the Calderon administration of not doing enough and wants the Mexican congress to negotiate directly with the U.S. Congress. [Cientos de migrantes en Parlamento Mexicano, Diario Hoy, By Leticia Espinosa, Nov. 16th, 2007]
Maybe the biggest star at the parliament was none other than recently-deported church-squatter Elvira Arellano.
She announced that she was beginning a hunger strike which would last until December 12th (The Feast of recently-canonized Virgin of Guadalupe, a Mexican nationalist symbol.)
However, just a few hours later, Elvira broke her hunger strike by consuming some delicious tacos de barbacoa.
She blamed her unauthorized taco consumption on some of her Chicago friends: "I did it so they wouldn't feel bad eating while I just watched. I will begin the hunger strike tonight."
The presence of Elvira at the "parliament" wasn't unanimously popular. In fact, she wasn't applauded very strongly, suggesting that some of her fellow "migrant-parliamentarians" might see her behavior as more of a liability than an asset.
What's more, the Elvira approach was openly questioned from the podium by Dolores Gonzalez, a PAN (National Action Party) congresswoman, who asked Elvira not to call herself "representative of the emigrants."
Congresswoman Gonzalez also had this to say:
"I respect Elvira as a laborer, emigrant and as a single mother, but not as an activist, because she goes against the sovereignty and the laws of another country [the U.S.A.] that is not hers."
Some in the audience didn't care for such comments. They yelled "Fuera, racista" (Out, Racist!) and "Promotora del Ku Klux Klan" (Ku Klux Klan Promoter!)
Now that's what I call having a dialogue over the issues!
Another critic of Elvira was Luis de la Garza, a Chicago resident and member of LULAC who told the audience that
"That country [the U.S.] has given us the opportunity that hasn't been found in Mexico. It has opened its doors and we are abusing it, because we cannot demand it, to challenge it as this lady [Elvira]. They [Americans] have their norms and their rules. The ones we should protest to are the government of Mexico for not generating jobs."
Valid points, indeed. But Francisco Chavira, of Laredo, Texas, answered:
"All support to Elvira Arellano. All. Don't the deported hurt you? Don't we have problems with the migrant-hunters, with the border wall, the state laws to kick us out of there?" [Elvira Arellano Divide al Parlamento Migrante La Opinión, By Gardenia Mendoza, November 17th, 2007. (Translation)]
The "parliament" also asked President Calderon to demand that our government "cease the militarization" applied to "indocumentados" (illegal aliens), and go to international courts to pressure the U.S.
There was also a call for a boycott against U.S. companies that promote "anti-Mexican" actions. One target would be Kimberly- Clark, said (ludicrously) to be owned by James Sensenbrenner. McDonald's and Starbucks were also criticized for not paying Mexican workers (in Mexico) the same as they pay workers in the U.S. [Insisten en realizar boicot, By Gardenia Mendoza, La Opinión, November 18, 2007]
Other topics discussed at the "Parliament": how to lobby in the U.S. on behalf of Mexicans; remittances; and suggestions for the government of Mexico—for example, that the Mexican government establish a cabinet post of "Migrant Secretary."
The "Parliament" also made a proposal that, in one form or another, has been kicked around for several years: to create permanent senators and representatives in the Mexican congress (in this case two of the former and ten of the latter) specifically to represent Mexicans in the U.S.A. [Piden crear en México un ministerio para inmigrantes y la posibilidad de ser diputados, Terra Actualidad, November 18, 2007]
There was a definite split at the "Parliament" though along party lines. The aforementioned Congresswoman Dolores Gonzalez, who had criticized Elvira on the 16th, on the 17th criticized the "Parliament" as being a PRD party show (She's in the PAN party).
"Parliament" coordinator Jose Jacques however, would have none of it:
".. the idea of this parliament is to create one sole Party because the PRD, PAN or the PRI [three major Mexican parties]can't do anything in U.S. territory [he's wrong about that, they can ] but a party created in defense of our nationality, a party called Mexico is what we are attempting to create here."
This statement was received with applause and chants of "sin-fron-teras/sin-fron-teras" and "sí se pudo / sí se pudo".
The most substantive accomplishment of the "Parliament": approving the establishment of a "Permanent Parliament of Migrants in the U.S."
According to La Jornada:
"In an historic decision, leaders of Mexican migrants agreed to establish a Permanent Parliament of Migrants in the United States, pluralistic and independent of governments and political parties of both countries, with its principal task to defend and promote the interests of the migrants who live in that territory (the U.S.) and now confront a 'terrible, racist and cruel walk in life'"[Parliamento Permanente de Migrantes en EU, By Jose Antonio Roman, Nov. 18th, 2007]
The first session of the "Permanent Parliament" is to be held in early 2008, probably in Washington, D.C.
Which is entirely logical—that way the "Parliament" can give orders directly to the U.S. Congress.
Will our Congress listen?
American citizen Allan Wall ( email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.