Mexican presidential candidates, that is.
The Mexican presidential election is running at full throttle. Election Day is July 2nd.
The three major candidates are
All three of them admit that Mexico should be doing more to create jobs here in Mexico and each promises to do so. But they all want to keep the old American safety valve open for Mexican emigrants. They all three have concrete proposals to accomplish that.
Let's see what each candidate has to say:
PRI's Roberto Madrazo:
Madrazo has promised to support the agricultural sector, develop tourism in rural areas, promote new jobs in the software industry, open the electrical sector to private (even foreign) investment, develop wind and solar power, and end the inequality of the indigenous communities. His roadside campaign signs make some really incredible promises: "Zero Kidnappings" and "No More Mistreated Women."
Oh, and he has promised to eliminate the post of first lady.
On emigration, Madrazo promises a "strong and determined defense of the rights of migrants." He proposes a national fund in which migrant contributions would help establish businesses in Mexico for their families. [Propone Madrazo renovar la política migratoria, Jorge Octavio Ochoa Feb. 25th, 2006]
Madrazo wants a "migratory accord" with the U.S. and has suggested a cabinet subsecretary for the protection of migrants' rights. (That is, the rights of Mexican migrants in the U.S., not vice versa.)
Oh, and Madrazo says the solution is not to build walls. [Expone Madrazo plan de política exterior, El Siglo De Torreon, March 28th]
While U.S. immigration patriots rightly criticize incumbent President Fox for meddling in U.S. politics to keep the borders open, the PRI candidate says Fox is a U.S. puppet who has permitted the Americans to unilaterally dictate the terms of the immigration debate. (!)
Quoth Madrazo: "Fox has acquiesced too much, allowing the United States to roll all over us and not defending enough the rights of our countrymen toiling under the worst of circumstances over there."[Candidate vows to return PRI to power, MySanAntonio.Com, April 10,2006, by Hernan Rozemberg]
It's highly unlikely, though, that Madrazo will win the presidency. The race is really between PAN's Calderon and PRD's Lopez Obrador. And it's tightening. A poll announced on April 17th put Lopez Obrador at 38% and Calderon at 34%. And, in a poll reported on April 25th, Calderon was ahead of AMLO by 38% to 35%.
And here's what they have to say….
PAN's Felipe Calderon:
I saw Calderon in person, when he gave a speech in the metropolitan area in which I live. He's the candidate that my Mexican wife and my Mexican in-laws plan to vote for. (As a foreigner in Mexico, I can't get involved in Mexican politics.)
Calderon says he will attract investment and lower interest rates. He has promised to build a million houses a year and to offer national medical insurance for children. Calderon wants to establish a national system of day care centers for children, lengthen the school day and expand Fox's social programs. He wants to promote ecotourism for U.S. retirees, build new cities, lower the price of fertilizer, establish an internet labor market and construct refineries. (However, he has already promised not to privatize PEMEX.)
And Calderon says his wife won't interfere in politics.
On emigration, Calderon has called on U.S. congressmen to halt the "irrationality" of HR4437 because it goes against the "rights" of "migrants." The candidate has expressed solidarity with Mexicans in the U.S., says they are not criminals and that they contribute to the economy of the U.S. [Exige Calderón a EU frenar ley migratoria, El Universal, March 25th]
He says he supports the Mexicans in the U.S. who are fighting for their human rights, labor rights and political rights. [Ofrece Calderon impulsar reforma migratoria con EU, Siglo April 13th, 2006]
Calderon has also promised to fight for the right of Mexicans working in the U.S to be paid pensions to which they have contributed if they return to Mexico. [Ofrece Calderón pagar pensión a mexicanos en EU, Sergio Javier Jiménez, El Universal, March 30, 2006] (This sounds like the Social Security totalization plan that the Bush Administration is working out with Mexico anyway.)
Arturo Sarukhan, Calderon's international relations coordinator, says that Calderon understands the U.S. better than Lopez Obrador, and that Calderon's better understanding enables him "to protect the 8 million undocumented Mexicans in the United States." [Candidates stressing jobs, Nathaniel Hoffman, Miami Herald, Mexican Edition, April 12th, 2006]
Calderon says that "immigration is not solved by a wall." And, discussing the proposed border fence, Calderon joked that "we'll jump over it anyway."
Calderon is pro-NAFTA and wants to take it to the next step. He puts it like this:
"In the coming two decades, I envision the whole North American region ... as a single region with a free market, not just in goods and services and investments, but also a free labor market…The region could be like the European Union." [Calderon vows to look U.S. in the eye, My San Antonio.com, Sean Mattson, April 3, 2006]
Here Calderon is following in the footsteps of President Fox, who declared in his Madrid speech that he wanted NAFTA to develop along the lines of the European Union.
And, let's be frank, it all seems to fit in with the globalistic visions of our own president, George W. Bush.
The European Union, remember, is not just a free trade agreement—it actually aims at merging the historic nation-states of Europe into a political union.
PRD's Manuel Lopez Obrador:
Lopez Obrador, also known as "El Peje" [From pejelagarto, a fish in his home state of Tabasco, see photos here.] or by his initials AMLO, is the front-runner. He heads up la Coalición Por el Bien de Todos (the Coalition for the Good of Everybody) with the PT (Labor Party) and the Convergencia Party. He is a stem-winding orator (some would say a demagogue) and definitely the most flamboyant of the three major candidates.
AMLO promises pensions to the elderly, students, and single mothers. He promises to lower prices of light, gas and gasoline, raise minimum wage above the inflation rate, regularize state abortion laws, make the Federal District the 32nd state, lower salaries of high government officials, construct refineries and a railroad. He wants to re-negotiate NAFTA, investigate the Salinas era (1988-1994), lower government costs, offer low interest agricultural loans and combat corruption. El Peje wants to establish a number of new governmental bodies, including councils, media networks, and truth commissions. Oh, and he wants to practice governmental austerity as well.
And he doesn't believe in the post of First Lady.
AMLO says that "migration" is the principal topic on the agenda with the U.S. He opposes walls, and any kind of tough immigration policy in the United States. [Los candidatos a la Presidencia; ¿qué dijeron? March 22nd, El Universal]
In fact, AMLO's party platform [PDF] actually calls for
"…the termination of all threats, arrests, apprehensions, raids and other abuses of the American immigration authorities against the undocumented workers."
It also calls for the end of "anti-immigrant vigilantism carried out by civil groups" (A.K.A. the Minutemen).
AMLO has expressed his solidarity with the marching Mexicans in the U.S., says he will work for legalization of Mexican illegal aliens in the U.S. and seek a migratory accord. [Externa AMLO apoyo a marchas de inmigrantes en EU, El Universal, April 10th, 2006]
Like Madrazo, el Peje says Fox hasn't done enough to oppose U.S. immigration policy. [A leftist leader in Mexico, too?, Danna Harman, Christian Science Monitor, April 3, 2006]
AMLO promises that, beginning in December (when the new term begins), he will transform Mexican consulates on U.S. soil into procuradurías ("prosecutorial offices") [Vdare.com note: from the Roman imperial term "Procurator."] to "protect our countrymen from mistreatment, discrimination and the violation of their human rights." [AMLO ofrece buscar acuerdo migratorio, Jorge Ramos, El Universal, March 26th, 2006]
So you think consulates are meddling already? AMLO wants more of it.
AMLO's cultural adviser is none other than Elena Poniatowska, a white Mexican elitist author who is on record as exulting over "reconquista" of the American Southwest through immigration.
And AMLO has promised to establish the Sexta Circunscripción Electoral—a proposal that's been floated before but hasn't yet materialized.
What is it? Well, the Mexican electoral system divides the country into five large electoral super-districts, each called a circunscripción.
(For a circunscripción map of Mexico, click here.)
The Sexta Circunscripción proposal would enlarge the Mexican Congress and add a 6th electoral super-district. But if you look at the circunscripción map of Mexico, you see that Mexico's territory is completely covered by 5 circunscripciones. So where would the 6th one be?
According to the proposal, the U.S.A. would be the 6th electoral circunscripción – but only Mexicans would be voting! Mexicans in the United States would be voting in Mexican elections by absentee ballot, not through their home states, such as Chihuahua or Chiapas, but as Mexican residents of the Sixth Circunscripción—what you and I call the U.S.A.
And that's another AMLO campaign promise! [Plantea AMLO crear nuevos organos de gobierno, El Universal,April 13th, 2006.]
What Should We Do About It?
So Mexican presidential candidates, like Mexican politicians in general, don't mind meddling in U.S. politics, to influence U.S. immigration policy. What should we do about it? Should we meddle back to help the candidate we prefer?
In my opinion: definitely not. This is Mexico's election, and we shouldn't interfere. We shouldn't even act like we're interfering.
Mexico has earned the right to choose its own leaders. In the past few decades, Mexican society has been successful in moving from a one-party state to a multi-party system of representative government, without a violent revolution or civil war. (For the history of that transformation, read my article here.) Mexico has a better voter registration system than we do and its 2000 presidential election went more smoothly than ours did.
We should stay out of Mexico's election and let Mexicans choose their own leader.
But, meanwhile, let's get control of our own immigration system. Let's secure the border and punish American employers who hire illegal aliens. Local police should be able to enforce immigration law and the Anchor Baby loophole must be eliminated. Illegal aliens—and meddling diplomats—should be deported. And amnesty? Forget it!
If we show we're tough on immigration, Mexican leaders will have no choice but to accept it and move on.
But as long as we fail to do this, Mexican politicians, of whatever party, will continue to take the easy way out by using emigration as a safety valve, to avoid making real economic reforms. And Mexican presidential candidates will continue to make campaign pronouncements on U.S. immigration policy.
Let's solve our own problems. And let Mexico solve hers.
It's better, in the long run, for both our countries.
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.