Mexican president Felipe Calderon has just returned from a trip to the U.S.
Wait a minute! Didn't Calderon visit the U.S. just two months ago?
If you keep up with Mexican news, you also know that it's not like Calderon has nothing to do in Mexico. There's an ongoing political crisis over the desperately-needed reform of Mexico's state oil monopoly PEMEX. In fact, filibustering opposition politicians have seized the podiums in both federal legislative chambers, forcing other legislators to meet elsewhere.
But apparently Calderon felt his trip to the U.S. was so important that he had to leave Mexico. After all, he attended the fourth annual summit of the nation-merging SPP, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which is not popular with everybody in Mexico either.
Of course, this year the SPP summit was not officially an SPP summit. It's been renamed the "North American Leaders' Summit". President Bush, President Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper converged in New Orleans earlier this week, Monday-Tuesday April 21-22nd.
On the agenda for Bush and Calderon: the re-opening of the New Orleans Mexican Consulate, which had been closed in 2002 for budgetary reasons. It's now being re-opened due to the growth in the Mexican population there since Hurricane Katrina. i.e. because they are displacing African Americans from construction jobs.
Mexico could save a lot of money by shutting down a lot of consulates. But that's not in the cards. Consulates are, after all, centers of pro-illegal agitation. Mexican diplomats are never reprimanded by U.S. officials for their political meddling, although it certainly doesn't fall under the rubric of legitimate diplomatic activity.
In his remarks at the re-opening, with President Bush standing right there, Calderon actually said that, with the consulate back in operation,
"…we can guarantee that Mexicans who live and work in Louisiana and Mississippi have the support of the government of Mexico. My commitment is that wherever there is a Mexican, there also is the backing of the government of Mexico."
[Watch video—Calderon is speaking in Spanish.]
In other words: an explicit and flagrant promise of more Mexican meddling.
Calderon went on to claim:
"Mexican families in the U.S. contribute with 635 billion dollars to the U.S. economy, that is, almost 5% of the Gross Domestic Product. … we should have a comprehensive vision in …migration, that permits us to work together to construct a North America more prosperous and safer."
(Hmm, an allusion to the SPP?).
Also on Monday, April 21st, Calderon met with Bush, expressing his commitment to defend the "rights" of Mexicans in the United States, i.e. for all practical purposes, the defense of illegal aliens.
And the Mexican president had a bilateral meeting with Canadian PM Harper, in which they discussed how to get more Mexican workers up to Canada!
Mexican workers—going cheap! Had any heads of government from Europe been there, Calderon would probably have tried to pawn some Mexican workers off on them too.
Then, after concluding the summit flim-flammery, Calderon flew to Dallas, Texas. There he spoke to a meeting of the IME (Institute for Mexicans Abroad) a 125-member Mexican-government sponsored group of Mexican leaders in the United States—many of whom are dual citizens. The meeting was also attended by the mayor of Dallas. (See photos here).
Absurdly, Calderon went so far as to say that the U.S. economy couldn't make it without Mexican labor: "It is very clear, that a capital intensive economy, as the U.S. economy, cannot move without the Mexican labor, which explains in great measure the prosperity of this great country."
Oh yeah? How did the US survive before the Mexodus began in the 1970s?
Nevertheless, Calderon did admit that mass emigration from Mexico has its drawbacks. He related that in his home state of Michoacan "we see how towns and cities are converted into communities where there are only women, the elderly and some children."
Calderon said he was working to provide economic opportunities in Mexico:
"We are working hard , very hard, so that opportunities are generated for our people in Mexico. …we are working so that in Mexico there will be the opportunities that you, your parents, your grandparents and great-grandparents maybe, came to seek here many years ago, or even more recently."
And Calderon denied encouraging emigration:
"…contrary to what many think in this country [the U.S.] , we do not aspire, I as the president of Mexico do not aspire, nor is it my dream nor my ideal to spend my life seeing how Mexicans risk their lives to cross the river or the desert seeking an opportunity in this country [the U.S.]. It's not true that we aspire to make migration a permanent phenomenon…"
Of course, that contradicts what he said earlier about the "complementary economies".
Calderon went on:
" I know that that day will arrive, amigas y amigos, I know that the day will arrive in which Mexico will generate opportunities for its own, I know that the day will arrive when a husband will never leave his wife or his children. I know that the day will arrive when a son will not leave his parents to see them no more."
"….it may take a generation, for future generations to take advantage of it."
My response: great, let's start today!
In fact, I would argue that Mexico's elite won't get serious about providing opportunities in Mexico until the U.S. does shut the border. If we wait for Mexico to get its economic act together before closing the border, it will never happen.
Calderon also admitted one of the reasons that the Mexican government likes having Mexican emigrants in the U.S.:
"Today we see the generosity of our fellow Mexicans, sending dollars as they are able, to their people."
Getting more dollars into Mexico, that is.
Are Americans concerned about bad effects of illegal immigration? Calderon claimed they shouldn't be:
"…I also want to say , loud and clear, amigas y amigos, that it is not true that migration is hurting this country [the U.S.]."
And he reverted to the "Economic Necessity" argument:
"There are enormous sectors of the U.S. economy, such as agriculture, services, commerce and transport that depend greatly on Mexican labor. And what's more, in the measure that they continue with these hostile and inhumane raids that the Mexican community [n.b. no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants] in the United States is suffering, in the same measure they are beginning to suffer and key economic sectors in the U.S. economy are shrinking."
And Calderon again promised his undying support to Mexicans in the U.S.:
"My government…maintains firm its duty, it is its responsibility to protect and defend the rights of the Mexicans abroad. This generates criticisms and questioning of the Mexican government. We insist, it is our duty and responsibility to be near the Mexicans in the U.S.. When there is a mother of a family who is on the verge of being separated from her child here, regardless of her migratory status, she has the right to count on assistance from a Mexican consulate which avoids her unjust separation from her children. "
Once again, the old family unification argument. But why can't the family stay unified in Mexico?
But don't get the impression that Calderon is meddling:
"My government …respects the sovereignty of the United States, as it demands that the sovereignty of Mexico be respected. It respects the U.S. electoral process and that's why we will not interfere with it, as we demand that the Mexican processes be respected."
Wonderful. When will Calderon discipline Jorge Bustamante, the Mexican UN official who has publicly called for a Republican defeat in the 2008 elections?
Calderon also endorsed the general Mexican view that children of Mexicans born in the United States are essentially Mexicans with added U.S. citizenship. Near the end of his speech, he said:
"There are Mexicans who are now Americans because they were born here, because they acquired the citizenship and they are rendering a great service to this country. It is from this great community that emerge people daily who give themselves to the well-being of others, in public causes. They do not forget their Mexican roots, but they deeply love the United States".
At that point in the speech, Calderon introduced just such a person–Dallas Country Sheriff Lupe Valdez. She's an interesting character. According to Wikipedia , she's an "openly lesbian" former Army officer, who has been accused of "Targeting Hispanics in DWI busts" and who failed her first routine peace officer licensing test.
Moving into his conclusion, Calderon gave his exhortation:
"Therefore, amigas y amigos, we are with you. Wherever you are there the government of Mexico shall be because you know that is my conviction.
"Because in each one of you I know that in each of you our country [my emphasis—he means Mexico] vibrates and throbs—every Mexican song, each Mexican flag takes you again, precisely, to the place from which you have come , which you left one day, but to which you will always belong."
In other words, Calderon considers that Mexicans in the U.S. will always be Mexicans, regardless of whether they take up U.S. citizenship or not.
Finally, Calderon describes Mexico as
"A place which awaits you with open arms and with longing, a place that misses you."
S-u-r-e! If Mexicans really missed these people that much, they'd urge them to come home immediately.
"From here, from Dallas , from Mexico, from whatever part of our country, we will continue working side by side…to build the Mexico of which we dream, where there is room for all, and where nobody must leave again for necessity or for hunger. "
Well President Calderon, why don't you concentrate more on building that Mexico you dream about, and let Americans run their own country?
Interestingly, in Dallas Calderon also claimed, as he has in the past, to have relatives working illegally in the U.S.
That may or may not be true. Some of Calderon's relatives in Mexico have said they don't know of any kin in the U.S. [Mexican Ties Fade with Immigration, Mark Stevenson, AP, March 22nd, 2007]. It sounds suspiciously like Calderon is just trying to establish his street cred with the millions of ordinary Mexicans who do have relatives stateside.
Or possibly he does have relatives in the U.S. but doesn't have much contact with them.
The bottom line, though: Calderon's talk about illegal relatives—real or imaginary—raises serious questions for those who claim that he is going to be our partner in securing the border (which is already quite hard enough to swallow.)
Indeed, in Dallas this week Calderon took his "illegal kin" shtick one step further:
"In my case, as in the majority, I think , of Michoacanos , we all have someone on this side [in the U.S.] : first cousins, brothers-in-law, friends, uncles, some of whom we know that we will never see again while the law is not changed here. They cannot move from where they are. "
But Calderon went on:
"Many times the press asks me, well, where are you cousins, your friends?...and I tell them, the day in which there is a migratory reform [a.k.a. amnesty in the U.S.], I am going to tell them where my cousins and friends are."
Think about how arrogant this is. Calderon 1) boasts about relatives who are breaking U.S. law, 2) blames the U.S. for the separation of families, and 3) boasts that when Uncle Sam legalizes all the illegal aliens, then he will mockingly reveal the whereabouts of said illegal relatives.
Is that any way for a head of state to talk on U.S. territory?
Calderon's attitude is typical of Mexico's elite. They really think they are going to win this thing. They think that, with the help of their many American allies (Bush, McCain, Hillary, Obama, etc.) they are going to get a mass amnesty enacted.
And they don't care what ordinary Americans think about it.
Ordinary Americans, however, may have a few surprises up their sleeves.
Just wait and see, President Calderon.
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.