It's a great time for those advancing Mexican hegemony over U.S. immigration policy. (No—make that over the U.S.)
Mexican public relations victories on the streets of America's cities and in the U.S. Senate have been very well-received here in Mexico. From this side of the border, it sure looks as though Mexico is winning.
SRE, the Mexican foreign ministry is boasting as well. SRE spokesman Geronimo Gutierrez credits the SRE's successful policy of putting U.S. immigration on the bilateral agenda of U.S.-Mexican relations. [ SRE exito en agenda bilateral]
It's true. U.S. immigration has become a "bilateral issue"—to be decided upon by both the U.S. and Mexico. (Mexican immigration policy, on the other hand, is an internal matter only to be decided upon by Mexico.)
Another Mexican government agency claiming credit is the IME—Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, Institute of Mexicans Abroad. After all, some of the IME'S American-based agents were involved in the protests. [El Instituto de los Mexicanos en el exterior elogia las marchas contra la ley anti-inmigrantes, Yahoo News,(Mexico) March 29, 2006]
So they deserve credit too.
"With all due respect to Uncle Sam, this shows that Los Angeles has never stopped being ours."
Influential Mexicans are clearly excited—but they're still vigilant, still watching U.S. immigration policy closely.
A recent column by Mexican pundit Sergio Sarmiento sums up the current situation quite well. Much of what he writes, in fact, you could have read on VDARE.COM.
Who is Sergio Sarmiento? I discovered him in my early years in Mexico, and I still learn a lot from him. One of the top Mexican pundits, he has a real talent for cutting through the baloney and getting to the root of the problem.
He is beholden to no political party, and has been tireless in pointing out the failings of Mexico's energy monopoly including PEMEX.
I've quoted Sarmiento in several previous articles (here, for example).
In Sarmiento's daily "Jacque Mate" (Checkmate) column of March 29th, 2006 entitled Los migrantes, published in El Siglo de Torreon, he quite systematically and objectively laid out a very good summary of what is going on.
After his customary initial quotation, Sarmiento begins with this:
"The United States is not a country that has big protests. That's why those that took place in various cities the past few days were so surprising."
(Of course, since he wrote, the protests have grown.)
A careful observer of the U.S. political scene, Sarmiento pointed out that even in the 1960s, with all the anti-war and civil rights marches, there was never a protest that attracted so many participants.
"The demonstrations have had a political effect. First, the possibility of passage of the radical Sensenbrenner law…has dramatically diminished. President George W. Bush has assumed a more active role in the promotion of a moderate migratory policy. The Senate judiciary committee has approved an initiative that not only rejects the criminal aspects of the Sensenbrenner proposal but that offers a possibility of legalizing more than 11 million undocumented workers in the United States besides permitting new immigration of 400,000 persons a year."
Now Sarmiento continued with some familiar slogans we've heard before:
"The truth is that the United States can't magically make 11 million 'indocumentados' disappear from its territory. Nor can it keep its economy functioning without workers from other countries."
Many influential Americans appear to have fallen for these cliches and repeat them as if they were engraved in stone. At VDARE.COM, we have refuted both claims, although the fact that they are so widely and willfully believed is part of the problem. Which is the one of the reasons for VDARE.COM.
Sarmiento displays his knowledge of the American media:
"The fears that the Sensenbrenner law promoted, nevertheless, have not disappeared. In fact, they have been strengthened by the massive demonstrations of the last few days. Lou Dobbs, host and economic commentator of the CNN television network, who has become one of the principal critics of illegal immigration in the United States and of the Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, commented that the Mexican flags among the demonstrators shows that these immigrants have a dangerous 'double loyalty'."
And Sarmiento is aware of Samuel Huntington…
"These fears have been well documented by Samuel Huntington, author of Who are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity…who begins his book describing a soccer game between the national teams of Mexico and the United States in a Los Angeles stadium in which the few fans of the American team were attacked by the Mexican majority who threw beer, soft drinks and "other liquids" at them. Only a few weeks ago…the Mexican baseball team defeated the American team in the World Classic before a mostly Mexican audience in San Diego."
Notice that Sarmiento has not contradicted Lou Dobbs or Samuel Huntingon. Next he discusses the demographic question:
"The Hispanic population of the United States increased from 22 milllion in 1990 to 35 million in 2000. Many live in linguistically and culturally isolated enclaves and so they don't easily integrate into the rest of the population of the country. There is no doubt that millions of Hispanics are transforming the American culture, as Huntington has pointed out. "
Well, you've read that on VDARE.COM!
"Maybe that would be beneficial for the American society, but naturally it bothers many of its members."
Many Mexicans see their culture as being superior to that of the United States. Therefore, they don't mind taking ours over. But Sarmiento is not blind to the Mexican double standard:
"The same would occur in our country. Less than 1 percent of the population dwelling in Mexico was born outside of Mexico, in contrast to 20 percent of the population of the U.S.A. Nevertheless, the rejection of Mexicans toward foreigners is greater. In fact, Mexican law that governs the rights of foreigners is much more discriminatory than that of the United States. If in Mexico we saw a demonstration of half a million Americans hoisting banners of their country, and demanding that they be permitted to stay in Mexico after having entered illegally to Mexican territory, the reaction would certainly be much less benevolent than that of the Americans."
Good point. In fact, here in Mexico, even us legal gringos aren't allowed to participate in politics or protest marches.
In contrast, in the U.S. illegal aliens are marching openly in the streets, waving their flags and demanding their "rights." And they are being catered to.
Sarmiento goes on…
"The point, nevertheless, is that the United States now has no way of turning back the clock. For decades Washington has maintained a migratory policy designed to provide cheap labor to businesses. That's why until now they have not punished those who hire illegals—but without giving rights of residents to the immigrants. Now, with 11 million illegals in the country, it is already too late."
Sarmiento is exactly right to point out that we have had a cheap labor policy for decades. But whether or not it's too late to turn things around depends on whether or not the American people will demand their government turn things around.
Here is how Sarmiento ends the article…
" If it is true, as some have said, that Mexicans have begun the reconquista of the territory that the United States took by force from Mexico between 1835 and 1848, they have been able to do this thanks to the fact that the Americans themselves have permitted it. " [Si es verdad, como han dicho algunos, que los mexicanos han empezado la reconquista del territorio que Estados Unidos tomó por la fuerza de México entre 1835 y 1848, esto lo han podido hacer gracias a que los mismos estadounidenses lo permitieron.]
It's what my Mexican wife says: "¿Quién tiene la culpa? Ustedes los gringos – por permitirlo."—"It's you gringos' fault—for allowing it."
She's right, of course.
We allow illegal aliens to flout our law and demand privileges.
We allow a foreign government to dictate immigration policy to us.
We allow American employers to flout the law and defraud the taxpayer without consequences.
And when things get out of hand, our leaders' solution is more of the same.
Unless Americans can force their leaders to change, Sergio Sarmiento's prediction will prove correct—the process will be irreversible.
You won't read this in the Wall Street Journal. But it's what the Mexicans themselves are saying.
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.