Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states that "it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities (diplomats) to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State." Mexico is a stickler for enforcing the Vienna Convention in its own territory.
Mexican historian and journalist Lorenzo Meyer describes the situation thusly:
"Times are changing. In the past, when Mexico's foreign policy was based on a principle of nonintervention, it was a taboo for Mexican leaders to talk about internal affairs of other countries, especially the United States. For Calderon's government, it's extremely important that Mexicans are able to continue migrating—it's the country's escape valve. There's no other way Mexico can produce enough jobs for all its working-age residents." [Mexico Rebukes U.S. Candidates On Migrant Issues, By Manuel Roig-Franzia, Washington Post January 8, 2008]
That's certainly the way Mexico's elite sees it. So they continue to push emigration.
Therefore it's no surprise that at Mexico's 19th Annual Conference of Ambassadors and Consuls, held in Mexico City on January 7th and 8th, 2008, and attended by hundreds of Mexican diplomats, that themes of U.S. immigration policy and improved methods of meddling were front and center.
"…in the face of the current situation, in which an adverse climate prevails for the Mexican communities in the United States, aggravated by the electoral debate in that country, we shall pay particular attention to the problems that confront our migrants."
(Notice that our electoral debate is an "aggravation" to the Mexican foreign minister)
Mexican officials are not pleased that amnesty was defeated in the U.S congress last year, or that states and municipalities are fighting illegal immigration. And they have plans to fight back.
President Calderon showed up at the conference, and as has been his wont as of late, felt the need to rant on the topic. [El Presidente Calderón en el marco de la Reunión de Embajadores y Cónsules de México en el Extranjero, January 7, 2008] Calderon talked about Mexican laborers as being an important part of regional (North American) integration, and quoted a White House report that claimed Mexican labor as the biggest contributor to labor productivity in the U.S. (Well, that's what you get for listening to the Bush Administration!)
Calderon claimed that Mexican immigrants are assimilating and respect U.S. law. The presidente referred to a Kauffman Foundation report claiming that the "entrepreneurial activity among migrant workers is 40% higher than among the native population of the U.S."
If that's the case, wouldn't Calderon prefer those Mexicans were living and starting businesses in Mexico? [Vdare.com note: That's not the case—the Kauffman Foundation's report says specifically that "The majority of these immigrant entrepreneurs came from India, United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, Japan and Germany." Of course, Mexico itself would be a great place for entrepreneurs to go and found businesses—if they could be sure that the Mexican Government wouldn't just confiscate them.]
Calderon quoted Mexican man of letters Carlos Fuentes who called The Immigrant "The Protagonist of the Twenty-first Century". (Several years ago Fuentes boasted that Mexican immigrants in the U.S. and their use of Spanish were carrying out "the silent reconquista of the United States".
Then, contradictorily, Calderon said his government promotes "investment and not emigration." Sounds like a good idea. That, in fact, is what Calderon promised when he was inaugurated. But promoting emigration is just so much easier than working for economic improvement in Mexico. (Refer back to Meyer quote above).
Calderon gave the gathered diplomats these orders:
"Today I repeat the instruction to redouble efforts to protect our fellow Mexicans wherever they may be found."
"Every Mexican, regardless of where he might be, should have the certainty that his embassies and consulates are taking care to protect his rights. We shall continue to energetically reject the construction of a wall on our border with the United States and we shall insist on the necessity of a comprehensive migratory reform as the best solution for both countries. I wish to recognize the solidarity of various peoples who have demonstrated their opposition to the construction of the wall, as the Central American countries have done, and the recent case of Chile."
What Calderon and Foreign Minister Espinosa said was standard fare for Mexican politicos. But the real meat of the conference was a new plan for Mexican diplomats in the U.S., a new strategy. It's called "zero tolerance".
As reported by La Jornada:
"Facing the fact that the migratory reform 'failed' and the principal culprit is the 'U.S. Congress', the government of Mexico will impel a 'new strategy' of 'zero tolerance' of violations of the rights of our fellow Mexicans in the U.S. This will consist of an increase in the number of consuls—up to 50—and the budget, as well as adopting strong action—to force those who abuse the undocumented to 'pay the cost in court.' " [Cambiará México su estrategia para frenar abusos contra migrantes en EU, By Karina Avilés, January 8, 2008]
So this is Mexico's "zero tolerance" strategy: use the court system of the United States of America to harass Americans who are fighting illegal immigration—to make it so costly that they give up and surrender.
The Mexican diplomat who named the "zero tolerance" program, and apparently a leader in its development, is Ruben Beltran, currently Mexican consul in New York, and former consul in Los Angeles.
Joe Guzzardi did a profile of Beltran several years ago. More recently I reported his role in the Elvira melodrama. Beltran is an experienced and successful Meddling Mexican diplomat. He's now a leader encouraging others to meddle and showing them more ways to do it.
Beltran also announced a plan to form "strategic alliances with [U.S.] unions, civil organizations and churches, to construct a pro-Hispanic, pro-migrant and pro human rights agenda…" Mexican diplomats are also setting up a free 24 hour hotline where a caller can get legal help. Mexican diplomats are working together with our own Department of Labor. (Thanks a lot, Bush Administration!)
Beltran is also putting together a network of attorneys to help Mexican consulates. And they plan to open new consulates in Boise and Anchorage (so watch out in those cities).
Another plan is a campaign to advertise the benefits of immigration to the U.S. economy, and the rights of illegal laborers, to tell illegal aliens that they have the right to join a U.S. labor union. Beltran wants to convince Americans through their own court system that "abusing the rights of migrants is not a good business."
So why do we put up with this guy? In a self-respecting country, a meddling diplomat like Beltran would have been tossed out years ago. And yet, we allow an entire network of meddling Mexican consulates, directed by the Mexican government itself, to meddle in U.S. internal affairs and aid and abet the breaking of our own laws.
So why are Mexican diplomats never reprimanded for this? Why does the U.S. government allow such blatant meddling?
Oh, what was I thinking? George W. Bush is our president!
Can you imagine the Bush Administration defending our sovereignty against meddling Mexican diplomats? I sure can't!
However, we have an election this year. I sure wish somebody would pose the question to all the candidates, of both parties:
"As president, what would you do about Mexican diplomatic meddling in America's domestic affairs?"
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.