Since I returned to Mexico after my recent tour in Iraq, the Mexican chattering classes have been in a tizzy over HR 4437, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 16th, 2005 and soon to be taken up by the U.S. Senate.
HR 4437, with its border fence and other measures, falls into this category. Therefore, it is the subject of repeated attacks among Mexican pundits and politicians.
In El Universal, Enriqueta (that's Spanish for Henrietta) Cabrera wrote of HR 4437 that "…what it attempts to do is seal the border, but more importantly, to send a message—a harsh, xenophobic and racist message…" [Migración y politica, December 31st, 2006, El Universal, by Enriqueta Cabrera]
In a column entitled "El Muro Bush" ("The Bush Wall"), Martha Chapa claims that "…the attempted unilateral construction of a wall by a country cannot be justified, even on its own territory." [my italics]
What's mine is mine—and what's yours is mine as well.
Mexican pundits come down especially hard on President George W. Bush.
That's ironic. More than any other president in U.S. history, George W. Bush has bent over backwards to please the government of Mexico. George W. Bush has defended, justified and facilitated illegal immigration.
Nevertheless, in Mexico, Bush is regularly vilified and pilloried. And he's being blamed for the border fence.
Just check out the titles of two recent anti-Bush anti-border fence editorials. One was entitled "Un redomado racista" ("An Out and Out Racist"—referring to President Bush). Another editorial, which appeared in El Universal, was entitled "Bush the Rapist" (!).
I could go on and on, quoting stuff like this from the Mexican media.
But let's see what Mexico's leaders have to say.
HR 4437 was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 16th, 2005, and the U.S. Senate isn't expected to deal with it until February.
Still—don't worry. When it comes to U.S. immigration legislation, the Mexican government moves faster than ours…
(For my previous articles on what he's up to, see Castaneda Out, Derbez In - Mexican Meddling Continues, Derbez Tells The Truth—For Mexicans Only, and An Ominous Triumph for Derbez in California.)
On December 18th, 2005, (a scant 2 days after HR 4437's passage) Mexican Foreign Minister Derbez said that the passage of HR4437 was a–"a true myopia and blindness of a group of xenophobic persons in the United States." ["verdadera myopia y ceguedad de un grupo de personas xenofóbicas en Estados Unidos".]
But not to worry, Derbez said that Mexico will fight a "gran batalla" against the approval of the law in the U.S. Senate. Besides, in the U.S. Senate, according to Derbez "there are more reasonable people" (translation—U.S. senators are more likely to vote the Mexican government's way).
The construction of another wall, says Derbez "is stupidity, it is useless, it is an excessive expense."
The foreign minister said there are two kinds of people in the U.S., "those who understand the benefits that immigrants give" and "those who don't understand the richness that they generate in their society, and that in a very xenophobic manner are acting in a wrong way." [Califica Derbez de miope y xenofóbica ley antimigrante de EU, Televisa, December 19th, 2005]
Well, thanks for the lecture, Señor Derbez.
Oh, and in January of 2006 Derbez added that the fence is a "falta de amistad"—a "lack of friendship." [Muro es "falta de amistad" de EU: Derbez, El Siglo de Torreon, January 17th, 2006]
When HR4437 was passed, the full Mexican Congress was out of session. But even during a congressional recess, the "Comisión Permanente" is in session. The Comisión Permanente is a sort of mini-Congress with 37 members. (Mexican Constitution, Article 78)
So the Comisión Permanente was able to make a ruling on HR 4437.
And the Comisión didn't like it.
With the support of all political parties, the Comisión rejected HR4437. Heliodoro Diaz, president of the Comisión, said that
"The Permanent Comisión of the Honorable Congreso of the Union expresses its absolute rejection of the racist, xenophobic and profoundly violatory- of –human- rights- and- international- treaties measures in this matter (HR4437)." ("la Comisión Permanente del Honorable Congreso de la Unión manifiesta su más absoluto rechazo a las medidas racistas, xenofóbicas y profundamente violatorias de los Derechos Humanos y de los tratados internacionales en la materia." Reprueba Comisión Permanente Ley Anti Inmigrante, Hector Guerrero, Noticieros Televisa, December 21st, 2005]
"Each of the contracting parties (Mexico and the United States) reserves to itself the entire right to fortify whatever point within its territory it may judge proper so to fortify for its security."
Nevertheless, the Comisión Permanente went international, sending a letter to all the congresses and parliaments of Latin America, Central America, and even Spain and Portugal (to include the mother countries of Latin America). The letter called on fellow Latin nations to
"express the greatest solidarity with the Mexican Congress, to impede the construction of a wall on the border of the U.S.A. with Mexico, and the approval of the law (HR4437)..." ("le solicito se exprese la más amplia solidaridad con el Congreso mexicano, a fin de que se impida la construcción de un muro en la frontera de los Estados Unidos de América con México y la aprobación de la ley que lo impulsa". [Congreso mexicano llama a rechazar muro fronterizo, December 26th, 2006]
On January 14th, Mexico City Mayor Alejandro Encinas dedicated a monument to the "Lebanese Immigrant" (that is, to honor Lebanese immigrants who had immigrated to Mexico). During the ceremony, he couldn't resist a snide remark implying that Mexican immigrants are treated badly in the U.S., and after the ceremony, in an interview, took his turn at bashing the border fence of HR 4437. [Inaugura Encinas monumento al "migrante libanés," Alberto Cuenca, El Universal, January 14th, 2006]
A scant two days after the passage of HR 4437, Presidente Vicente Fox went on the offensive:
"It is a very bad sign that doesn't speak well of a country that prides itself as being democratic, that prides itself as being a nation of migrants. To us that wall is a verguenza [shame, dishonor], to us, in the united relationship between Mexico and the United States, a wall of such magnitude should not exist. "("Es una pésima señal que no habla bien de un país que se precia de ser democrático, que se precia de ser un país de migrantes. Nos parece una vergüenza ese muro, nos parece que no debiera de existir en la relación entre México y Estados unido un muro de esa magnitud", expresó.)
Fox really went over the top when he contrasted U.S. and Mexican thinking on immigration.
"He (Fox) asserted that the difference in thinking between Mexicans and Americans is very great. Every year more than 250,000 Central Americans cross the border, and they are treated with all respect, and are offered a better place to stay and new opportunities." ("Sostuvo que la diferencia de pensamientos entre mexicanos y estadounidenses es muy grande, ya que cada año llegan a México más de 250 mil centroamericanos que cruzan la frontera, quienes son tratados con todo respeto, ofreciéndoles una mejor estancia y nuevas oportunidades. [El presidente Vicente Fox considera que levantar un muro en la frontera es una verguenza para los EU, Azteca 21 December 18th, 2005])
To even suggest that Mexico gives more benefits to immigrants than the United States does is simply preposterous. Fox's comment, moreover, is the height of ingratitude. Has he ever expressed any sort of appreciation for the jillions of dollars our country has already spent to accommodate Mexican immigrants (including illegals)?
And just a few days later, Jose Luis Soberanes, president of the CNDH (National Commission of Human Rights) contradicted Fox. Soberanes reported that Central American and even Mexican migrants in Mexico are subject to abuse at the hands of police and military personnel, and that immigrants are detained in municipal prisons.
According to Soberanes,
"the Mexican government mistreats 'indocumentados' that cross its territory, it keeps them in jails, in overcrowded conditions, many times without food, without medical attention and overall, violating their human rights." (El ombudsman nacional asegura que en México el tema migratorio "es una asignatura pendiente, porque el gobierno mexicano maltrata a los indocumentados que cruzan el territorio, los retiene en cárceles, en hacinamiento, sin alimentos muchas veces, sin atención médica y, sobre todo, se violan sus derechos humanos". ) [CNDH: aquí se criminaliza a los ilegales, Victor Ballinas Enviado],
So what does the Mexican government plan to do about HR4437 and the "Muro Bush"?
In an address to Mexican congressmen, Foreign Secretary Derbez informed them that one of the strategies to prevent the U.S. from controlling her own border is to promote "greater consciousness among the media, churches and opinion leaders in that country (the USA) of the benefits and validity of the labor and of the immigrants in the United States." [Muro es "falta de amistad" de EU: Derbez, El Siglo de Torreon, January 17th, 2006]
Look for more Mexican government meddling in the U.S.
In recent years, the Mexican government has brazenly meddled in U.S. internal politics, and has gained a degree of influence over U.S. immigration policy. And it wants more.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed HR 4437. The Mexican government has rejected it.
Now, what will the U.S. Senate have to say in the matter?
And what about the citizens of the United States—do they have any say?
American citizen Allan Wall lives and works legally in Mexico, where he is married to a Mexican woman and has two children. He serves six weeks a year with the Texas Army National Guard, in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here; his website is here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.