The 2010 elections are now behind us and the Republicans now control the House of Representatives. The political and media world is now abuzz with commentary, analysis and speculation as to how the new balance of power will affect future legislation and the future of our country.
And it's not only going on here in the U.S.A. South of the border, the Mexican political and media elite are always watching the American political scene to see how it affects them.
U.S. immigration policy is always under scrutiny in Mexico, so they're already sizing up the new situation to see how the new Congress might potentially interfere with the Mexican project of getting as many people out of Mexico and into the U.S. (while still retaining their loyalty to Mexico) as possible.
Let's start with Mexico's president, who is always eager to comment authoritatively on U.S. immigration policy.
In a television interview several days after the elections, Mexican President Calderon expressed his discontent with the results:
"Given that the president Barack Obama does not have a majority of his party (Democrat) in the House of Representatives, maybe he has less room to maneuver in his own legislative agenda, including the migratory issue." [Comicios en EU Dan Menor Maniobra a Reforma: FCH, By Jorge Ramos, El Universal, November 4th, 2010]
Well, that's what we're hoping here at VDARE.COM!
Of course, that doesn't make Calderon happy. However, don't imagine for a minute that the Mexican president has given up on the issue. Calderon also said
"But we will not stop striving to obtain a legal channel for a phenomenon [mass illegal immigration] that is presenting itself and must be regularized."
"Must be regularized"? We already have a legal immigration system in the US—it's just that Calderon doesn't want his own people to follow it.
Obviously, Republican control of the House will not stop Presidente Calderon from meddling in U.S. immigration policy.
In the Mexican Congress there is also concern about our elections. Mexico's Jornada newspaper, in an article with the unsubtle title of The United States Buries Any Attempt To Protect Migrants, reported that
"[Mexican] Senators of all political forces warned that the new make-up of the U.S. Congress, after the recent electoral process, completely buries the possibility of achieving a comprehensive migratory reform, at least in the next two years." [Sepulta EU Todo Intento De Proteger a Migrantes, By Andrea Becerril and Victor Ballinas, La Jornada, November 4th, 2010]
Mexican political parties can bash each other with abandon—but when it comes to bashing the gringos over immigration, they're all for an open border for Mexican emigrants and amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.
So Mexican congressmen and senators are not happy about our election results.
Luis Alberto Villarreal, a PANista (Calderon's party) and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations for North America committee, is worried about xenophobic and racist proposals like border walls. Villarreal says that the American politicians who won governorships and seats in Congress are the same ones who encouraged xenophobic and discriminatory proposals! After all, he said
"The governor of Arizona [Jan Brewer] won the election with her hand in her belt [Con la mano en la cintura, a Spanish idiom equivalent to 'with one hand tied behind her back'] with her oration against migration."
Jornada presented the analysis of Senator Jimenez Macias, who is
"worried at the triumph of the Republicans, since those of that persuasion have not known how to construct good bridges between Mexico and the United States and instead have become obstacles in the way of the advances of the bilateral relationship in the principal issues for the country [Mexico], such as migration."
Do you get the impression that Mexican politicians aren't fond of the GOP?
Silvano Aureoles of the PRD party, the main leftwing opposition group, said that "the Far Right returns to control the House of Representatives…the correlation of forces goes against our brothers who live on the other side of the border."
Mexican politicians of the left, right and center agree on the goals of Mexican emigration. But their disagreement is which Mexican party can handle it better. The PRD's Aureoles says the problem is that Calderon is too subordinate to the United States, and what he needs to do is to "define a policy of support for the fellow Mexicans at risk for the xenophobic wave that is coming."
An El Universal article entitled "They Fear More Anti-Immigrant Laws "/Temen Más Leyes Antiinmigrantes [November 4th, 2010] features a photo of victorious Arizona Jan Brewer flashing a V for Victory sign, and begins thusly,
"The Republican Party swept most of the electoral contests in Arizona with a campaign centered on anti-immigrant rhetoric, which can increase the tendency of state laws that penalize the undocumented, said experts yesterday."
El Universal talked about Arizona legislator Russell Pearce:
"…It's expected that Republican Russell Pearce will be the new leader of the [Arizona] Senate. Pearce, who promised that during the next legislative session he would introduce a bill to deny citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants born in the U.S., retained his seat with 57% of the votes. "
It also quoted Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan, who said that the U.S. and Mexico will still cooperate—but that "What occurred yesterday [the election] in terms of the correlation of forces in favor of a migratory reform, doesn´t help."
What he means: it doesn't help the Mexican government's strategy toward the United States.
El Universal also reported that in the Mexican Senate,
"The senators Carlos Jimenez (PRI), Gustavo Madero (PAN) and Silvano Aureoles (PRD) agreed that the Republican majority benefits the interests of the radical conservative groups towards the Mexican migrants."
Isn't this interesting? The American people have voted. They chose representatives, senators, governors, judges and other officials, and they voted on state questions.
But Mexican leaders are not happy with the results. And they don't seem very satisfied with the Republican Party.
However, don't suppose that the Mexican elite has given up. Mexico still has a lot of influence in the United States, and it is not afraid to exercise this influence. There are links with Mexican and Hispanic pressure groups and the media (in both English and Spanish). And the Mexican government has a vast consular network at its disposal.
Mexico's leaders don't like the way the 2010 U.S. elections turned out. But they still have many levers they can pull to influence our internal politics and promote their interests, as they have done successfully in the past.
And they will continue to—as long as we allow it.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) recently moved back to the U.S.A. after many years residing in Mexico. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.