Get ready folks. This week, on May 19th and 20th, Mexican president Felipe Calderon is scheduled to visit Washington D.C.
Calderon plans to visit with President Obama and to address a joint session of Congress. (The congressional address is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 20th).
Hmmm, what do you think he´ll talk about?
Think he´ll dare meddle in U.S. immigration policy? Do you suppose he´ll talk about Arizona's SB 1070, which enables Arizona to enforce federal immigration law?
Of course Calderon will talk about it. In fact, the Permanent Commission of the Mexican Congress (a sort of mini-Congress with 37 members that makes rulings when the full Mexican Congress is on recess) has called on Calderon to lambast SB 1070 when addressing the U.S. Congress.
And Calderon has been warming up. In early May, for example, the Mexican president was in Bonn, Germany, bashing SB 1070 in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. From his German platform, he called on Mexicans to not take "unnecessary trips" to Arizona.
But it's not just the president. Mexico's entire government is opposed to Arizona's law.
Also in early May, Arturo Sarukhan, Mexican ambassador to the U.S., traveled with Mexico's Undersecretary for North America, Julian Ventura, to the state of Arizona. According to the Mexican foreign ministry, they were there to coordinate the fight against SB 1070. (Yes, the majority of Arizonans support it, but sorry, the Mexican government doesn't). Sarukhan and Ventura met with the five Mexican consuls in Arizona, with U.S. lawyers fighting Arizona's law, and with other like-minded activists.
Fernando Gomez Mont, Mexican Interior Secretary, traveled to Washington, D.C. where he appeared in a forum with Janet Napolitano and said SB 1070 would cause "racist" treatment of Mexicans in Arizona. Napolitano, meanwhile, promised not to deport illegal aliens. She also boasted about having vetoed SB 1070-like measures while she was governor of the state.
Carlos Navarrete, president of the Mexican Senate, sent a letter to President Obama, complaining about SB 1070. Navarrete considers Obama his "ally" in the fight against the Arizona law and wants permanent contact between the White House and the Mexican Senate to fight it.
But it's not only Mexican politicians who are opposing SB 1070. Mexican musicians and singers are joining in the fight. For example, Los Tigres del Norte, the group that sang the Reconquista anthem "Somos Mas Americanos" is agitating against the law.
On May 16th, Mexico City's Zocalo (the principal plaza) was the scene of a big rock concert, attended by up to 80,000 fans, sponsored by the Mexico City Department of Education.
The title of this extravaganza was "Jóvenes Prepa sí por la dignidad: Todos somos Arizona"—"High School Youth for Dignity—We are All Arizona".
The headline acts were Mexican rock groups Jaguares, Maldito Vecindad, and Molotov, (see Molotov's "Frijolero"—Malicious Mexican Music on MTV).
These well-heeled Mexican rockers were performing in the plaza, and lambasting a law that was passed by the democratically-elected government of Arizona and is supported by a majority of its citizens. Maldita Vecindad said the law is racist and unjust. Los Jaguares´ Saul Hernandez proclaimed that SB 1070 is both "useless" and "tramples human rights". (But if it's useless, how could it trample human rights?)
Indeed, any attempt by Americans to control their border has been attacked for years by the Mexican government and chattering classes.
But it's sheer hypocrisy.
Mexico has its own immigration law which clearly defines its national policy in terms of Mexican national interest (See my Learning About Immigration Policy from Mexico). Mexicans attack SB 1070 because it authorizes Arizona police to enforce immigration law. But in Mexico, local police are absolutely required to enforce Mexican immigration law. Illegal aliens found in Mexico are routinely detained and deported, and often treated quite badly.
Will the Arizona law lead to profiling? Here is a report of how some Mexican Indians were profiled and almost deported to Guatemala. Read about this well-publicized incident in which Mexican Marines and immigration agents beat up illegal aliens.
Mexican officials openly meddle in U.S. immigration policy, but no such behavior by foreigners is tolerated south of the border. When a former Spanish prime minister endorsed a Mexican candidate a firestorm ensued. And while Mexican illegal aliens march openly in U.S. streets demanding amnesty, Americans who´ve dared to march in a Mexican demonstration have been unceremoniously booted from the country. While Mexicans demand that millions of illegals be legalized north of the border, in Mexico, British spelunkers were deported for supposedly exploring a cave with the wrong kind of visa.
And foreigners shouldn't expect, by the way, to be able to waltz into Mexico and get free medical care. Whereas in the U.S. emergency rooms are utilized for free medical care by illegal aliens—even for non-emergency treatment—in Mexico emergency rooms are still emergency rooms.
As a matter of fact, many of Mexico's immigration procedures are worthy of emulation by the United States—as is its photo ID voter registration system, which is better than the slipshod Motor Voter regime of many U.S. states.
The bottom line: the Mexican government's stance is the epitome of hypocrisy.
But when is this ever pointed out to Mexican officials?
Shouldn't our own President and Secretary of State be pointing it out?
That doesn't seem too likely. But don't you wish some intrepid reporter would ask Calderon about it when the Mexican president comes to Washington?
The reporter doesn't even have to be rude about it. He can just ask about a few of the details I have mentioned above. The goal is to demonstrate in public the vast disconnect between what Mexico demands of us and how it manages its own immigration.
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.