Like a Roman emperor visiting a province, Mexican President Felipe Calderon paid a visit to his subjects in Washington, D.C. last week.
He was received with pomp and circumstance, told his subjects what he wanted done, and returned home a conquering hero.
But Calderon came to Washington prepared to lambast the Arizona law anyway. And President Obama was only too happy to help him.
They wasted no time. On the Mexican president's arrival, in the Rose Garden press conference in front of the White House, Obama actually started it, saying:
"We also discussed the new law in Arizona, which is a misdirected effort—a misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system, and which has raised concerns in both our countries. …And I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. [Sounds like a threat.] We're examining any implications, especially for civil rights. Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person—be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico—should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like."
Of course, the point of Arizona's law is that only individuals suspected of not being "law-abiding" will be subject to questioning about their immigration status.
When it was Calderon's turn to speak, he chimed in with this:
"In Mexico, we are and will continue being respectful of the internal policies of the United States and its legitimate right to establish in accordance to its Constitution whatever laws it approves. [That´s a tipoff that he´s about to meddle.] But we will retain our firm rejection to criminalize migration so that people that work and provide things to this nation will be treated as criminals. And we oppose firmly the S.B. 1070 Arizona law which derives from unjust, partial and discriminatory principles." [Translated from the Spanish]
That night Obama treated Calderon and the Mexican First Lady to a big party on the White House lawn, featuring expensive cuisine and decor, with entertainment by pop star Beyoncé (photos and description here).
On the next day, May 20th, Calderon delivered his now-notorious speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, arrogantly attacking Arizona:
"I strongly disagree with the recently-adopted law in Arizona. [Applause begins] It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree [= Don't dare even try to keep Mexicans out.] but also introduces a terrible idea of using racial profiling as the basis for law enforcement."
"…what we need today is to fix a broken and inefficient system. We favor the establishment of laws that work and work well for all." [White House, Democrats, Applaud Mexican President Slamming Arizona Law, Fox News, May 20th, 2010]
Oh really? Guess what, Presidente? You're talking about our laws. Not Mexico's laws, but our laws.
But, a lot of rhetoric to the contrary, it's just not true that the majority of the weapons entering Mexico are from the U.S. In fact, the Mexican underworld has access to a veritable international arms bazaar, with weapons from many countries.
Besides, how does Calderon expect us to keep the border open for Mexican illegal aliens traveling north while closing it up to weapons traveling south?
According to the Mexican presidential website, Calderon also
"…. met this morning [May 20th] with leaders of Hispanic organizations. During the meeting, they interchanged points of view over the principal topics of interests of the Mexican communities in the United States, such as migratory reform [a.k.a. amnesty], human rights, education, health and labor, as well as their [Hispanics´] important economic contribution to the country. [Calderon] reiterated his rejection of the SB1070 Law …..it commits an outrage against the inalienable rights of the migrants [inalienable right to enter illegally?]. Besides, it can affect Mexicans and American citizens alike, since it opens the door to an application based on racial perceptions.
"….[Calderon] recalled that the consular network in Arizona would provide assistance and protection to the victims of abuse on the part of local authorities…"
As far as I can tell, the Main Stream Media simply ignored this outrageous meddling in our affairs. (I found out about it by reading the Mexican press.)
Of course, the Obama Administration ignored it too.
As VDARE.COM's Brenda Walker has pointed out, even Calderon's visit to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the first-ever by a Mexican president, was part of the Reconquista agenda. Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan said the Arlington visit "…is a symbol of a much more modern relationship between both our countries. More importantly, it is also a recognition of the role Mexican Americans and Latinos in general are playing in the Armed forces of the United States."
But note that, although Calderon used the Arlington visit as another Latino Moment, the very fact that he went there was offensive to some Mexicans. A May 21 editorial in the leftist Jornada newspaper was entitled Soberanía :Claudicación Creciente ("Sovereignty : Increased Yielding [to the U.S.]")
"Yesterday, in the context of his official visit to the U.S., President Calderon placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in the cemetery of Arlington, Virginia, in honor of the Mexican-American soldiers who have died in U.S. military campaigns. [Calderon] thus broke a tacit prohibition, maintained throughout the previous administrations, that prevented the Mexican president from visiting there [Arlington]. The reason… in Arlington there are buried American military personnel who participated in various armed aggressions perpetrated by our northern neighbor against ours, including those by which Washington took from Mexico more than half her territory…..Although geography and economy make pertinent and necessary, in the present time, the construction of a fluid bilateral relationship, it should not for that reason be forgotten that the U.S. has been, for two centuries, the principal threat to the [Mexican] national security and the most responsible for wrongs committed against Mexican sovereignty and integrity …. it is inevitable to see in Calderon's presence in Arlington one episode more of the yielding of the [Mexican] sovereignty…."
La Jornada is still angry because the U.S. has fought Mexico in the past, and took half her territory (a long time ago).
But if many Mexicans (despite the fact that they weren't even alive then) are still hurt by the loss of the U.S. Southwest, and if most Americans want to keep the Southwest, then I don't really see a way to compromise on that issue.
U.S. nationalism and Mexican nationalism are, in a word, incompatible.
But hey, isn't that the purpose of having separate countries?
And did any intrepid reporter take up my invitation to confront Calderon over Mexico's hypocrisy?
Well, there actually was one—to his credit, CNN's Wolf Blitzer (!).
In a one –on-one interview conducted in English, Wolf asked Calderon about Mexican immigration policy.
Here is the meat of it:
BLITZER: So if people want to come from Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador or Nicaragua, they want to just come into Mexico, they can just walk in?
CALDERON: No. They need to fulfill a form. They need to establish their right name. We analyze if they have not a criminal precedent. ……
BLITZER: Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people they suspect are illegal immigrants?
CALDERON: Of course. Of course, in the border, we are asking the people, who are you?...
…. BLITZER: But once they're in...
CALDERON: But not—but not in—if—once they are inside the—inside the country, what the Mexican police do is, of course, enforce the law……
….. BLITZER:……, if somebody sneaks in from Nicaragua or some other country in Central America, through the southern border of Mexico, they wind up in Mexico, they can go get a job...
CALDERON: No, no.
BLITZER: They can work.
CALDERON: If—if somebody do that without permission, we send back—we send back them.
BLITZER: You find them and you send them back?
CALDERON: Yes. …[THE SITUATION ROOM—Interview with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Aired May 19, 2010]
Amazing! Calderon frankly describes Mexico's non-Open Borders treatment of Central American illegal aliens from countries that are even poorer than Mexico. Yet the very next day, he had no problem whatsoever lambasting Arizona, in the U.S. Congress, for a law that's not even as strict as Mexico's immigration law.
That's real chutzpah. That's arrogance. But Calderon got away with it.
The bottom line, however: Calderon would never be able to do all this if we didn't allow it.
My suggestion: any candidate running against any of these "applauders" ought to bring that standing ovation up frequently and feature it in campaign ads.
But what about the Republicans in Congress?
At least they didn't applaud. However, they were just quiet. A few complained later.
Why didn't they do more—like boo or walk out or something noticeable?
It works. Don't they remember the lesson of Joe Wilson?
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.