Remarks by Candido Morales, President of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad
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Contact: Embassy of Mexico, 202-728-1650

U.S. Newswire, November 22, 2002

WASHINGTON — The following is an excerpt of remarks by Candido Morales, President of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad:

Mexico owes a lot to the Latino elected officials in the United States. We know of many outstanding members of NALEO who, thanks to their commitment to public service, are able to reach out to the Mexican-born population of their respective states, cities and counties.

Without your efforts, millions of Mexicans would feel that they have no connection with the government of their adopted country.

We know that it is through Latino officials like yourselves that thousands of immigrants from Mexico find a political voice. We know that you are among the first to pledge and to promote a humane treatment of all immigrants, regardless of their nationality or migratory status. [VDARE.COM note: emphasis added.] Today, I would like to reiterate my trust in that you, the thousands of Latino officials elected on November 5th, will continue to be the voice of moderation that helps newcomers to the U.S. in the assimilation process.

I would like to take this opportunity to talk to you briefly about the new institutional framework created by Mexico to deal with the Mexican communities abroad. In particular, I would like to tell you about a new Advisory Council for Mexicans Abroad that will become a central part of this framework.

In a gesture which greatly honors me, on September 16th this year, the President of Mexico appointed me as the first President of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (el Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior). With this appointment, President Fox honored his commitment to appoint a Mexican migrant, such as myself, to head this new agency.

As part of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, there will be an Advisory Council consisting of 120 members, most of them Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who reside in the United States.

Let me point out that the Advisory Council will not be a legislative body, nor will it be responsible for the implementation of public policies.

The responsibilities of the founding members of the Advisory Council will be to provide advice to the Mexican Government in its efforts to strengthen the ties which bind Mexico with its diaspora. Their input will contribute to consolidate a series of policies which, in order to be successful, require consistency and a long-term vision.

The Advisory Council is in the process of being formed. It will hold its first meeting in mid January 2003, in Mexico City. Of its 120 members, 100 will have been elected through a democratic process which is currently in motion, having begun in mid-October and scheduled to conclude in early December.

During these two months, thousands of people, representing hundreds of organizations and communities, have responded to the call that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs disseminated throughout its network of 45 Consulates in the U.S.

In this process, the Mexican Consuls have played the role of facilitators, assuming an impartial attitude with regards to the election of the Council members, in the understanding that this is a democratic exercise which is the responsibility of the communities themselves.

The creation of the Council reaffirms the President's commitment to involve these communities in the drafting of public policies focused on them.

Its composition will reflect the diversity which characterizes these communities in terms of gender, profession, place of birth, city of residence and language.

In view of the fact that at least one-third of its members will be renewed every two years, I am sure that the Advisory Council will be a dynamic and inclusive group, in a continuous process of revitalization.

Because of its plurality, it is only natural that there will be differences of opinion among the future Council members, between the organizations and the communities they represent, as well as between those who decide to participate and those who do not. 

The Fox administration will never view criticism or differences of opinion inside the Council or outside of it as a sign of disrespect or disloyalty. Our purpose is not to co-opt, neutralize, win over or unify discordant positions around a single outlook.

On the contrary, we welcome a healthy debate that takes into account the natural diversity of our communities.

Those of you who are U.S. citizens of Mexican descent, know that the existence of a forum, such as the Advisory Council, which would serve as a space to exchange ideas, to draw positions closer and, in general, to foster a better understanding between both countries, will benefit not only Mexico, but also the United States.

The responsibility of fostering Mexico's development depends largely on Mexicans themselves. But Mexico will be better able to achieve its full potential by calling on all members of the Mexican Nation, including those who live abroad, to contribute with their talents, skills and resources.

Estimados amigos:

Let me take this opportunity to reaffirm our partnership with you. Latinos are an increasingly powerful political presence in the United States, electing more and more members of the community to important offices. I am convinced that you, the Latino elected officials, are going to lead the way on how the United States can make a better use of our geographic proximity and our common cultural heritage.

Like many of you, I am new in my job. Like some of you and many of your constituents, I am the product of the migratory experience. Like you, I want to encourage the Mexican communities in the U.S. to get involved, to participate, to achieve their full potential. To whatever extent you are able, please support our efforts to make the Advisory Council of Mexicans Abroad an institution that helps to bring our two countries closer together.

Muchas gracias

January 03, 2003

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