As a National Guard veteran myself, I think deploying to the border is a great idea. It doesn’t even have to be that expensive. Plenty of funds are spent on the National Guard already—on monthly drills, two-week annual training, even frequent activations in which Guard units are deployed to the Middle East (as I was) for months on end. Why not transfer some of those funds to a program that rotates Guardsmen to and from border duty?
Mexico’s reaction, from my survey of the Spanish-language media:
…the government of Mexico has expressed to the government of the United States that, if the announced deployment of the National Guard leads to a militarization of the border, that would gravely damage bilateral relations.But whining over the “militarization of the border" (as some Americans are also doing) is just silly: Mexico’s side is already militarized.
(The Mexican Government Will Watch Over the Sovereignty and National Interest, Mexican Foreign Ministry Comunicado #84, April 4, 2018]
Of course, the SRE declared its undying loyalty to Mexicans north of the border, declaring that the government of Mexico "has reiterated the fundamental importance of the respect for the dignity and the human rights of the Mexicans in the United States."
After all, the Mexican foreign ministry sees Mexicans here, even if they are born on U.S. soil as tools of Mexican foreign policy.
This communiqué was released the day after Trump announced a military deployment. Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray called Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who, according to SRE’s communiqué, assured Videgaray of three things:
The SRE promises to “maintain permanent communication with [U.S. Homeland Security]…always watching out for [Mexican] sovereignty and [Mexican] national interests.”
Given that the SRE notoriously has at its disposal a vast consular network of 50 consulates on U.S. soil, this should be easy.
The Mexican Senate went even further:
The full Senate of the [Mexican] Republic unanimously passed a resolution calling on the [Mexican] federal government to suspend bilateral cooperation with the United States in the areas of migration and the fight against transnational crime "as long as President Donald Trump does not show respect to the people of Mexico."So who decides when Trump is showing respect to the Mexican people? The Mexican Senate, apparently. And the Mexican Senate doesn’t like, guess what, “militarizing” the border.
[Senado pide suspender cooperación migratoria y anticrimen con EU , “Senate calls to suspend migratory and anti-crime cooperation with the U.S.,” By Ivan E. Saldana, El Excelsior, April 4, 2018, emphasis added.]
The Senate’s resolution, approved April 4, also categorically rejects the U.S. suggestion of militarizing its border with Mexico, and demands President Trump treat Mexico as a neighbor, partner and ally.The Mexican Senate resolution calls on the U.S. Congress to set President Trump straight, to respect and work with Mexico, and it calls on the Mexican Foreign Ministry to communicate directly with Trump and every single member of the U.S. Congress.
Looks like they’ve got their work cut out for them.
Mexico’s Presidential Candidates
It’s the Mexican presidential election campaign season, so of course candidates felt the need to posture on this subject. Because if there’s any issue Mexican politicians can agree on, it’s that the U.S. should have Open Borders for Mexicans.
Front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [“AMLO”, right] boldly spoke out against Gringo perfidy from an actual border city—Piedras Negras, right across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas. He said:
"Mexico will never bet on a being a bad neighbor with the United States nor use bad language to offend anybody, but neither will we permit a lack of respect from a foreign government…. Mexico will not be anybody’s piñata."But maybe we don’t want the U.S. to be Mexico’s piñata.
[Lopez Obrador: Mexico Will Not Be Anybody’ s Piñata, by Isabel Gonzalez, Excelsior, April 4, 2018]
AMLO also pledges to be a president who makes Mexico’s economy grow “to retain its inhabitants in the national territory”. But that’s typical for Mexican politicians. Nevertheless, they still want Open Borders.
AMLO says that “we don’t accept” a wall being built on the border, or the border’s militarization.
Excelsior reports his audience burst into applause.
AMLO also pledged to upgrade all the Mexican consulates in the U.S. to embassy rank. It doesn’t make sense to have 51 embassies in the United States, but AMLO said it was necessary to protect Mexican “migrants.”
I regret the lack of firmness of the Mexican federal government in the face of these repeated amenazas y amagos [two synonyms for “threats”, for emphasis—AW] of the President of the United States, convinced that Mexico should assume a position of greater firmness and dignity in the face of the U.S. government.But how is Trump’s calling for the U.S. to have a secure border a threat?
Lamenta Anaya falta de firmeza contra amenazas de Trump [Anaya regrets the lack of firmness against Trump’s threats, by Hector Figueroa Alcantara, Excelsior, April 4, 2018]
To the Mexican elite, regardless of political party, any attempt by the U.S. to control its border with Mexico amounts to a threat.
Trump is right. We need to put the military on the border, and we need to build a wall.
And we need to quit saying that Mexico is our partner in securing the border, or even that we need Mexico’s help to secure the border.
We don’t need Mexico’s help and Mexico’s political elites have no intention of giving it anyway.
Consider, for example, how the members of the migrant caravan, who provoked this entire situation, are not going home to Honduras. Many of them are given permits by the Mexican government that allow them to continue on their way to Mexico’s northern border.
Marchers in the caravan bore the sign (see photo here) Todos Somos America—“We are all American.” But by “America,” Latin Americans don’t mean the U.S.—they mean all of North and South America. They think that gives them the right, regardless of our laws, to enter the U.S.
That’s the mentality we’re dealing with, in the Mexican government and with the Latino activists. There can be no compromise with them if we want our nation to survive.