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01/16/08 - A California Professor Warns Mexico Is Squandering Its Biggest Asset
From: Augusto Perez (e-mail him)
It is news to me that Mexico can have a "zero tolerance policy" against political issues—or anything else—within US sovereign territory.
Read the La Jornada story below; I've only translated only the portion of the story that is germane to immigration. [Cambiará México su estrategia para frenar abusos contra migrantes en EU —La Jornada | Mexico Will Change Its Strategy To Halt Abuses Against Immigrants In The U.S., By Karina Avilés, La Jornada, January 8, 2008]
Mexico's complaints over what it suggests is the "abuse" of immigrants in the US and its goal to "cost the U.S. in court" by adding lawyers to their consulate staffs is a bad joke given its rigid enforcement of its own immigration laws.
If Mexico is truly concerned about its citizens, the solution is an easy one: they should encourage the permanent return of all Mexicans to their homeland.
Here is the translation:
"Facing the fact that the immigration reform 'failed' and that the principal culprit is the 'American Congress', the government of Mexico will promote a 'new strategy' of 'zero tolerance' to human rights violations of the countrymen in the United States, which will consist in increasing the number of Consulates—until reaching 50—and the budget, as well as adopting 'overwhelming' actions so that it will 'cost them in courts' abusing of the undocumented, advanced Mexican diplomats in the neighboring country.
"Convinced that the attempts to modify the legal framework in the US of this matter have floundered and with the idea of the arrival of another wave of 'not very pretty' laws, they accepted that Mexico continue presenting overwhelming arguments 'does not guarantee in any way that our wills will break, bend or otherwise convince, because there are sectors in the US Congress and in the society that maintain a harsh position against the reform of this item.'
"Nonetheless, they eluded the matter of the eventual responsibility of Mexico in said failure. The Consul of our country in New York, Ruben Beltran, manifested that awarding 'responsibilities or faults should seem difficult to grasp. I would not know how to build a laboratory and say that 85 percent is here and 5 percent there. Evidently, the Mexican government is committed to continue advocating for a comprehensive immigration reform, which faces a very large resistance'.
In the context of the 19th Reunion of Mexican Ambassadors and Consulates, in which more than 200 members of the foreign service participate, Chancellor Patricia Espinosa pointed out, in the opening ceremony, that there is an adverse climate for the migrants, aggravated by the electoral debate in that nation, and promised the improvement of programs for protection and services, although she reminded that being effective in the support of the countrymen implies being so as much within as outside of the territory.
The broad agenda of the meeting, which will continue today, was carried out behind closed doors, for which later, due to pressure from the information media representatives, the consuls of New York and Phoenix offered a press conference, in which they handled the immigration matter, one of the main ones in the meeting
At the Chancellery's offices, they advanced some of the new strategies to be implemented as part of the special plan of immigrant protection, called by Ruben Beltran program of 'zero tolerance' to he abuse of countrymen.
He informed that other actions will be to promote alliances with Unions, civil organizations and churches, to build a pro-Hispanic, pro immigrant and pro-human-rights agenda, as well as creating consular networks to work at the regional scale. Besides, expanding the 'Jurimex' and 'Empleo' programs towards other counties. The first, he added, is a 24-hour-toll-free line in which the applicant receives legal assistance. In the second, carried out in collaboration with the Department of Labor of the neighboring nation, labor violations can be reported.
After pointing out that the 'geography of intolerance' has different levels and accents in the United States, he added that the conformation of a network of lawyers that will strengthen the actions of the consulates would be promoted.
Among the main strategies he highlighted the increase of financial and human resources, for which there will be new consulates opened in Boise, Idaho; Anchorage, Alaska, and the one in New Orleans will be reopened.
Likewise, he added, a campaign will be launched to broadcast the contributions of the immigrants to the US economy, but also about the rights that these have, for example, in labor matters, since 80 percent ignore that they can belong to a Union notwithstanding their undocumented status. Thus, he said, it will be persuaded by the 'overwhelming path of the tribunal that it is not good business to go abusing the rights of the immigrants'.
In regards to the expectations due to the hardening of the measures against the undocumented, as the one going into effect in Arizona of a law that punishes the businesses that give them employment, the Mexican consul in Phoenix, Carlos Flores, trusts that the monetary benefits of the countrymen labor force will reorient that policy.
According to a study from the University of Arizona, he declared, $6 billion dollars would be lost in the first fiscal year if the workforce of those laborers were to be eradicated."