Mexican diplomats and politicians have become accustomed to meddling with abandon in U.S. immigration policy, and we just let them get away with it.
Heads up Canada, Mexico is starting to meddle in your immigration policy. The Mexican government is really offended
that Canada is now requiring visas for Mexicans to visit Canada. What an injustice!
An article in the Globe and Mail entitled Visa controls on Mexico â€?humiliating,` senator says
(October 24, 2009) reports the visit to Canada of Rosario Green, Mexican senator and former Mexican Foreign Minister. here are some excerpts:
A senior Mexican senator and former foreign affairs minister yesterday called Canada`s visa controls on Mexico a humiliation and questioned whether Canadian-Mexican relations will improve as long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister.
Senator Green let it be known that she herself
was subjected to Canadian immigration procedures:
In a blunt speech to a Toronto business and academic gathering, Senator Rosario Green Macias detailed the information she was required to provide to the Canadian government to enter Canada â€“ proof of property ownership, her last six bank statements, a letter from the Mexican senate stating she is a senator and personal information about other members of her family. â€?That has to stop,â€? said Ms. Green, who is president of the external relations commission of Mexico`s senate, an academic, a former secretary-general of Mexico`s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and a one-time senior United Nations official as well as diplomat and cabinet minister.
"That has to stop"
? Sounds like an order. And she`s worried about Mexican-Canadian relations:
She repeatedly told her audience that the Mexican-Canada relationship is troubled. Twice she used the word â€?humiliatingâ€? to describe Canada`s visa controls, linking them to the wall â€“ which she also called a humiliation â€“ that the United States is building along the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out illegal migrant Mexicans.
Oh, the horror and injustice of it all! And her solution?
Later, talking to journalists, she said the relationship will improve â€?when you change prime ministers,â€? then realized what she`d said and asked not to be quoted. The two journalists who heard her did not give her that assurance and Ms. Green did not press her request.
And why did Canada force Mexicans to suffer the indignity of having to have visas?
Canada imposed visa requirements on Mexicans in July after a huge upsurge in the number of Mexicans arriving in Canada and claiming refugee status. Ottawa said most of the claims were bogus and had been orchestrated by unscrupulous Mexican firms giving advice on how to take advantage of Canada`s asylum system.
So what should Canada have done?
Ms. Green, who spoke at the launch of a joint forum by Mexican and Canadian non-government policy institutes to improve relations between the two countries, said the Canadian government first should have proposed a study with the Mexican government to resolve the problem before suddenly imposing visas.
So how about Mexico`s own immigration system?
Mexico, she said, was working on curbing illegal migrants.
So it`s OK for Mexico to "curb illegal migrants"
but not OK for Canada to require a visa for Mexicans?
Rosario is also not pleased with the portrayal of Mexico in the Canadian media:
She criticized the media`s portrait of Mexico as nothing more than a society of illegal migration, drugs and violence...
And she also criticized the Mexican asylum-seekers themselves:
... she said her fellow citizens found it amazing that Mexican asylum seekers in Canada were claiming their government couldn`t protect them from the drug wars and corrupt and abusive security forces.
So what does she want?
Ms. Green also said the North American free-trade agreement should be re-launched with a new attitude that recognized Mexico as an equal partner with Canada and the U.S. and not as an irritant.
The article is followed by comments. One commenter calling himself J.D., wrote at 12:22:34 a.m. on Oct. 25th, and had this to say:
Sorry, Mexico, but the visa requirements aren`t the problem. They are a response to the problem.