Recently, Calderon instructed Mexican consulates in the U.S. to defend the image of Mexican migrants â€?to neutralize the strategy of confrontation and of discrimination.â€?
The presidente recently laid out a 7 point plan to carry this out. The consulates should:
1. Authenticate, through precise arguments, the enormous contribution that Mexicans make to the economy and society of the U.S. 2. Participate in public debates. 3. Go to the media. 4. Speak personally with non-governmental organizations. 5. Unify the discourse. 6. Defend Mexico and defend the Mexican government. 7. Utilize studies and evaluations of the U.S. government itself to defend the role that Mexican migrants play.Mexican consulates already meddle, so these instructions should increase the meddling. Of course, as long as our own officials allow Mexican meddling, why should we suppose it will end?
More recently, Calderon was in Tijuana, to celebrate the â€?Day of the Migrantâ€?. There, the Mexican president went on a rant about the ongoing U.S. debate on immigration (which heâ€™d prefer we not have):
â€?Those who, due to ignorance, bad faith, political or economic interest, seek to present Mexican migrants, or Mexicans in general, as enemies of the United States, are wrong."Itâ€™s totally false, says Calderon, that Mexican migrants pose any kind of problem (economic, social security ) to the U.S.
â€? This perception is not only erroneous, because it generates unnecessary tensions in the bilateral relationship, but also because it weakens the development of North America as a whole."Hmm, Calderon wouldn't be referring to some kind of North American Union there, would he?
Calderon also spoke about a Mexican government plan to help Mexicans deported from the United States. Well, he's on firmer ground there, though I donâ€™t expect much from it . Also present was Florencio Salazar, subsecretary of Population, Borders and Migratory Affairs, who compared migration to humidity , because "it can be stopped temporarily, but it will arrive to its destiny with time."
And, Cecilia Romero, Commissioner of the INM (National Migration Institute, the Mexican immigration bureaucracy) says the Mexican government is working to get rid of the â€?black legendâ€? that Mexico mistreats migrants from other countries.
Calderon also discussed the â€?Paisanoâ€? programâ€?, which is designed to help Mexicans (who live in the U.S.) who visit Mexico at Christmastime. Calderon said he wouldnâ€™t tolerate â€?acts of corruption, swindles, abuses or humiliations â€? of Mexicans returning for Christmas. Yes, that goes on, as Mexicans (living in the U.S) are shaken down for money by corrupt Mexican officials when they go to visit Mexico. [ Debilitan comentarios racistas relaci??n M?©xico-EU: Calderon Sergio Javier Jim?©nez, El Universal, Dec. 17th, 2007]
To put Calderon's comments in context, check out this article from the Arizona Republic, entitled â€?Holiday Visit to Mexico Becomes a One-Way Tripâ€?. [By Daniel Gonzalez, December 18, 2007]It reports that many illegal aliens are taking advantage of the season to leave Arizona and return to Mexico permanently.
For the human interest angle, the article focuses on the Franco family. Both Mr. And Mrs. Franco were working illegally (originally they overstayed their visas, by the way) but recently lost their work.
So the article tells how the Francos are returning to Mexico, in two vehicles. Mr. Franco is driving an extended cab Ford F-150 pickup, carrying their refrigerator, air conditioner, TV and microwave, and the 3 kids (#3 is an anchor baby). The second vehicle, a Dodge minivan, is piloted by Mrs. Franco and carries clothes, toys household goods and suitcases on the roof. In an effort to tug on our heartstrings, the the article ends thusly:
What did they plan to do for work in Mexico?This frustrated-novelist-style ending is, I suppose, designed to make us feel guilty about illegal aliens leaving the country.But I have a different response:
Jorge (Franco) shook his head. He didn't know. Then, after clearing immigration and customs, the couple climbed back inside the pickup and the minivan and drove slowly back onto the highway, headed south.
"Excuse me, isn't this President Calderon's problem ?"