Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Double-Standard Summit Amigos?

The President of the United States of America, Felipe Calderón and the President of the United States of México Barack H. Obama met recently at the White House and later the President of the United States, Felipe Calderón addressed the U.S. Congress. What? Well, it was hard to tell who was the president of what country.

President Calderón goes to the U.S. Congress and criticizes the rights of the federated State of Arizona to defend its borders and enforce federal law which is not being enforced, and he receives a standing ovation.

I guess, due to traditional reciprocity laws and traditions in international law, President Obama will soon address the Mexican congress and criticize México for the way it treats its illegal immigrants.

While there the President of the United States Barack H. Obama could reiterate, “The new law in Arizona, is a misdirected effort — a misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system, and which has raised concerns in both our countries. I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We’re examining any implications, especially for civil rights. Because in the United States of America, no law-abiding person — be they an American citizen, a legal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico — should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.”

He could also lecture the Mexican congress about México’s current immigration laws which among other things says:

“Foreigners are admitted into Mexico "according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress." (Article 32)”

“Immigration officials must "ensure" that "immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance" and for their dependents. (Article 34)”

“Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets "the equilibrium of the national demographics," when foreigners are deemed detrimental to "economic or national interests," when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when "they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy." (Article 37)”

I’m sure that no Latin American government will protest this lecturing from the “yanqui” president, especially about "the equilibrium of the national demographics" racial purity aspects of Mexican law.

So, you see? They have become interchangeable, especially since Presidente Obama said during the occasion, “A nation is not defined by its borders” which we all know México already puts into practice.

Just look at what the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón had to say about Mexican immigration laws (with Wolf Blitzer. CNN 5/19/10):

Blitzer: "So if people want to come from Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador or Nicaragua, they want to just come into Mexico, can they just walk in?"

Calderón: "No! They need to fulfill, uh, a form. They need to establish their right name. We analyze if they have not a criminal precedence."

Blitzer: "Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people they suspect are illegal immigrants?"

Calderón: "Of course! Of course!"

Blitzer: "If somebody sneaks in from Nicaragua or some other country in Central America through the southern border of Mexico and they wind up in Mexico, they can get a job"

Calderon: "No, no, no."

Blitzer: "They can work?"

Calderon: "If somebody do that without permissions, we send -- we send back them" [he meant "send them back"].

So, you see? Our laws are not just more lenient, but not even enforced, although they are similar in many respects.

There are many interests, in both parties in the U.S. and in the countries from where illegal immigrants arrive, who benefit from the present state of affairs. In other words, the immoral state of “status quo” is convenient.

The challenges for the presidents of the borderless United States of Mexico-America in this summit were simple.

Mexico has inmigration laws which are a lot more strict than those of the US, and the federal laws of the US on inmigraition are the ones adopted by the state of Arizona because of the failure of the federal government in defending the security of the border states. So, these are the questions on the table for both countries.

For Mexico: if other states of the US join with Arizona how is México going to be able to continue exporting Mexicans to the US so that they continue sending remittances, providing a release valve to alleviate its demographic, economic and unemployment situation, without the Mexican elite having to do anything to reform the most corrupt country of Latin America (with exception of Cuba)?

For the U.S: How to continue obtaining cheap labor (almost slaves) at the same time that the illegal immigrant population receives services free of costs to private enterprise but paid for by the taxpayer while not loosing politically at home?

We have said it before that the state of illegal immigration is immoral for various reasons. Among a few, first for the exploitation and the marketing of human beings as simple utilitarian instruments of production, and secondly for the various degrees of hypocrisy (let’s be generous and call them “contradictions”) which involves the powers that be on both sides of the border.

Summits are usually given a thematic name. What should we name this one? How about “The Double-Standard Summit Amigos”?  But to be hopeful and optimistic perhaps we should name it  "The We'll See What Happens Summit".  As the drug war in Mexico and unemployment in the US remains where it is, or increases, the need for serious collaboration between the two countries will be urgent.

In the meantime, none of the countries from where illegal immigrants come are countries that do not enforce respect of their own borders.

American labor needs more respect than that.


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