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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mexico Is at a Crossroads - A Return to Oligarchy?

Why my fascination with Mexico? For starters, the Mexican elite continue to use the United States as a safety valve, sending north millions of their citizens who can't make a decent living in an oppressive society. The Mexican elite refuse to impose taxes upon themselves, relying instead on the American taxpayer and employers from whom their uneducated citizens eke a living, sending back the billions in remittance wages on which the Mexican economy seems to be operating today.
Mexico is country rich in natural and human resources. The scandal is that neither is being developed for the good of the people.

Should further discontent and violence occur south of the border, one doesn't have to be a brain surgeon to understand what will happen to us here, north of the border. Millions more could pour through the open sieve bringing yet more social problems and the internecine violence that always accompanies political instability. Why am I concerned about Mexico? My question is: armed with this knowledge, why aren't you?

Read it all.

Update: Mexico Retaliates for Border Wall Plan

MEXICO CITY - The Mexican government, angered by a U.S. proposal to extend a wall along the border to keep out migrants, has struck back with radio ads urging Mexican workers to denounce rights violations in the United States. Facing a growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment north of the border, the Mexican government is also hiring an American public relations firm to improve its image.

"We learned to believe in the United States. We have a binational life," he said of Zacatecas, a state that has been sending migrants north for more than a century. "It isn't just a feeling of rejection. It's against what we see as part of our life, our culture, our territory."

The government is scrambling to fight on two fronts. On Monday, it announced it had hired Allyn & Company, a Dallas-based public relations company to help improve Mexico's image and stem the immigration backlash.

"If people in the U.S. and Canada had an accurate view of the success of democracy, political stability and economic prosperity in Mexico, it would improve their views on specific bilateral issues like immigration and border security," Rob Allyn, president of the PR firm, told The Associated Press Tuesday.

What exactly is an accurate view of Mexico. Yes, the people work hard, but they see the United States as a "part of their territory."

And the government has stepped up its defense of migrants, airing a series of radio spots here aimed at migrants returning home for the holidays:

"Had a labor accident in the United State? You have rights ... Call," reads the ad, sponsored by Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, which has helped migrants bring compensation suits in the United States.

This underscores the elite's sense that Americans should provide industry and jobs, salaries and pensions, not Mexicans themselves.

The sense of dread connected with the measures is hardly restricted to Mexico. Immigrant advocacy and aid groups in the United States are worried about provisions of the House bill that upgrade unlawful presence in the United States from a civil offense to a felony.

"This is a sad foreshadowing," said immigrants rights activist Kathryn Rodriguez of the Derechos Humanos coalition in Tucson, Ariz. She fears the bill could expose those who help sick or dying migrants to criminal prosecution.

The House bill, passed on a 239-182 vote, would also enlist military and local law enforcement to help stop illegal entrants and require employers to verify the legal status of their workers.

Calling these people "immigrants" is deceptive. An immigrant is a person that voluntarily moves to another country and adopts the language and cultural mores of the new country and swears and oath of citizenship. Mexicans that come to the United States and become citizens of the United States are dual citizens. They are encouraged to vote in Mexican elections and often candidates reside and campaign within the borders of the United States. I find this very disturbing.

Mexicans are outraged by the proposed measures, especially the extension of the border wall, which many liken to the Berlin Wall. Some are urging their government to fight it fiercely.

"Our president should oppose that wall and make them stop it, at all costs," said Martin Vazquez, 26, at the Mexico City airport as he returned from his job as a hotel worker in Las Vegas. "More than just insulting, it's terrible."

I am also outraged...outraged that the wall and other measures were not taken decades ago.


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