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Thread: Mexican Envoy Hits Own Policies
07-20-07, 06:44 PM #1
Mexican Envoy Hits Own Policies
Mexican envoy hits own policies
July 20, 2007
By Stephen Dinan and Jerry Seper - Mexico's ambassador to the United States yesterday said previous Mexican officials made a "dumb mistake" by issuing comic books to aid illegal aliens crossing the border, and said his government cannot criticize U.S. treatment of illegal aliens as long as Mexico has harsh laws on its books.
"It's very hard for Mexico to preach to the north what it does not do to the south," Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan said in a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, referring to Mexico's felony penalties for, and sometimes cruel treatment of, those caught crossing its southern border.
"Unless we correct the fundamental challenge of the violation of human rights of Latin American or Central American migrants crossing the border into Mexico, it's very hard for me to come up and wag a finger and say you guys should protect the rights of my citizens in this country," he said, adding that changes to the Mexican law are now pending.
Mr. Sarukhan, who presented his credentials as ambassador to President Bush in February, said his government is taking a new tack since the December inauguration of President Felipe Calderon, who has toned down the public relations push for an immigration bill in the United States and is instead trying to build infrastructure, combat corruption and create jobs to keep workers at home.
"The debate over immigration is an internal debate of the United States, and as such, I hope, this house noted a dramatic shift in the positioning of the Mexican government as of Dec. 1," Mr. Sarukhan said. "I think the previous Mexican government did itself and those that believe in comprehensive immigration reform a lot of damage by the way it tried to position itself publicly in an internal debate in the United States."
In particular, the ambassador criticized past moves to distribute materials aimed at helping illegal aliens safely cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
In 2005, the Mexican government's foreign ministry distributed 1.5 million comic books giving tips to would-be migrants, and last year Mexico's National Human Rights Commission planned to distribute maps to migrants showing water sites they could use during their crossing. The commission scrapped the plans after a U.S. protest.
"That was not my government, and I would say that in hindsight, or even without hindsight — I was consul general of Mexico in New York at the time these guidelines were delivered — and I saw this and I said, 'What a dumb mistake,' " the ambassador said, adding that the human rights commission was a nongovernmental body.
"I don't think that's the way that you work synergistically with the United States to co-manage a very complex border."
The new approach was apparent when Mr. Bush and Mr. Calderon met in Mexico in March, and the Mexican leader stressed trying to build new economic opportunities in Mexico as well as working with the U.S. to secure the border.
That's not to say Mr. Calderon didn't want Congress to pass Mr. Bush's immigration bill, which would have created a new guest-worker program and given citizenship rights to the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens already here, a majority of whom are Mexicans. Mr. Calderon called the bill's failure a "grave mistake."
But Mr. Sarukhan said Mexican officials understand Americans' trepidation and desire for a secure border, and he said they are well aware of the consequences if a breach of the U.S.-Mexican border were to be involved in a future attack on U.S. security.
"The day that happens, this relationship as we have known it, is over," he said. "I would say Mexico and the United States are working extremely well in trying to ensure that border is not used to underpin or challenge the national security of the United States."
He said leaders in both nations must work to convince their citizens of the importance and value of a good U.S.-Mexico relationship, and said the countries should search for a uniting factor similar to the way that ethanol is serving as the basis for closer ties to Brazil.
"There is a deep-seated fear in America today that their well-being, the well-being of Americans and their identity as a nation, and the impact of some of the effects of globalization, are making people scared," he said.
Mr. Calderon serves one six-year term as Mexican president, and Mr. Sarukhan said he hopes to be able to show the U.S. Congress at the end of that time that immigration patterns have changed and workers are returning on their own to Mexico to start businesses and rejoin communities.
The ambassador said Mexico's eventual goal is the same as that of the U.S.: "The end game for us, the Mexican government, is to ensure every single Mexican who crosses this border does so legally."
Mr. Sarukhan, a former director of counternarcotics and law-enforcement issues, also said Mexico and the United States need to work together if they hope to better control the flow of drugs into the U.S. and cash and weapons into Mexico.
He described the fight against drug smugglers and organized crime gangs who have brought rampant violence to the U.S.-Mexico border as important to both countries, and said the United States must do its part to "roll back" drug consumption.
He defended remittances, the $23 billion sent back home by Mexicans working legally or illegally in the United States, saying they play "a key role in this stage of Mexican economic development." He pointed to the role of remittances in other nations such as Ireland and Spain when those countries were trying to extend their links to the European Community.
But he said remittances are not the long-term solution for sustained growth in Mexico, particularly because it's an indicator that many of Mexico's best workers have fled the country to find jobs.
"No country can grow if it is not able to hold onto its women and men. Some of them, I don't know if they're talented or not, but they're certainly bold," he said.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/artic...95/1001/NATIONDon't Be Afraid To Fail.
No Tengas Miedo Al Fracaso.
07-20-07, 07:20 PM #2
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
07-20-07, 07:52 PM #3
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