The INM (Mexican INS) has just announced the expulsion of five American citizens, who were given three days to get out of Mexico. What did they do wrong? The gringos’ mistake was getting mixed up in Mexican politics.
The people in question had been participating in a demonstration in the state of Oaxaca, for the release of a group of campesinos charged with massacring Indians. The demonstration took place in front of the Oaxaca state capitol, and had been going on since this past June. An INS official said of the expelled Americans: “they were there for weeks....they are not tourists that have passed by and asked for information...” A similar incident occurred last May, when 18 Americans were expelled for similar incidents.
Mexico is totally justified in expelling these Americans and Mexican officials are upholding their law. Article 43 of the Mexican General Law of Population states that
“The admission to the country of a foreigner obliges him to strictly comply with the conditions established for him in the entrance permit and the dispositions established by the respective laws.”
Mexico has the right to regulate its own immigration policy, and deport foreigners who don’t conform with it. And for me, this is not simply theoretical. As an American living and working in Mexico (with a legal work permit) I have to obey the law to, and if I don’t, Mexico has every right to deport me as well.
But the meddling which these expelled Americans engaged in pales in comparison with the large-scale meddling being engaged in, right now, by the Mexican government in the United States. The Mexican government meddles openly in U.S., and such meddling comes from the top down. The government of Vicente Fox is determined that America take in even more Mexican immigrants, that illegal alien Mexicans be legalized, and that a migratory accord between the two nations effectively grant Mexico veto power over U.S. immigration policy. To bring about such an accord, the Mexican government plans a major lobbying blitz in the United States after the November elections. So get ready.
Furthermore, the Fox administration views Americans of Mexican ancestry not simply as foreigners of Mexican ancestry, but as Mexicans, and the American Hispanic vote is seen as a tool of Mexican foreign policy. That this is an insult to patriotic Americans of Mexican descent bothers Fox not a whit.
In a recent Mexican radio address, Fox went so far as to interview a judge of the Superior Court of California, the County of Los Angeles, the Honorable Teresa Sanchez-Gordon. Judge Sanchez-Gordon is an American citizen of Mexican ancestry, but conversed with Fox as if he were her president. She spoke of the “22 million Mexicans” in the United States (a figure which includes American citizens of Mexican ancestry), she spoke of “our people (Mexicans) in California”, and she promised to work in her capacity as an American judge with the government of Mexico. Never in the conversation did she mention her identity as an American citizen.
Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Castañada, is point man for achieving such a bilateral immigration accord. His thoughts on immigration have been known since 1995, when he stated in his article in Atlantic Monthly that “Some Americans...dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it.” Just this past June, Castañeda attended the annual convention of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens). Castañeda was a guest of honor. The Mexican Foreign Minister attacked U.S. immigration policy, boasted about how the Mexican government has made it easier for illegal aliens in the U.S. (Houston Post, June 27th) and instructed the members of LULAC (who are U.S. citizens) to lobby U.S. lawmakers for immigration accords. (The News, Mexico, June 28th)
Mexican diplomats have been particularly effective in the past decade in meddling in U.S. internal affairs. One egregrious example was when the Mexican consulate in LA helped organize a protest in 1994 against Proposition 187, a state referendum seeking to deny benefits to illegal aliens.
And there are more recent examples. On February 26th, 2002, a Mexican consul general of San Jose, California, visited a school in California for its observance of “Mexican Flag Day”, where he promoted dual citizenship to the assembled fifth and sixth graders.
In Texas, a visiting Mexican official said that one of the goals of Mexican consulates is to “form a common front that represents....the interests of the Hispanic community” — blurring the distinction between the interests of the Mexican government and Americans of Hispanic ancestry.
A consulate in California posted a document entitled “Golden Rules for Undocumented Immigrants” on the Internet, giving illegal aliens tips on how not to be apprehended.
Consular activism has even been used in California to influence legislation. On June 3rd (La Opinion – California , June 4th, 2002) five Latino state legislators met in the state capitol in Sacramento with five Mexican diplomats, in order to develop legislative proposals. A Mexican official addressing the conclave said that the Mexican consuls and American Latino legislators “must share the same co-operation and the same committment.” In all the cases mentioned above, none of the meddling Mexican diplomats were ever reprimanded by the U.S. government.
Special mention should also be made of the matricula consular, a document issued by Mexican consulates to Mexicans in the United States. The Mexican government has had great success getting U.S. municipalities and police departments to accept the matricular consular as valid. This document is not a Mexican passport, which every legal Mexican immigrant should have already. The matricula consular is specifically promoted by the Mexican government for the benefit of illegal aliens, so they won’t be detained and deported. U.S. government agencies which accept it are ceding to Mexico the right to decide who can be deported from the U.S.A.
Yes, a handful of gringo political agitators have been deported from Mexico, and rightfully so. But their amateur activity pales when placed beside the brazen and successful meddling in the U.S. by the Mexican government. And our own government does nothing to stop it.