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Mexico's Weapon By: William R. Hawkins
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 31, 2006

Prominent on display at demonstrations around the country supporting illegal immigration has been the flag of Mexico. The last time demonstrators waved the flag of a foreign government in American streets on such a scale was during the Vietnam War when New Leftists were championing the cause of North Vietnam against the United States. Those street people were mainly mush-brained college students whose ignorance of world affairs allowed them to be manipulated by their Marxist professors. This time is different. The protesters are not just advocating a foreign cause, they are part of it. Most of the Latino students boycotting classes in California and elsewhere should not be in those classes to begin with, since they have no legal right to even be in the United States. Indeed, their enrollment has generated a financial drain on state and local budgets across the country.

When the demonstrations started, I was in England. Media coverage there combined the marches in the U.S. with the student protests in France over labor reform. Again, the symbolism harkened back to the chaos of May 1968 when student and labor union violence almost collapsed the government of Charles DeGaulle. Aging radicals on both sides of the Atlantic wish to recapture the dark chaos of the 1960s.

The United Kingdom has its own illegal immigration problems. On March 25, a Chinese gang leader was found guilty of the manslaughter of 21 Chinese illegal immigrants who drowned in Morecambe Bay two years ago while harvesting shellfish at night. I watched with a mixture of amusement and outrage as a self-styled spokesman for the Chinese community claimed that the British Home Secretary should have been the one indicted because immigration laws "forced" illegals to work under hazardous condition because they cannot work in the open. A dapper British businessman then argued for dropping the term "illegal" in favor of "economic immigrant" so that firms could have a ready supply of cheap labor.

These arguments are heard here too. But what may be "cheap" for a company can be very expensive for the larger society. Some 40 percent of the inmates in California prisons are illegal aliens, who saw America as the land of opportunity for criminal pursuits. Our de facto "open borders" policy cannot discriminate between those whose ambitions are honest or dishonest. And no new system can solve this problem if it is still possible to get into America and survive outside the parameters of the law. Truly effective border security is the pre-requisite for any system of legal immigration.

It is the prevention of border security that motivates both the street protests and the Mexican government which is helping to orchestrate them. The timing of the protests is not just connected with legislation in the U.S. Congress, whose deliberations are long and convoluted. The more direct link is to the summit between President George W. Bush, Mexican President Vincente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Cancun March 30-31. Mr. Fox has activated his fifth column in America as a diplomatic weapon. He has been aided by a network of Spanish-language radio stations and newspapers, elements in the Catholic Church and the usual variety of left-wing "civil rights" groups like the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU. This movement poses a threat to U.S. security and sovereignty that makes even the risk of terrorist infiltration across the southern border pale in significance.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said March 27 that border security could not be the only topic at Cancun. He said all "must share responsibility so that those forced to migrate be regulated by plans that include respecting their dignity." But what has "forced" Mexicans to become illegal immigrants? The answer is the sad fact that Mexico has become a failed state, which hopes to push costs onto its northern neighbor so its corrupt elites can continue in power without having to risk domestic reform.

In a series of newspaper ads in U.S. papers, the Mexican government claimed it could do more to control its side of the border, but would only do so if the U.S. adopts "a far-reaching guest workers scheme" and that "Mexico should participate in its design, management, supervision and evaluation." In other words, Mexico wants a role in writing American laws for its benefit, and will use the pressure of mass migration and fifth column political warfare to pressure Washington into accepting its demands.

The proper response is to tell Mexico that if it is purposely refusing to act as a responsible neighbor along the border, then it will be held accountable for its actions and sanctions will be imposed. In the aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration declared in its 2002 National Security Strategy a policy of "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities." This is particularly applicable to Mexico, as it is a restatement of the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine as applied to Latin America. "'Chronic wrong doing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society, may in America, as elsewhere, ultimately require intervention by some civilized nation" is how Teddy Roosevelt put it. The Fox regime cannot be allowed to intervene in the U.S. political process or send its agents into American streets with impunity. 

At a March 27 naturalization ceremony for new American citizens who attained their coveted status through the lawful process, President Bush said "The first element is securing our border. Our immigration system cannot function if we cannot control the border. Illegal immigration puts a strain on law enforcement and public resources, especially in our border communities. Our nation is also fighting a war on terror, and terrorists crossing the border could create destruction on a massive scale. The responsibility of government is clear: We must enforce the border." It remains to be seen if he adheres to this position at the
Cancun summit.

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William Hawkins is a consultant on international economics and national security issues.

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