May 18, 2013
President Barack Obama took his pro-amnesty road show down south of the border, and guess what, they liked it there.
Well, not entirely. Some Mexicans are angry about the illegal aliens Obama has deported, and some are impatient that he hasn’t gotten amnesty enacted already.
You can’t please everybody. But, we know where his heart is – the amnesty proposal hasn’t even passed the Senate and Obama is already promoting it south of the border. You think that’s not going to encourage more emigration?
The Obama trip to the region lasted from May 2nd to May 4th. The president arrived to Mexico on the 2nd of May, and departed on the 3rd of May for Costa Rica in Central America, from whence he returned to the U.S. on May 4th.
The visit displayed a lot of PR and hot air, but it also showcases the growing integration between the U.S. and Mexico, of which immigration is an important part.
On May 2nd, Obama arrived to Mexico City, the country’s teeming capital. There the U.S. president met with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto, in the Palacio Nacional. This is Mexico’s capitol building, headquarters of its executive branch and a popular tourist attraction. (See photos 1,2,6 and 20 in the gallery here). There the two presidents held a joint press conference.
(The Palacio is located on one side of the city’s Zocalo plaza, frequently the site of protest camp-outs. So before Obama’s visit, the government made a deal with striking teachers camped out on the plaza, to relocate until the Obama visit was over.)
In two previous articles (see here and here) I have mentioned the possibility of Obama’s signing agreements with other countries without the approval of Congress. It just seems the way things are done now.
Mexico’s Excelsior newspaper reported that, shortly before Obama’s arrival, Mexican congressman Alejandro Montano Guzman of the PRI(same party as the Mexican president) called for the U.S. and Mexico to sign agreements, including a migratory accord.
At the Palacio Nacional press conference, the Mexican president announced several bilateral agreements that his government and the U.S. government had, at some point with our government. That’s nice to know.
Let’s see, what have the two amigos agreed to? One thing is the formation of a high-level group including the Mexican economic cabinet, its American government counterparts, and other officials including Joe Biden (presumably for comic relief). The goal – “stronger economic integration.”
The two governments plan to work together for a “safer border.” (Hmm, wouldn’t a serious fence along the whole border do a lot to make it safer?)
Then there’s the new bilateral group is to be created to “support entrepreneurs” in both the U.S. and Mexico. Why is that necessary?
And they’ve agreed to form a “bilateral forum on higher education, innovation and research.” So apparently, sending all those young and not-so-young Dream Act recipients to college in the U.S. isn’t doing enough.
In Obama’s discourse, he talked about the proposed illegal alien amnesty north of the border:
….I updated the President [of Mexico] on our efforts in the United States to pass common-sense comprehensive immigration reform that lives up to our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, including generations of Mexican Americans.
As we do, I think it’s important for everybody to remember that our shared border is more secure than it’s been in years…I’m optimistic that we’re finally going to get comprehensive immigration reform passed.
Remarks by President Obama and President Pena Nieto of Mexico in a Joint Press Conference The White House, Speeches and Remarks
After that, Obama conferred with U.S. diplomatic staff and later dined with the Mexican president at Los Pinos, the presidential residence, located in the famous Chapultepec Park. Obama spent the night in a hotel in the ritzy Polanco district.
The next day, May 3rd, Obama delivered a speech to a carefully –selected group of Mexican students, at the world-famous Museum of Anthropology (photo #2 in the gallery here).
Right near the beginning of the speech, Obama said that I bring with me the greetings and friendship of the people of the United States, include tens of millions of proud Mexican Americans.
Why a special mention for them? Why not just relay greetings from the whole country?
Obama talked up Mexican prosperity, and quoted a Mexican who wants to stay in Mexico:
One man in Querétaro spoke for an increasing number of Mexicans. “There’s no reason to go abroad in search of a better life. There are good opportunities here.” That's what he said, and you are an example of that.
Yes, but a recent poll also indicated that 40 million Mexicans would move to the U.S. if they could.
Obama also spoke about the guns in Mexico:
And we also recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States. (Applause.) I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms, and as President I swore an oath to uphold that right and I always will.
But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do. (Applause.) So we’ll keep increasing the pressure on gun traffickers who putting these criminals where they belong -- behind bars.
This was rather brazen of Obama, whose own Department of Justice ran the pernicious “Fast and Furious” gun walking scheme. But then, Obama isn’t widely criticized for that in Mexico anyway, because they like him there. So he’s off the hook.
The president had to play up Mexican contributions and enrichment:
“…the United States has been strengthened by the extraordinary contributions of immigrants from Mexico and by Americans of Mexican heritage. (Applause) Mexican Americans enrich our communities, including my hometown of Chicago…..And we’re so grateful to Mexican Americans in every segment of our society -- for teaching our children, and running our companies, and serving with honor in our military, and making breakthroughs in science, standing up for social justice.”
Mexican-Americans’ biggest contribution, apparently, was voting for Obama:
“…without the strong support of Latinos, including so many Mexican Americans, I would not be standing today as President of the United States. (Applause.)
Now Obama is ready to go for the main point - amnesty must be passed:
And so given that is Americas heritage, given that we share a border with Mexico, given ties that run back generations, it is critical that the United States recognize the need to reform our immigration system -- (applause) – because we are a nation of laws, but we're also a nation of immigrants…as a nation of immigrants, the immigration system we have in the United States right now doesn’t reflect our values. It separates families when we should be reuniting them. It’s led to millions of people to live in the shadows. It deprives us of the talents of so many young people -- even though we know that immigrants have always been the engine of our economy, starting some of our greatest companies and pioneering new industries.
That’s one of the reasons I acted to lift the shadow of deportation from what we call the DREAMers -- young people brought to the United States as children. (Applause.) And that’s why I’m working with our Congress to pass common-sense immigration reform this year. (Applause.) ….reform that gives millions of undocumented individuals a pathway to earn their citizenship. And I’m optimistic that -- after years of trying -- we are going to get it done this year. I'm absolutely convinced of it. (Applause.)
Rather confident, isn’t he?
Obama went to Mexico to proclaim amnesty. But it wasn’t enough for some Mexicans. Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared that “….President Obama not only has not complied with his commitment of migratory reform, but he has deported more Mexicans than any other president of recent times.”
Miguel Barbosa, leader of the PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democratica) delegation in the Mexican Senate, said that the guns and immigration issues are still unfinished business, problems the U.S. has failed to solve by means of accords.
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And, get this, despite the fact that Obama won’t protect our border, deports only a tiny percentage of the illegal population and plans an amnesty, when he visited Mexico there were Mexicans protesting the fact that any Mexicans were deported. In fact, there were thousands of protestors in front of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
It’s not really surprising, when you think about it. For Mexico, anything less than open borders and full benefits for all Mexicans is a great injustice.
So why should we care what they think? How about an immigration system that is operated in the interests of the United States of America for a change? That would be real immigration reform.
© 2013 Allan Wall - All Rights Reserved
Allan Wall recently returned to the U.S. after residing many years in Mexico.