Defending the decision to construct the wall, Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights states that 500,000 people from Central America cross into Mexico illegally every year.
The proposal to construct the wall appears to go against the principles held by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who, when speaking out against the state of Arizona for its tough immigration measure, remarked, “Criminalizing immigration, which is a social economic phenomena, this way opens the door to intolerance, hate, and discrimination. My government cannot and will not remain indifferent when these kinds of policies go against human rights.”
Apparently, Calderon's views on border control are relative.
Dave Gibson of The Examiner notes the hypocrisy in the Mexican government’s sudden change of heart as the Mexican authorities have long criticized the United States for the construction of a fence along a United States/Mexican border. Likewise, Mexico asserts that the passage of 500,000 people from Central America into Mexico is an appropriate reason for a fence, but that many people annually cross into the state of Arizona alone. Yet, that has not stopped Mexico from criticizing Arizona for the introduction of its immigration law, Senate Bill 1070.
Of course, this is not the first time the American people have encountered hypocrisy from the Mexican government regarding illegal immigration. In an article entitled “How Mexico Treats Its Illegal Aliens,” conservative writer Michelle Malkin outlined Mexico’s treatment of illegal aliens, which could be dubbed “intolerant, hateful, and discriminatory,” in the words of Calderon. Mexico demands a number of things from its illegals, particularly that they contribute to the “economic and social interests” of the country, while not upsetting “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” But can’t that be construed as a form of racial and ethnic profiling — the same over which the Mexican government articulated concerns when Arizona passed its immigration law?
It seems, however, that the old adage “what goes around comes around” is true. Just as Mexico has opposed construction of an American/Mexican border fence, the Guatemalan government is now speaking out against the Mexican government for the same reason and with the same arguments used by the Mexican government against the United States.
Marila de Prince of the National Bureau for Migration in Guatemala contends, “It is not a correct measure taken by the Mexican government.”
“We are watching the Mexican government’s initiative with concern because the migrants are in a situation of highest vulnerability, as demonstrated by the massacre in Tamaulipas, where five Guatemalans died,” adds Erick Maldonado of Guatemala’s National Council on Migrants.
Maldonado also contends that the wall will “make the migrants’ situation worse, because to meet their needs they are always going to find blind points where there are no migration or security controls, which implies greater risks.”
Yet despite the opposition from the Guatemalan authorities to the decision made by the Mexican government, the United States somehow remains the scapegoat. Father Francisco Pellizari, a Catholic priest of the Casa del Migrante (Migrant House) asserts, “The dramatic increase in the cost of [human traffickers] and the corruption of the authorities is the result of the walls the United States plans to build and has built along the border. We can transpose the Guatemala case to this situation and the results will be the same.”
What’s worse is that even as the United States has been elected to assume the responsibility for the issue of illegal immigration in Mexico, the American taxpayers are allegedly footing the bill for the construction of Mexico’s fence. According to the article “Mexico Builds a Fence on Their Own Southern Border,” the United States has provided Mexico with some of the funding to help build the fence on Mexico’s border, by way of the Merida Initiative. The State Department calls the Initiative a demonstration of “the United States’ commitment to partner with governments in Mexico, Central America, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic to confront criminal organizations whose actions plague the region and spill over into the United States." What the Initiative entails, however, is massive amounts of American tax dollars being funneled into Mexico, Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
In 2010 alone, the United States has given $450 million to Mexico, with an additional $100 million requested from Congress to be sent to Central America, in order to “provide equipment and training to support law enforcement operations and technical assistance for long-term reform and oversight of security agencies,” says the State Department.
It is disheartening to know that the State Department has placed the needs of other countries over those of the United States. One wonders, however, if Mexico will have better luck completing the construction of its fence than the United States has had.
Photo: Mexico's President Felipe Calderon attends an anti-crime round-table "Dialog for Security" in Mexico City, Aug. 27, 2010.: AP Images