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Sunday, March 24 , 2019, 9:56 pm | Fair 55º


Joe Guzzardi: Look Who’s Building a Wall to Control Illegal Immigration

Mexico's hypocrisy knows no boundaries — unless it's on its border with Guatemala

Last week, Raul Diaz, Mexico’s superintendent of tax administration, confirmed that Mexico will build a wall along the Mexican-Guatemalan border. Diaz’s announcement exposed to the world Mexico’s unending hypocrisy.

Joe Guzzardi
Joe Guzzardi

For decades, Mexico has decried the United States’ immigration policy as inhumane and called for the open flow of “migrants,” as its leaders refer to illegal aliens. In 2005, then-President Vicente Fox called a U.S. proposal to build a high-tech wall along the shared border as “disgraceful and shameful.” Another prominent Mexican official, Foreign Secretary Luis Derbez, insisted that, “ Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall.”

How times change! Apparently, if Mexico builds a wall, it’s appropriate. When the United States builds one, it’s racist.

According to Diaz, Mexico’s border wall will stop illegal drugs from entering the country. But, during his news conference, Diaz admitted that it could also prevent the easy access of illegal immigrants into the country. According to Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights, more than 500,000 illegal immigrants cross into Mexico from Central America each year. That’s about half the total of those who come to the United States annually, yet it’s enough for Mexico to justify a wall.

Continuously complaining that the United States violates Mexican immigrants’ rights, Mexico has filed lawsuits for perceived violations both in The Hague’s World Court and, in June, in U.S. District Court in opposition to Arizona’s SB 1070.

The truth is that no country is as welcoming to immigrants, both legal and illegal, as the United States. Starting with free pre- and post-natal care for expectant mothers who give birth to anchor-baby citizens and followed by free education and a host of other social services, the illegal immigrant living in America has a good deal.

Mexico, by contrast, is a horror show. Pity the illegal alien who lives in Mexico.

The nonpartisan Amnesty International is lobbying for Congress to withhold aide payments until Mexico cleans up its horrible civil rights record. In a Sept. 10 article, Amnesty International associate director Kathryn R. Striffolino charged Mexico with “mass killings of migrants” and “tampering with evidence” to cover up its other crimes, which include “torture, rape, killing and enforced disappearances.”

The Guatemalan perspective on Mexico is telling. Erick Maldonado, executive secretary of Guatemala’s National Council on Migrants, said: “We are watching the Mexican government’s initiative (the wall) with concern because the migrants are in a situation of highest vulnerability, as demonstrated by the massacre in Tamaulipas, where five Guatemalans died.” On Aug. 23 in San Fernando, a town in the eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, 72 people coming from Guatemala — as well as Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador and Honduras — were brutally murdered. In addition, between September 2008 and February 2009 a total of 9,758 migrant kidnappings were reported.

Despite overwhelming evidence that hypocritical Mexico is in no position to criticize either the United States’ immigration policy or the border wall that most Americans want built, President Barack Obama remains enamored of Mexico.

Late this spring, only three months before the Tamaulipas slaughter, President Felipe Calderón addressed a joint session of Congress. During his speech, he had the audacity to lecture the United States about its immigration policies, specifically complaining about the Arizona law and supporting comprehensive immigration reform.

Instead of expressing outrage that a foreign leader would have the effrontery to tell another nation how to handle its affairs, Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stood, smiled and applauded. Obama hosted a state dinner for Calderón and his wife, Margarita Zavala.

Mexico may fool the Democratic Party leadership but not Americans. In November, Congress will pay the price for its failure to carry out the people’s wish for less immigration.

— Joe Guzzardi has written editorial columns — mostly about immigration and related social issues — since 1990 and is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). After 25 years as an English as a Second Language teacher in the Lodi Unified School District, Guzzardi has retired to Pittsburgh. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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