Mexican ambassador: US reform won’t stop illegal immigration

posted at 3:29 pm on June 27, 2007 by Bryan

Don’t yell at him just yet. He’s on to something. Only reform in Mexico itself will stop the northward migration:

The Senate takes up “comprehensive” immigration reform again this week. But the meat’s still missing in this burrito. As Mexico’s ambassador to Washington warns, even the “rosiest, peachiest” reform in the US won’t end the flow of poor migrants. Reform must also take place in Mexico.

And begun it has.

For the past seven months, Mexico has been at war with itself, literally. A new president, Felipe Calderón, has dispatched 24,000 troops into battle with the most corrosive influence in Mexico’s economy: powerful drug cartels.

These violent syndicates, which mainly transport drugs into the US, have exploded in the past decade. They’ve escalated crime and political corruption, hindering creation of well-paying jobs for would-be migrants. At election time, they provide cash for many campaigns.

This domestic war, which resembles the Iraq war in tactics and killing rates, was Mr. Calderón’s opening gambit for wholesale reform. It is widely popular but faces an uncertain future. The cartels are fighting back with gruesome murders. And the Army, one of the few respected institutions in Mexico, is not good at policing, a task it must do to root out local drug networks. Some of its elite soldiers have joined the cartels.

You don’t hear much about Mexico’s internal fight in the US press, but Google around “Nuevo Laredo” and you’ll pick up some of it. It’s a brutal, bloody fight and one of its epicenters is Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, TX. Here are a few recent headlines from that war:

Mexican cartels in talks to split turf

NUEVO LAREDO – Mexico’s warring Sinaloa and Gulf drug cartels have quietly declared a cease-fire in at least two states as they negotiate a peace agreement that could divide the nation’s lucrative drug routes, U.S. and Mexican intelligence authorities said.

The surprising move could dramatically reduce violence across a nation where more than 1,300 people have been killed this year. But authorities caution that any agreement could easily be derailed like similar past efforts.

In contrast to the raging violence of the recent past, drug-related killings have fallen dramatically in the last two weeks, according to Mexico City newspapers that conduct unofficial daily tallies. Drug experts and senior law enforcement authorities on both sides of the border, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the cease-fire appears to be holding.

Any country that’s depending on a cease-fire between drug gangs to quell violence has major problems.

Cartel’s enforcers outpower their boss

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – Even in a country accustomed to gangland violence, the news is disquieting.

In coordinated strikes, armed men rob at least five casinos in four states, killing a bystander and escaping with bundles of money. In the northern state of Sonora, an attack on a police station leaves five officers dead and announces the arrival of a new criminal force in the region. The likely culprit in both cases: the Zetas, a ruthless organization that was virtually unheard of just five years ago.

The Zetas, created by a group of highly trained military deserters to work as enforcers for the Gulf drug cartel, have become so powerful that their old handlers are quickly losing control, authorities said.

The group, first concentrated along Mexico’s border with Texas, has evolved into a powerful threat in its own right, spreading its brand of brutal violence into 31 Mexican states as it battles for control of new regions and key border entry points, U.S. and Mexican authorities say.

“The Zetas have clearly become the biggest, most serious threat to the nation’s security,” said Raul Benitez, a Mexico security expert at American University in Washington, D.C.

“Now they want to control the nation’s drug routes and along the way topple the traditional cartel leaders,” said Mr. Benitez. “We’re witnessing a classic coup under way.”

And:

Mexican lawmaker ambushed

Horacio Garza Garza, a federal congressman from Tamaulipas and former Nuevo Laredo mayor, was critically wounded and his chauffeur killed Monday when their car was ambushed near the airport.

The latest attack against a well-known public figure from Nuevo Laredo came one day after the Mexican government announced it was sending an additional 3,300 federal troops to the Texas-Mexico border and two days before a visit by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to Laredo.

Late Monday, Garza was placed in an ambulance and taken to an unknown destination in a caravan of several police cars that sped off toward the Nuevo Laredo airport.

Garza, 65, was heading to the Nuevo Laredo airport about 7 p.m. Monday to board a place bound for Mexico City when his vehicle was hit by a volley of shots.

The congressman, who was shot in the neck, chest and leg, was in a Nuevo Laredo hospital under heavy guard, said Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas.

That last story is from February of this year; the prior two are from this month. Swap a few names around and it wouldn’t be too hard to confuse Nuevo Laredo with Gaza. And it’s a river apart from Laredo, TX.

When we talk about border security, this is the kind of thing we’re talking about. It’s about terrorism first and foremost, but it’s also about basic law and order and keeping Americans safe from Mexico’s rampant violence.

Now, back to the editorial that I led with, and where US border security fits into Mexico’s internal war:

How can the US help? For one, effective border enforcement would keep more Mexicans in Mexico where they can contribute to the economy. The US can also better crack down on the flow of arms to Mexico’s cartels and the flow of drugs into the US.

I see this. You see this. The Christian Science Monitor sees this. But hardly anyone in Washington, and evidently no one in the White House, sees this. And that’s the problem. And we’re a bunch of bigots, yadda yadda yadda, right, Senator Grahamnesty?

The solution to Mexico’s problems isn’t to let more Mexicans into the US to live “in the shadows” or out of the shadows or give them a path to citizenship they’ve shown no interest in so far. The real solution, the compassionate solution, is to help Mexico fix Mexico from the inside out. Better border security and ending sanctuary policies on our side will move things a long way in the right direction on their side.


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*clap* *clap* *clap*

Hoodlumman on June 27, 2007 at 3:35 PM

The real solution, the compassionate solution, is to help Mexico fix Mexico from the inside out.

well that isn’t going to happen. the problem in Mexico is you have a large spread in the haves and the have nots. By getting a strong middle class into Mexico, the problems will solve themselves. yet are policy of shipping jobs to Mexico for the LOW pay is not helping instead it is making it worse. The increase in illegal immigration has occurred at the same time NAFTA was signed into law.

scrap NAFTA and enforce labor laws in our trade deals.

unseen on June 27, 2007 at 3:35 PM

Say hello to my leetle frien’!

Anybody have the English translation?

Editor on June 27, 2007 at 3:37 PM

The Mexican ambassador can kiss our collective legal asses.

Mindcrime on June 27, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Whoops, I yelled before reading the whole thing. Oh well, he can still kiss my ass on general principle.

Mindcrime on June 27, 2007 at 3:39 PM

Yeah, about it. Build a big wall, and it’ll help both problems, the US illegal issue and Mexico’s internal instability. It can’t be good for internal stability when a huge chunk of the country is trying to leave. There is no reason Mexico shouldn’t be a rich nation, they’ve got a sh!tload of oil, great tourism potential, and has some decent agriculture. Plus you got Tequila, and who doesn’t like a drink now and then?

Bad Candy on June 27, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Bad Candy on June 27, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Yeah but no major middle class.

unseen on June 27, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Adapt Mexican immigration laws!

infidelpride on June 27, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Whoops, I yelled before reading the whole thing.

Heh. What was the very first line of this post, Mindcrime?

Bryan on June 27, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Oh, and a fairly cheap labor force. That’s not a bad thing either, when its legal and appropriate to the income level of that region, not paying some poor person trying to feed themself and a kid for $3.00 an hour in a sweatshop in LA or a farm field or something. That’s slavery with some lipstick slapped on.

Bad Candy on June 27, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Immigration reform say like open borders? Yep, he happens to be right. The caption under the picture should read “Obvious Truth”

On-my-soap-box on June 27, 2007 at 3:47 PM

I know unseen, there is no middle class, but the people bailing to come here ought to be good for that. They know they can have things better, if you force them back home to their native countries, they may have gotten accustomed to having a certain comfort level that they’ll start demanding changes.

Bad Candy on June 27, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Step 1. Build Fence
Step 2. Man the border with our Army.
Step 3. Systematically find employers Fine and Incarcerate.
Step 4. Deny all services, school, medical etc.
Step 5. They go home.
End of story
Get an ICE teeshirt here

TheSitRep on June 27, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Really!?

I think it’s clicked with most people that all of the legislation in the world Doesn’t mean squat if the executive doesn’t have the will to stop illegal migration.

And it’s very obvious that the current President has no intention of stopping the unbelievable flood in progress, no matter what he says in public.

Any country that’s depending on a cease-fire between drug gangs to quell violence has major problems.

Just like any country that doesn’t live by the rule of law.
The current Senate BS shows that the same thing happens here, want enforcement? (wink) gimme the goody bag or we won’t enforce crap!

As if they ever where to begin with.

Speakup on June 27, 2007 at 3:53 PM

Bad Candy on June 27, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Yes that would be tough love. As a society, I do not think we are able to do that anymore. This story explains the point:

http://www.nbc10.com/news/13575254/detail.html

A child’s tantrum onboard a Delta commuter flight forced a pilot to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia…..

unseen on June 27, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Excellent report, Bryan. Truly.

Jaibones on June 27, 2007 at 3:57 PM

would it be such a bad thing to legalize drugs and take away these mexican drug lords money?????

libertytexan on June 27, 2007 at 4:05 PM

My question:
If the fairness doctrine is re-instated, will the broadcast media be forced to cover this story as extensively as the caged-heat/Paris Hilton affair?
Just wondering.

billy on June 27, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Like a breath of fresh air… Thanks so much for getting to the heart of the issue where Hispanics are concerned. Now let’s see what we can do about this!

Numenorean on June 27, 2007 at 4:11 PM

So the politicians in Mexico are as useless as what we have here.

Not one of our troops should go down there when the solution is a fence and mine field. Mexican law enforcement has been an oxymoron since the Conquistadors.

How about we snag Cuba, turn it into a mega-resort and offer free plane tickets for all the undocumented workers that want a job?

Hening on June 27, 2007 at 4:13 PM

I need help understanding this. I’m not an enlightened Democrat. Even Mexico wants better Border protection?

PowWow on June 27, 2007 at 4:14 PM

How can we let the Mexican Army launch offensive operations just across our border and not send our own troops to that region of Texas to ensure the battle does not extend across the border?

Not to mention, having the fleeing gangsters seeking refuge in Texas.

Is a cheap head of lettuce worth that much?

Or are we content to being a hiding place for Mexico’s criminals as they are for ours?

As a Texan, I am distressed and heavily armed.

Zaire67 on June 27, 2007 at 4:18 PM

People need to quit obsessing over a cure. The first step is to slow the cancer’s progression.

(fence)

Mephistefales on June 27, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Build the fence and they won’t get here.

Deny the jobs, social services and other freebies, and they won’t even try to come here.

Reform must take place in Mexico. Krykee. They could start by simply building decent roads!

locomotivebreath1901 on June 27, 2007 at 4:46 PM

We need a 50 foot tall Robot Michael Jackson to patrol the border.

Mindcrime on June 27, 2007 at 4:47 PM

We need a 50 foot tall Robot Michael Jackson to patrol the border.

Mindcrime on June 27, 2007 at 4:47 PM

Have you ever considered a career in Homeland Security?

baldilocks on June 27, 2007 at 4:59 PM

Perhaps its time we annexed Mexico, hell 4/5th of their citizens want to be here anyways……

doriangrey on June 27, 2007 at 5:06 PM

Doing the drugs American don’t want to do.

profitsbeard on June 27, 2007 at 5:10 PM

After we kill the bill, lets keep the red-hot pressure on Congress to throw all kinds of money at border enforcement.

Then maybe the next president will enforce the law.

Valiant on June 27, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Re: The Fence

I read this somewhere,thought it was a great idea! (paraphrasing)

1st fence,20 ft tall,razor wire facing south…between there and the second fence,(100 yds) flash/bang mines designed to scare.

2nd fence,30 ft tall,razor wire facing south….between there and the 3rd fence(50 yds) bouncing Betty mines,or any mine of your choice that doesn’t kill outright..

3rd fence,10 ft tall,warning signs all over,no razor wire. Claymores dug in for the next 100 yds….anyone who makes it? LEGAL

Blitz on June 27, 2007 at 5:32 PM

Or the flaming Crocodile moat,but I digress…..

Blitz on June 27, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Perhaps its time we annexed Mexico, hell 4/5th of their citizens want to be here anyways……

doriangrey on June 27, 2007 at 5:06 PM

Not a bad idea. It might be a great way of getting some inexpensive beach propery. I’d like to start looking into that before the Hollywood libs do and ruin it the way the did Kalifornia.

Brass Pair on June 27, 2007 at 5:39 PM

Wait a year and build an entire border-length 20 ft. wall out of broken iPhones.

Mephistefales on June 27, 2007 at 5:41 PM

It’s kind of late for a fence. The Mex. drug cartel is using their money (billions I would guess)to buy up small town USA and it’s all legit because all these hurting small town’s could care less. I’m sure that every one of these illegal’s in our town that has moved into homes are part of this cartel or have family in it.How can they buy homes nobody cares not the banks thats for sure. Realtors are also owned by the cartel. small town USA would have dried up and blown away if it wasn’t for the druggies.

Legions on June 27, 2007 at 5:57 PM

Hears the really disturbing news.They actually are hooking our kids onto drugs to take them out of the job market. Its a win win for them. Our kids keep buying their drugs giving them more mattress money and their kids get the jobs. Believe me most Mex. dont’t even touch drugs.

Legions on June 27, 2007 at 6:03 PM

Brass Pair on June 27, 2007 at 5:39 PM

It ain’t cheap anymore. Condos in Baja are going for 500k. They’re planning on building all the way to Baja Sur.

Can’t we ship guns or machinist drawings of guns to Mexico so they can take back their country?

PRCalDude on June 27, 2007 at 6:05 PM

Their real target’s are the young ladies. Who they can’t find anymore of in the major cities. The only ones left there they won’t touch, out of respect for the corruption types. Their the only one’s bold enough to still be in the major cities. They have now set out to small town USA where the ladies are and they are making them into baby makers or gangbang horrors. They feel they got it coming to them I guess because their blond american women..

Legions on June 27, 2007 at 6:13 PM

It’s about time somebody said something about reform in Mexico. That’s a huge part of our problem. All of the Mexicans are coming here because their economic system is a shambles. And why haven’t we heard more about this war that’s going on down there? I heard one story on Fox News, but that was about it. After 1,300 people killed I wonder if any of their congressmen have called for pulling the troops out and redeploying to Alberta?

CP on June 27, 2007 at 6:18 PM

These people grow up in small mex. towns and they respect only the adult corrupt.You know the one who can afford to give them something. When they finally move into your small town the only one’s who are safe are the kids of politicans your police will even give them a pass just so they leave their kids out of it. And all the local mobsters who they would problaly already know anyway.

Legions on June 27, 2007 at 6:30 PM

Step 1. Build Fence
Step 2. Man the border with our Army.
Step 3. Systematically find employers Fine and Incarcerate.
Step 4. Deny all services, school, medical etc.
Step 5. They go home.
End of story – TheSitRep

Where do I send money for your presidential campaign?!?!

? – Why doesn’t Mexico have an Olympic team?
A – Everyone who can run, jump or swim is already here!

Califemme on June 27, 2007 at 6:34 PM

if we invade mexico will that stop it?

Defector01 on June 27, 2007 at 7:01 PM

All Americans should go to the southern border, fill up plastic bags with urine, then toss the bags on the Illegal Aliens as they avoid being inspected by American immigration officers. Just like the Mexican fans did to our soccer players.

DfDeportation on June 27, 2007 at 7:33 PM

INHUMANE LAW? WHAT PART?
Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, “Improper Entry by Alien,” any citizen of any country other than the United States who:
• Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
• Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
• Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact;
has committed a federal crime.

Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.

DfDeportation on June 27, 2007 at 7:34 PM

I heard they booed our soccer team. I only caught the tail end of it on the radio. Almost like when they booed Miss Amer. a few weeks ago in Mexico City. It doesn’t surpise me.

Legions on June 27, 2007 at 7:47 PM

would it be such a bad thing to legalize drugs and take away these mexican drug lords money?????

libertytexan on June 27, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Maybe yes, maybe no. I’m very anti-drug, but with all the folks we have in prison for drug convictions maybe we should look into some sort of heavily controlled legal market for drugs, with very tough penalties for committing a crime while high. Could take a lot of money out of the Taliban and such as well.

Snidely Whiplash on June 27, 2007 at 8:10 PM

if we invade mexico will that stop it?

Lol! I’m in. But we may need one more…

JWS on June 27, 2007 at 9:31 PM

I can’t think of one indo-hispanic country that is not fundamentally corrupt and inherently violent. Anywhere in the world. Mexico is no exception.

Remember the old spaghetti westerns with Eastwood, where Mexican bandits terrorize a town, looting and raping at will? That has not changed. The culture is the same. Those films were set in the 1870s. However, in 130 years, the people have not changed.

jihadwatcher on June 27, 2007 at 10:14 PM

Let’s pull the Army from Iraq and invade and conquer Mexico (again). We can then assimilate them, take the oil and other resources we need, and increase the tax revenue base. This has several obvious advantages:
1. Satisfies surrender monkeys need to get out of Iraq
2. Quickly makes the millions here and millions of additional illegal aliens waiting in Mexico legal citizens, thereby cutting out the middle man and all the other bureaucracy BS.
3. No need to build the fence anymore
4. Immediately have much smaller southern border to guard with well equiped guard force already in place
5. Puts to rest some of the North American Union rumors (well, maybe)
6. Solves Social Security problem by immediately adding workers to the rolls.

HackTholo on June 28, 2007 at 1:45 AM