Monday, March 2, 2009

Mexico in the news

First it was Nightline doing a segment about kidnappings in Phoenix and pointing fingers at the Mexican Drug Cartels and human smugglers.

Then there were all the warnings courtesy of the State Department telling the college crowd to avoid Mexico as a spring break destination.

Then last night 60 Minutes piled on with a report about the vicious Mexican war between the Calderon government and the drug lords. If memory serves me correctly, they said 2,600 people had died in 2008, mostly in border towns.

Even Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano told 60 Minutes that she is very concerned about our border with Mexico and closely monitoring the situation. She stopped short of the “troops at the border” idea.

Why all the coverage?

Well, some of the buzz ties in to the money we’re giving Mexico to fight this mess, about $400 million a year for three years according to the Merida Initiative signed by Bush last year.

And it gives the media an opportunity to take a jab at the United States by saying that the weapons used by these gangs came from us. And the demand for drugs also comes from us.

Now, where immigration is concerned there are significant implications.
1) People want to get out of Mexico. Who’d want to live in fear of crossfire and kidnapping?
2) A secure border also gives some protection against this curse spreading north.
3) Obama can play this into a strong enforcement strategy by telling us he’ll focus on the felons. The unspoken flip side is that those who are here illegally but less dangerous pose no threat to us.

We are seeing signs that his enforcement strategy will focus on the most violent ones and the employers.

There are problems with that strategy.
1) Who are the felons and violent ones? What about the DUIs? Or those in our judicial system who commit major crimes but aren’t convicted of felonies? And who decides?
2) The message of deterrence isn’t conveyed if you only send home the felons. The message is that coming here illegally and overstaying visas is not a crime. Therefore, the majority of our future illegal aliens see sneaking in as “worth a try.”
3) This type of policy fails to address quotas, family unification, and true reform.
4) Failure to deport makes a mockery of our immigration enforcement.
5) It does nothing to remedy the local impact of immigration (legal and illegal).

But as a political strategy it is safe. No race card. No human rights complaints. No pictures of crying children. Elvira and Saul would have been able to stay here under the Obama plan.

We are thus back to the 1986 amnesty program with the same results.

Look for advocacy groups like La Raza (NCLR) to preach “enthroning the rule of law,” meaning that they will allow criminal illegal aliens to twist in the wind, in exchange for an Obama policy of no worksite raids, no deportation of workers, and no family separation.

That seems to be the Obama plan at this point. Down the road comes a reform package that will almost certainly pass with an amnesty component and perhaps higher quotas and more guest workers.

There is less pushback from the right than there was last year. Far less. Congress will ignore the public as they have before. They will ignore the sour economy and vote with their special interests – labor, latino groups, and big business. After all, it’s time to pay back their friends.

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