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  Paul's Column Archive

March 5, 2007

Mexican Hypocrisy Really Crosses the Line


The Mexican Congress recently condemned what it deemed a border violation on the part of American workers building a fence along Mexico’s northern border with the United States. Apparently, some of these workers have gone as far as – brace yourself – 10 meters into Mexico in the process of putting up the fence. Whether or not this angry reaction has anything to do with their stance on the fence itself, it is obvious that the Mexicans are clearly very sensitive to this flagrant abuse of their territorial integrity.


And the Mexican government has every right to be this sensitive, of course. After all, it’s not like it would ever seek to disrespect the integrity of American soil, or allow its citizens to trespass in any way into the United States. Well, on second thought, maybe it overlooks the actions of a few – say, seven million or so. But that’s it, no more, promise.


How dare Mexican officials criticize the United States for something so frivolous, when at the same time they treat any concept of American territorial integrity with as much respect as they treat a roll of toilet paper? The situation is particularly ironic since the fence construction that caused this extremely limited trespass is a direct result of defensive action taken by Americans to shield themselves from Mexico’s policy of alien exportation.


The interesting part is that the Mexican government does not even pretend to want to discourage the illegal crossings of millions of its citizens into the United States. In fact, Mexican officials are not just neutral to these illegal crossings. They actively encourage them. It turns out to be a great deal for them. Not only do millions of their poor conveniently disappear, thereby removing a major burden for the Mexican government, but those same poor people turn into cash-producing machines as money is wired back to their families in Mexico. It is indeed a superb arrangement.


What’s even more astounding is that they don’t even try to hide it. The Mexican government has actually issued maps that make it easier for its citizens to cross into the United States illegally. Yes, you read that correctly. A representative of the Mexican government agency in charge of the map-distribution project explained, “The only thing we are trying to do is warn them of the risks they face and where to get water, so they don't die.”


How about you tell them not to venture across the dangerous border in the first place, so they don’t die? It might be a little more legitimate than officially sanctioning them to break another country’s laws by invading it illegally.


So they encourage their citizens to go north, they complain loudly when the United States takes any steps to crack down on illegal immigration or drug smugglers, and steadfastly refuse to take responsibility for the ills at the root of the border problems. Yet when American workers go a couple of feet into Mexico for the sole purpose of building a fence that will help ensure that neither side ever crosses the border at that point again, the Mexican Congress calls it a violation of territorial integrity. Up until this point, it was not even apparent that the Mexican government even understood the notion of territorial integrity.


As soon as the Mexican government complained to the proper U.S. authorities, the trespassing workers were withdrawn (which in this case literally meant asking the workers to take about five steps in a northward direction). Perhaps we acted too soon in pulling our workers back. We could have cut a deal with the Mexican government: We withdraw our trespassers, you withdraw yours. Actually you don’t even need to withdraw the seven million illegals, just promise to stop sending any more of them. Heck, we would even be satisfied if you just ceased giving them maps and other incentives that encourage them to cross.


But until then, your hypocrisy is simply too blatant for us to take you seriously.


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This is Column # PI42. Request permission to publish here.