Thursday, December 14, 2006

President Calderón and immigration

The Mexican government has often been criticized for hypocrisy with regard to immigration. On the one hand, it demands rights for its workers from the United States. On the other, Central Americans are routinely abused and harassed as they make their way north to the United States. Mexican laws are also highly discriminatory toward non-natives.

That is why it’s refreshing to hear President Calderón address the issue directly. From a speech he just gave:

"Just as we demand respect for the human rights of our countrymen, we have the ethical and legal responsibility to respect the human rights and the dignity of those who come from Central and South America and who cross our southern border," Calderon said during the presentation of human rights awards to several Mexican activists.

"Migrants from Central and South America who cross through our national territory also suffer abuses, extortion and are victims of crime, many times with the complicity of authorities."

We’ll see whether he puts his money where his mouth is. This also reminds me of the deafening silence on the part of the Democratic Party on immigration. It’s easy to criticize Iraq, but immigration requires sticking your neck out a bit.


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