Mexican president Felipe Calderon’s recent visit to Congress was something akin to a smaller version what it might have been like if Germany’s Adolf Hitler spoke in front of a joint session in Congress with his version of a hypocritical lie. The German leader probably would have, in his arrogance and vileness, would have demanded that the United States stopped ignoring the indignities suffered by its Black citizens as a violation of human rights. Of course, knowing Hitler, he would have been saying those very words as the trains continued leaving hours on their way to Auschwitz.
While we thankfully have seen the end of both Jewish and African-American holocausts over the past two hundred years and we did not have to endure such a speech in the 1930s, we have been forced to endure a similar set of “do as I say, not as I do” politics coming on today’s hot topic: illegal immigration.
Calderon’s attempt to lambast Arizona’s SB 1070 and the Americans that support the law was a clear reach to galvanize liberal legislators in the United States to rail against the law based on grounds of racial profiling. Not surprising, only portions of the gallery in Congress applauded Calderon’s words as he railed against Arizona’s attempt to address the crisis of violence and economics facing them as a border state.
Sadly, as those politicians in support of Calderon stood in applause, they also were standing against the majority of Americans that support the bill – along with standing against the commonly-practiced immigration laws practiced around the world as well as standing in ignorance of Calderon’s own immigration problems at his southern border.
Calderon’s hypocrisy ignores the problems that lead indirectly to American immigration problems. Illegal immigration in our border states stems from Mexico, but the people coming over the border do not consist solely of Mexicans. Plenty of Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans make the migration through Mexico’s southern border in order to end up in America illegally, most for the same reasons that Mexican immigrants (both legal and illegal) cross the border: better opportunities, better quality of life. Others also come as part of the dangerous drug trade that often originates in Columbia. A better job of securing immigration reform in Mexico would, by proxy, relieve America of the heightened woes facing the nation today – or force border states to take on the challenge of illegal immigration when the federal government falls short on this task for decades. Further still, the questions surrounding the human rights violations of Mexican authorities that detain illegal immigrants in Mexico makes the Arizona law pale in comparison, especially as SB 1070 is tamer than the national American law on immigration and explicitly forbids pre-determined racial profiling in the law – the exact complaint that Calderon and his American supporters supposedly have with the law.
Doing a better job with Mexico’s efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigration through Mexico, of course, may not behoove the president of a struggling nation that appreciates the revenue that flows into his country via the wages garnered by America’s illegal immigrants. Many estimates note that wages flowing back to families in Mexico range around $10 billion annually or more, a figure that only bolsters Mexico’s struggling when able, but could also support America’s struggling in a similar fashion – particularly the under-educated portion of America’s underclass that have felt the impact of the economic downturn in powerful ways.
As Calderon has exhibited once again, political grandstanding without much of a grand stance gets politicians standing up for all of the wrong reasons – usually ones that are self-motivated more than they are based in moral fiber. The Mexican president was no exception last week – and neither were the politicians that arranged for Calderon’s address to a joint session of Congress.
Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator, podcast co-host, and the author of the book, “Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative,)” purchased online at www.tinyurl.com/lennysdiary and www.amazon.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/lennyhhr and on Facebook at www.tinyurl.com/lennyfacebook .