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Wednesday, September 5 

What Are These Borders Of Which You Speak?

El Presidente Felipe Calderon gave an interesting speech on Sunday.

Two things from his speech that stand out to me
President Felipe Calderon blasted U.S. immigration policies on Sunday and promised to fight harder to protect the rights of Mexicans in the U.S., saying "Mexico does not end at its borders." [emphasis mine]
Mexico doesn't end at it's borders? Isn't that the very definition of a border; as in, the place where your nation ceases and another resumes? Or perhaps this was a covert declaration of war? Isn't that pretty much the way Hitler started out, by declaring that Germany would protect Aryans wherever they were? (No, I'm not saying Calderon is Hitler. I'm not that simplistic about the whole thing, just making a point.)

The second quote that gets to me.
"We strongly protest the unilateral measures taken by the U.S. Congress and government that have only persecuted and exacerbated the mistreatment of Mexican undocumented workers," he said.
Trasnlation: It really pisses me off that the U.S. Congress has finally started to act like it gives a shit about its national sovereignty and is beginning to enforce the immigration laws that have been passed over the years. And they did it all without so much as a call to my super-secret batphone to ask what I think about it? Stupid gringos.

One final question for Sr. Calderon. If you are so dead set on protecting the rights of Mexicans living illegally in los Estados Unidos, why don't you begin by protecting the rights of the Mexicans living just down the street from you?

h/t Emperor Misha

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The easiest thing for me to do would be point out that this same idea, of a nation not ending at its borders, is exactly the same thing that American's think when they are abroad. Maybe you don't notice, but whenever i travel, Americans are the first to say, "You can't do this! I am an American citizen!" no matter what country, no matter what the situation, when an American is in trouble in a foreign land, THAT IS THE FIRST THING THEY SAY!

Isn't that exactly the same idea? That being an American means taking the might of your country and your inalienable rights with you as you travel the world?

Of course, I don't like taking the easy way... so I will just say that you tend to have very myopic views for someone who claims to be as well-traveled (albeit through the military so maybe thats the problem).

Being a Mexican, I can't really go anywhere without being Mexican and being judged by the actions of my countrymen while I am abroad. I know exactly what "el presidente" is talking about. It means that so long as your a a Mexican National, you are still under the "protection" of the nation until you relinquish that protection by choosing to give your allegiance to another.

Oh, and lest you think I am ignoring the jibe at taking care of our own within our borders, that too can also be applied to America. I mean, think of how often Bush condemns other countries for poor living conditions, human rights violations and such while in those same violations occur in the US. No one likes a hypocrite.

I have no dilusions about what Americans are like when they are abroad. They can be an arrogant lot, doing exactly what you said. However, Americans still fall under the jurisdiction of the country in which they find themselves, whether they like it or not. Just ask the kid who was caned in Singapore several years ago.

I also understand what it's like to be judged by people based solely on your nationality. Partly because of the arrogant Americans who have passed that way before you, and partly because a large segment of the world hates you. I had several friends who spent time in jail in Mexican border towns, precisely because they were Americans and the local cops knew they would end up getting a nice bribe out of it. Which they did, and we all lived happily ever after.

However, Calderon is talking about extending his protection to Mexican nationals living abroad who are doing so illegally. He is protesting the fact that America actually has the gall to enforce its own laws, and he just won't stand for that. In the end, it's not up to him, and if he doesn't like it, the Mexican government should stop encouraging its citizens to break the law by entering the U.S. illegally.

You want to talk about hypocrisy, let's start with this. I don't hear him making any grand speeches about protecting the illegal Guatemalans or Salvadorans living and working in Mexico, who only want what the Mexicans coming to American want.. a shot at a better life. They live in squalid conditions, they are treated little better than slaves, and can be arrested and robbed, usually by the same people, and they have no recourse.

There are less fortunate people living in America, but our nations poorest are still some of the richest in the world. Even those living below the poverty line own cars and dishwashers and microwaves and cell phones. And when was the last time you heard of human rights violations going unpunished in this county? Yes, there are stupid people everywhere in the world, including America. The difference here is that if you are discriminated against, or have a crime committed against you, you can go to the police and make a complaint, or you can find a lawyer who will take your case. This nation is far from perfect, but you have more rights and more protections living in America than in any other country in the world.

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