Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mr. Calderon goes to Washington - A preview

Mexican president Felipe Calderon will visit Washington today in order to meet with his counterpart, Barack Obama, as well as several leaders of Congress. Numerous topics are expected to be discussed such as the “war on drugs”:

As written in this informative article in the AS/COA website, today’s meetings could “refocus the Obama administration’s message of “co-responsibility” in the bilateral fight against drug cartels.” Yet it’s possible that today’s summit may also help address areas like trade, economic affairs and immigration.

As we mentioned last week, Mexican legislators are considering a comprehensive immigration bill that would grant more rights to immigrants both legal and undocumented. This stands in sharp contrast to several state initiatives across the border in the U.S. that seeks to restrict illegal immigration. In Texas, for instance, legislators are considering whether to permit local law enforcement officers to act as federal immigration agents. Other proposals would place a surcharge on remittances to Mexico, which could make a dent on a significant source of income for some Mexican families. Another idea is raising eyebrows for its unique stance on employers who hire undocumented migrants:
As proposed, House Bill 1202 would create tough state punishments for those who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" hire an unauthorized immigrant. Violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

But it is an exception included in the bill that is drawing attention. Those who hire unauthorized immigrants would be in violation of the law -- unless they are hiring a maid, a lawn caretaker or another houseworker.
While today’s summit between the U.S. and Mexican presidents is a step in the right direction it will take more than meeting to tackle the many topics between the neighboring states.

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources- CNN, The Latin Americanist, AS/COA Online

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

from de Clermont - you mention that the particular bill is raising eyebrows. It isn't among the logical people. The US has some of the least stringent immigration enforcement and laws in the world. I know personally since I have worked illegally and legally (Mexico in particular) in several countries and currently oversee an international company's Latin America operations. It is time to control the flow of illegal immigrants, but also establish a functioning "guest worker" programme that matches employees to employers and guarantees the guest workers' rights and their eventual reimbursement of withheld Social Security monies. It seems to me that the changes in Mexican immigration law are primarily being done to facilitate the passage of Central American illegal immigrants through Mx to the USA. How does this help the US situation? Additionally,obama will do nothing concrete with Mexico. He has no idea of the importance of US' relationship with them and he does not understand the huge problem US' drug and gun addictions are causing the Mexican people. And, unfortunately, the NRA gun lobby is too strong for the USA to control semi-automoatic gun sales.