What does the resignation of Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda bode for the National Question? What does his replacement as Chancellor of the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) by Luis Ernesto Derbez portend for future immigration policy?
Does this changing of the guard mean more or less Mexican meddling in U.S. immigration policy? Or is it just the same game under new management?
Jorge Castañeda labored for two years for "the whole enchilada" - a comprehensive migratory accord giving Mexico effective veto power over U.S. immigration policy.
Ironically - and this is what confuses a lot of people - former Marxist Castañeda was seen in Mexico as a sell-out to the gringos, and was actually the most supportive of the U.S. in the immediate wake of the 9/11 bombing.
Contradictory? On the contrary, there was no contradiction in Castañeda's ingenious strategy. The visionary foreign minister viewed a U.S. orientation in Mexican foreign policy as a small price to pay for Mexican control over U.S. immigration policy!
Why did Castañeda quit?
His combative approach ruffled feathers right and left. He'd had conflict with just about everybody, including fellow cabinet members and reportedly the president's wife (not a good career move anywhere) and had even criticized Fox himself. But apparently, it was Castañeda's disappointment over not having achieved the migratory accord that led him to resign. On January 15th, 2003, at the change of command ceremony at the SRE, Castañeda lamented that "...it particularly disappoints me not having taken advantage of the conceptual advances in...migration with the U.S....that would so benefit our two nations and all Mexicans..."
Don't think for a moment that ex-chancellor Castañeda is finished critiquing U.S. immigration policy. A member of the celebrity elite academic/journalistic jet set, Castañeda has been telling Americans to open their border for years.
In a 1995 Atlantic Monthly article he wrote that "Some Americans....dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it."
A week ago, January 14th, 2003, his last full day as Foreign Minister, Jorge was in New York City speaking at a Bill Clinton-hosted globalization conference, hobnobbing with George Soros and Slick Willie himself. He plans to give fall classes at New York University.
But, Castañeda is no longer Foreign Minister. He was replaced by Luis Ernesto Derbez. Who is Derbez?
Like his comrades in Fox's cabinet, Derbez hails from Mexico's white elite. For the past two years, Derbez has served as Secretary of the Economy, a position for which his education and experience were quite suitable. His résumé is rather impressive.
Derbez studied in the U.S.A., earning a Master's at the University of Oregon and a doctorate in economics at Iowa State. Besides serving a 14 year stint at the World Bank, Derbez has been a consultant for the InterAmerican Development Bank.
He also has academic experience, having served as both a professor and administrator at the successful private Mexican university ITESM. (Full disclosure: I've done a little teaching for the same institution!) Derbez has been an administrator at the University of the Americas at Cholula, Mexico, and a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins' School of International Studies.
What about immigration?
At the presentation ceremony of January 15th, 2003, when Derbez became Foreign Minister, the new chancellor commended successor Castañeda for influencing the United States to accept "the migratory issue as a matter of shared responsibility," and promised to work toward "the objectives" established by President Fox.
The very next day (January 16th, 2003) Derbez explained that
"President Fox is the one who has dictated the program and the vision of Mexico in terms of its relation with the exterior, and President Fox is the one who will continue dictating it...I see no substantive difference between a Derbez chancellorship and the Castañeda chancellorship...the chancellorship is the chancellorship and the only thing that can be different is the style of the chancellor."
His first full day as chancellor (January 16th, 2003) was rather busy, and Derbez gave several interviews. Comments gleaned from these interviews give us some valuable perspectives on his immigration views.
Derbez informed interviewer Jose Gutierrez that
"....the president of the Republic [Fox], since the beginning of his administration, has been worried about two fundamental things. One, the respect for the rights of our fellow citizens that are laboring, working in the United States...we have to continue this policy of support for them, of support for their rights, that they be valued and respected in the United States. And secondly, that a solution be sought to this process.... that leads to.... tranquility and legality for all our fellow citizens."
In an interview with Joaquin Lopez-Doriga, Derbez discussed immigration, revealing a more flexible approach than that of Castañeda's "whole enchilada":
"The topic is still important, a priority for the Mexican agenda... I have been commissioned by the President with carrying it out, but maybe, with a new way of arriving to a solution... ....I am convinced that what we have to do now is seek other formulas, other ways, other realities ...if the whole enchilada is not possible, then we can divide it into small 'enchiladitas' ....and that for me is the central issue now, that is to find what size the enchiladitas can be to advance the process."
Interviewed by Oscar Mario Beteta, Derbez said that...
"It is very evident to us the concern that we have as Mexicans, each and every one of us as Mexicans, that they respect the rights of our fellow citizens who are in the United States, so these matters will continue in the agenda. You know that we have....a petition before the International Court at The Hague, for ....the rights of Mexicans who are confined in American prisons under sentence of death. This will follow its course and we will also have to discuss it... all these matters that have been initiated will continue and we will bring them to their end. What are the possibilities of success or failure? Well, I am here working for Mexico, with the president of the Republic and under his instructions, and we will continue seeking the formula for a successful solution."
On the night of the 15th (the day he became chancellor) Derbez was interviewed on Televisa's prime-time news show by anchorman Joaquin Lopez-Doriga.
I once watched Lopez-Doriga conduct a real softball interview with Fidel Castro. This time though, the anchorman did a better job.
After Derbez' affirmation of the priority of migration to President Fox, Lopez-Doriga posed an interesting question:
Lopez-Doriga: "...ex-[U.S.] ambassador Davidow...said that Mexico's foreign policy towards the U.S. was suicidal because it put the migratory issue on a pedestal and it was going to run into a wall. Do you believe that it's suicidal? Are you prepared to crash into a wall, do you think it is suicidal?"
Derbez: "It is suicidal if one who sees a wall throws himself forward and crashes into it...It is intelligent for he who faces a wall to do one of two things. He can turn around and leave. Or he can climb a ladder and cross to the other side. And that is the vision that we are going to propel."
Lopez-Doriga : "So tell me, do you have a ladder?"
Derbez: I have several in case one of them fails me."
Derbez' reply is positively ingenious. And it's really been the Mexican government's strategy all along.
So Fox and company have failed to foist a "migratory accord" on the U.S.A.? So what! They are actively utilizing many other "ladders" to subvert U.S. law and sovereignty and gain control of our immigration policy.
The matricula consular, for example, is now accepted by hundreds of police departments and municipal governments. For all practical purposes, it legalizes illegal aliens in the U.S. So do driver's licenses for illegal aliens. The multiplicity of Mexican consulates are quite adept in meddling in local American politics. Well-established Mexican journalists and entertainers in the U.S. are doing their part.
The Catholic hierarchy promotes open borders.
The Mexican government constantly agitates on behalf of condemned Mexican murderers.
International initiatives are utilized to advance the agenda - for example, the International Migratory Convention (a subject Derbez discussed with Kofi Annan on his first visit as chancellor to the UN).
There is a growing army of Mexican illegal aliens in the U.S., many of whom are not even very secretive about their legal status.
Why should they be? They're hardly ever deported!
Then there's The National Council for Mexican Communities Abroad.
And the increase in dual citizenship.
"Fox Contigo," a weekly radio address by the Mexican president, is beamed to the United States.
For all these "ladders" to be successful requires plenty of American collaboration. And there is no lack: Hispanic pressure groups and blatant ethnic appeals to Hispanic voters, "multiculturalism," lax voter registration, pandering politicians, the bilingual education lobby, agribusiness, the insane "anchor baby" policy, welfare for illegal aliens, the mainstream media....
Dr. Derbez is not to be underestimated, my friends. Stay tuned for future developments...
American citizen Allan Wall lives in Mexico, but spends a total of about six weeks a year in the state of Texas, where he drills with the Texas Army National Guard. VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org
January 22, 2003