I recently was able to get my hands on a letter that President Obama wrote to the President of Mexico after his recent visit here. I want to share it with you.
The American people appreciate your recent visit to our country and your speech to our Congress. Our countries share a long history of friendly and warm relations. In the interest of furthering our strong relationship, however, I must correct some of the statements you made while you were here.
First, your analysis of the law recently passed in your neighboring state of Arizona was completely incorrect. The law is actually much stronger than our federal law in protecting the rights of Mexican citizens visiting our country, whether legally or not. We sympathize with your confusion, since you may not have read the law -- even though it’s only about ten pages long. But no American would expect you to have read it before you commented on it – after all, neither did our Attorney General nor our Homeland Security Secretary before publicly disparaging the statute, nor did most of the members of Congress who applauded when you mentioned it in your speech. Unfortunately, none of you seems to know our federal law either.
More importantly, you really should not be criticizing our laws when the Mexican immigration system is far more draconian. While it was just two years ago that your country abolished criminal prosecutions of illegal immigrants, the current Mexican law states that law enforcement officials are "required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country before attending to any issues." This policy is beyond anything required here in the United States.
You may be familiar with the expression about someone protesting too much. The real reason for your disapproval is that your government is quite happy dumping your poorest citizens on us. Not that we are unhappy with Mexicans who come here legally, who have proven to be some of our finest citizens. They have strong family values, volunteer for our military, and have added a tremendous amount to the American Mosaic. The targets of American objections are the ones who continue to pour over the border without following our immigration laws.
You might take a look at why so many Mexicans want to leave their homeland. Your government has been a wreck for decades. Your laws discourage entrepreneurship and foreign investment into your country. You cannot provide nearly enough jobs, so your hard-working citizens have to look elsewhere to be able to feed their families. Your government has been corrupt for decades, with few people having confidence that your police are more interested in protecting the people rather than lining their own pockets. The absence of the rule of law has caused your government to break down in many ways, principally resulting in drug wars throughout the country. This has greatly harmed your tourism industry, scaring away both Americans and Europeans from visiting your beautiful resort areas – thereby killing even more jobs for your citizens.
Your drug lords are out of control. There have been 23,000 drug-related murders in the past four years; tragically, your rampant lawlessness has spilled over into our country. In just one state, California, illegal immigrants constitute 11% of the prison population or about 19,000 inmates. It would seem to some that your principal export to our country is crime. One of our major cities, Phoenix, has become the number two city in the world for kidnapping. This is not acceptable to our people, yet you continue to blame the situation on the United States by saying it all has to do with the flow of guns to your country.
Unfortunately, my friend Felipe, this is your government’s problem and our people are at their wits’ end. We wish to be good neighbors, but we have some of our own challenges here also. The American people want to be safe and they want their laws enforced. They want Mexicans to be able to come here, but they want them to follow our laws. They want them to be able to work here, but not by stealing jobs from people in Thailand or Bulgaria or Botswana who also wish to come here, but follow our immigration laws and then are pushed out by your citizens flowing over the border to take their jobs illegally.
Next time you are a guest in our country, please be a little more gracious. I know criticism of the U.S. is very much in vogue. God knows I am guilty of it myself. You may have just thought you are following my example, but the American people do not take kindly to visitors attacking our country, especially when you are so blatantly wrong and self-serving.
We look forward to your next trip here when hopefully you will express your gratitude for having as your neighbor the greatest country in the world.
Adios mi amigo,