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Pasale, pasale

15 July 2014

Meetings this week between the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations and the Vatican Secretary of State… while partially meant to set ground rules for a papal visit (officially, Francis is only a foreign head of state, but with even the left falling all over themselves to show they are not anti-clerical any more, these things get complicated), as well as to attend a conference on dealing with the refugee crisis.  The Vatican Secretary, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, released a letter from the Pope, calling for more action by the governments involved (and pointedly referring to recent events in the United States, condemning “racist attitudes” towards refugees) and for “development” in the Central American republics.

PAN Senator Gabriela Cuevas Barrón, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined with Senator Adriana Dávila Fernández (who chairs a special committee on Human Trafficking) have called for some minor changes in immigration law here.  This would not be anything spectular, but would  allow temporary visitor visas to be issued for “Humanitarian visitors”… including unescorted minors… elminating the rationale now used by police and other officials to harrass and/or detain migrants who are not seeking asylum in Mexico. 

In that “Humanitarian visits” are being considered, I am troubled by articles like “Is Mexico Doing Enough to Secure Its Southern Border?” posted on Fusion.com.  The sense is that U.S. funds meant to “protect” the southern Mexican border (with Guatemala and Belize) are not being used to prevent refugees from entering Mexico en route to the United States.  While it is a difficult border to cross (the author, Ted Hesson, leads with a story about a boy’s “five-hour hike across rough terrain and through sweltering heat to avoid Mexican border checkpoints,” crossing from Guatemala into Mexico), the funds were to prevent narcotics and arms smugglers, not child refugees.   Although, when you come down to it, the U.S. is expecting Mexico to militarize their border with friendly countries (as the United States itself has done on the Mexican border) to prevent passage into the country of both things they want, but pretend they don’t (like narcotics) or have themselves caused, but won’t take responsiblity for (like preventing political and economic reforms in Central America) … or are in denial about:  like the spiraling violence in those countries.

While there are some minor problems caused by these “humanitarian visitors” (the accident last week when one of the “la Bestía” trains tipped over), most of the trouble has been from those who prey ON the refugees.  Between the Pope telling Catholics (and presumably that includes more than a few cops and local authorities) to stop acting like assholes, and simply providing a legal right of transit to the refugees, the solution is being shifted to the people who caused the problem in the first place… who have the financial, moral, and political obligations to resolve it.

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