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An Open Letter To Mexico’s President

Image: Dick Elbers

Dear President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO),

Speaking yesterday, President Trump informed you that new tariffs will start at 5% on June 10 and increase monthly up to 25% on Oct. 1, unless you take immediate action to stem the flow of migrants–97% of which are Central American/other, not Mexican–across our shared border.

Tariffs on Mexican goods is a brilliant idea and long overdue. Your country has become a doormat for illegal Central American migrants, ridiculously dangerous Chinese drugs such as fentanyl, unspeakably violent gangs such as MS-13, undocumented Africans, and even jihadis from the Middle East. Your own citizens object to your laissez-faire border policy:

“We have a lot of migrants and they’ve caused a lot of problems here,” said Imelda Estrada Garcia, 61, in an article from the NY Post. “They’ve robbed and assaulted people. We have a dead person here, a dead person there. They are constantly begging and they urinate in the street. We know they are human beings but we don’t want them here anymore.”

From the New York Times, an article quotes Joaquin Ramirez, a corn farmer who is sick of your migrant policy: “By trying to do good, [AMLO] has done a lot of bad,” Mr. Ramírez said in the main square in the town of Mapastepec. “It seems like he is more worried about [migrants] than about his own people.”

Thus far, you have taken a hippie-ish, Kumbaya tone when responding to President Trump. You claim that Mexico is already taking preventative action, but the data suggest otherwise. Just yesterday, US border agents agents detained 1,036 migrants who had crossed into El Paso. In a press release, US Customs and Border Protection said it was the largest group of migrants ever encountered.

With all that in mind, let’s dissect some of your recent quotes. PS–you’re quite good at saying things that appear initially to be true, but crumble under scrutiny.

1. “With all due respect, although you have the right to express it, ‘America First’ is a fallacy because until the end of times, even beyond national borders, justice and universal fraternity will prevail.”

For starters, sir, America First isn’t a “truth” or a “fallacy,” it’s a series of policy decisions designed to further American geopolitical interests. Second, what’s with the sweeping pronouncements on the nature of man? You’re not Captain Jean-Luc Picard addressing an alien race, you’re the nominal president of a group of murderous cartel city-states addressing your repatriating, global defending, #1 trade partnering, supreme sugar daddy. You want fraternity? Good fences make good neighbors. Mend yours.

2. “Social problems are not solved with duties or coercive measures.”

One of the key functions of a sovereign nation is to protect its borders. Failing to do so isn’t a “social problem,” it’s “governmental negligence.” Furthermore, since when is illegal immigration a social problem? It is not the job of the United States to cure the ills of all our southern neighbors, nor to take them in when the going gets rough at home. Lastly, “duties and coercive measures” may not solve actual social problems, but they’re pretty useful in motivating a lazy politician to do his job.

3. “Please, remember that I do not lack valor, that I am not a coward nor timorous but rather act according to principles.”

Americans do not trust the man who claims to be courageous. It is an attribute to be displayed, not spoken of. As for principles, one assumes you refer to humanism, and that impoverished people fleeing conflict should be helped by their neighbors. That’s admirable, and hard to refute. So why don’t you try to help by providing shelter and food to the poor migrants? Allowing people to run in one end of your country and out the other, committing crimes along the way, is not principled, it’s a dereliction of your official duty. Finally, “timorous?” You sound like someone who owns a word-of-the-day calendar and can’t wait to use some of them in a sentence.

4. “The Statue of Liberty is not an empty symbol.”

True, it is a treasured gift from France. Liberty is defined as “the quality or state of being free.” It does not mean “allowing foreigners to enter as they please because a Mexican said that was, like, a universal right.” The cost of freedom, of course, is vigilance. Guarding against forces that would rob us of our freedom. America is indeed the arsenal of democracy, and lucky for you as our neighbor and ally. We have liberty in America because we fought for it, first from the British, and successively against many foes (including Mexico), and with many allies (including Mexico).

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of a land that ensures freedom. Freedom only works if the rule of law is secure. The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus is a poem, not policy. In fact, Lazarus, an American, wrote it to raise money for the pedestal (the French forgot that part) upon which it is written. Here’s the poem:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Note the last word, “door.” It refers symbolically to Ellis Island, formerly the gateway for legal immigrants. President Trump reiterated yesterday his desire to increase the number of immigrants, “but they have to come legally.”

The Statue of Liberty lights a door, not a doormat, or a hole in the fence. It is a beacon, beckoning to those who would come here, legally, to assist in the great American experiment, not those who would sneak in the back (or be snuck in by sex traffickers). Yes, we are a nation built on immigration. According to a UN report, the US has 19.8% foreign born citizens, dwarfing the next on the list, Germany with 4.9%.

We are the land of liberty. We take the lion’s share of tired, poor, huddled immigrants globally already. How dare you preach to us, AMLO? Illegal immigrants go through Mexico like so much violent Metamucil. They end up here.

So cork up your southern border. Your own people want it done. Until then, pay the fine.

Sincerely,

The American People

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