The president is paying Mexico a symbolic visit today, on his way to a western Hemisphere summit in Trinidad. In preparation, DHS Secretary Janet “beware of the right-wingers!” Napolitano named a border czar — Alan Bersin, who had exactly the same job in the Clinton administration (partly because he was Bill’s roommate at Oxford). While he’s certainly no conservative, Bersin’s not a raving post-American leftie, like some of this administration’s other appointees — he used to be U.S. Attorney in San Diego and schools superintendent in San Diego and California state education secretary.
Nonetheless, he’s playing his part in the administration’s diversionary effort at seeming to respond forcefully to the problems at the Mexican border without actually mentioning illegal immigration. This centers on claims that 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico are from the United States, and thus stopping that southbound flow of weapons has to be our chief goal. This was reinforced recently by a complete non sequitur of a story about the seizure of a U.S.-made .50 caliber Browning machine gun by Mexican police, which somehow is further justification for a planned ATF enforcement blitz in Texas. Simple logic would suggest such military weaponry was probably not purchased at a gun shop in Houston, but from the Mexican military itself, which has seen 150,000 desertions over the past six years, some of whom have left to work for the drug cartels. And the whole focus on gun smuggling from the United States is false anyway — “only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.“
But the immigration issue won’t go away, if only because the Mexicans won’t let it. Former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda, in an op-ed today, demanded that President Calderon press Obama not only for an amnesty but for increased Mexican immigration. And a border news roundup writes that:
A network of Mexican and US activists plans to attempt to deliver a letter to President Obama that supports immigration reform, opposes border wall construction and demands the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. On the immigration question, the activists also demand no new contract labor or temporary worker program. The letter has the support of deported immigration activist Elvira Arellano, Fernando Suarez del Solar, father of a US soldier slain in Iraq, and several Mexican congressmen, among others.