The time for common sense, humanism, and the national interest on immigration has come. That time is today, not tomorrow.
August 3, 2010.
Dear President of the United States, Barack Obama
Dear President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon
Dear Members of the U.S. Congress
Dear Members of the Mexican Congress:
It has never been more crucial for the well being of Mexico and the United States to address the issue of migration. This opportunity is of paramount significance for the health of our bilateral relationship and for the future of both nations.
What you resolve on immigration will set a historic precedent for the United States and Mexico and for the rest of the world. Can we broaden our ideas and attitudes about what immigrants and their families represent for the progress of both sending and receiving countries? Or will these ideas and attitudes remain unfortunately close-minded?
Right now the United States and Mexico have immigration laws and policies that do not work, that ignore reality, defy common sense, and undermine the national interest.
Those laws and policies do not respond to the supply and demand of international labor, to the exchange and creation of human capital, to demographic realities of each of our countries, to our development needs, nor most importantly, to the dignity of immigrants and their families.
These laws and policies fuel undocumented immigration, fear and prejudice, human trafficking, organized crime, corruption and impunity, and an overall disrespect for the rule of law.
Under these circumstances, Mexico does not have today the moral authority to demand from the United States the type of fair treatment of its immigrants that denies to the Central American and other immigrants within its own territory. These circumstances also explain why the United Sates cannot demand that Mexico seal its borders to undocumented immigrants, when she herself has failed at this impossible task.
A humanitarian and productive management of migration can not take place in the border regions. It can only be accomplished through decisions made in the Capitol, the White House, the Mexican Congress and Los Pinos. There is no way of sealing the borders of Mexico or the United States to undocumented migration as long as the political leaders in Mexico City and Washington do not change immigration laws and policies that for too long have not made any sense.
Emigrating without documents is a tragedy, not an opportunity, for those who have to do it. It is also simply bad policy to try to manage migration while ignoring the laws of supply and demand that govern international labor mobility.
Therefore it is vital for both the United States and Mexico to enact their respective immigration reforms. Delaying them is the real obstacle to guaranteeing respect for the rule of law, securing our borders, and ensuring the well being of our societies.
Carrying out these needed reforms should not be seen as an act of philanthropy, but instead as the enactment of a set of laws that will serve the national interest of both countries. It is not a matter of “rewarding law-breakers,” in the case of undocumented immigrants, but of establishing migratory policies that respond realistically to immigrant’s working conditions. Policies that will also protect the jobs and wages of citizens and legal residents, promote growth, foster social cohesion, and fuel human and public security.
President Obama, President Calderón, Members of the U.S and Mexican Congress, you now have the honor to serve your countries and fellow citizens by legislating immigration reforms for the benefit of all.
Carrying out your task with responsibility and pride, you can enact visionary immigration reforms that will release the great potential of immigrants and their families to contribute to the egalitarian and sustainable development of the United States and Mexico. Be the statesmen who set a historical precedent on immigration between neighboring countries and regions.
It will be neither easy nor simple to pass these immigration reforms. But beyond the strong and emotional debates on immigration, the truth is that inaction will benefit no one. Growing anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States and Mexico, as well as the human tragedy represented by the abuse, exploitation, slavery, and death of immigrants –no matter how painful it is to admit-, are caused by inaction on the part of both the United States and Mexico.
Dear Presidents and Members of Congress, the time for common sense, humanism and the national interest on immigration has come. That time is now, not tomorrow.
Implementing the immigration reforms that the United States and Mexico so urgently need will enhance the future of both nations, and open new opportunities for our bilateral relationship.
These reforms will also restore the public’s appreciation of immigrant men and women who have proudly committed themselves to nourishing the greatness of their new homeland.
Mexicans living in the United States and Mexico:
• Salome Amezcua-Frieri, Director, Latino Affairs/Rainbow Push Coalition, Chicago, IL.
• Ma. Esther Barber, President, Mexican Civic Association or Indiana, Indianapolis, IN.
• Gonzalo Badillo, Consultant on Migration and Legislative Process, Mexico, DF.
• Florina Beysa-Jaime, Federation of Michoacano Clubs of Texas, and Scalabrini Group, Irvin, TX.
• Raul Caballero, Writer and Reporter, Dallas, TX.
• Aurora Camacho de Schmidt, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA.
• Baldomero Capiz, President, Binational Union of Ex Bracero Workers 1942-1967, Los Angeles, CA.
• Rigoberto H. Castillo, President, Federation of Michoacanos from Northern California, Napa and Sonom Counties, CA.
• Guillermo Carrasco, Association of Michoacanos in California, and Coordinador, Paisano Hidalgo Club Projects, Las Angeles, CA.
• Alejandra Castañeda, PhD, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UCSD, San Diego, CA.
• M.A. Manlio C. Correa, President, Association of Michoacanos Andarai from San Diego and Friends (AMASDA), Businessman and Business Advisor, San Diego, CA.
• Maria D’Amezcua, Chair and Founder, Latino Chapter of the Rainbow-Push Coalition, Chicago, IL.
• Hector Diaz-Polanco, Writer, Professor, Center of Higher Research and Study on Social Anthropology, Mexico, DF.
• Juan Carlos Diosdado-Plascencia, Coordinator, Commission of Education Affairs, Consultative Council Member, Institute of Mexicans Abroad, Chicago, IL.
• Rufino Domingez-Santos, Executive Director, Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous People, Fresno, CA.
• Patricia H. Escamilla-Hammm, PhD, Political Scientist and Independent Academician, Tijuana, BC.
• Luis L. Figueiras, Student, Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, IL.
• Yolanda de Garay, Director, Digital Edition, Revista de la Universidad (UNAM), and Advisor to Camino a Casa Foundation, Mexico, DF.
• Alfredo Garcia-Fabian, Secretary, “San Juanico” Club and Vice-President of FEDECMI, Chicago, IL.
• Martha Garcia-Ortega, PhD, Professor, The College of the Southern Border at Chetumal, Mexico.
• Francisco J. Garcidueñas-Andrade, Consultative Council Member, Institute of Mexicans Abroad 2003-2005, Morelia, Mich.
• Ms Leny Gonzalez, President, Board of Directors, Shirlington Employment and Education Center, Arlington, VA.
• Sara R. Gross, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, London School of Economics, Nueva York, NY.
• Ambassador Leonardo Ffrench-Iduarte, ex Consul-General in Denver and Chicago, Cuernavaca, Mor.
• Martin Gonzalez, President, Latino Network, Portland, OR.
• Armando Hernandez, VP Business Development, Security Credit Union, Flint, MI.
• Rodolfo Hernandez-Corchado, Graduate Student, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, NY.
• Ivan Jimenez-Maya, Graduate Student, Mexico’s National Autonomous University, Mexico, DF.
• Dr. Adolfo Laborde, Professor, Technological Institute of Higher Studies of Mexico, Mexico, DF.
• Felipe Lopez, PhD, Latin American Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
• Carmelo Maceda, Casa Puebla, New York, NY.
• Oscar Martinez, Real Estate Agent, Phoenix, AZ.
• Andres Mendoza, President, Hispanic Association for Bilingual Literacy and Education (HABLE); President, No Parent Left Behind, Las Vegas, NV.
• Antonieta Mercado, PhD Candidate, Department of Communication, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, CA.
• Miguel Moctezuma-Longoria, PhD, Professor, Zacatecas Autonomous University, Zacatecas, Zac.
• Fabian Morales, Vice-President, Guerrerense Federation of Illinois, Chicago, IL.
• Francisco Moreno, Secretary-General, Federation of Clubs and Associations of Michoacanos in North America, Los Angeles, CA.
• Alvaro Ochoa-Serrano, The College of Michoacan, Zamora, Mich.
• Carlos Olamendi, Businessman, San Clemente, CA.
• Patricia Olamendi, PhD, Institute for Justice and Human Rights, Mexico, DF.
• Carlos Ortiz, LoRa Radio, Zurich, Switzerland- Mexico, DF.
• Aaaron Ortiz-Santos, General Manager, Hernan Taylor & Lee, LLC, Norcross, GA.
• Mariana D. Padilla, Businesswoman, Glendale, AZ.
• Luis E. Pelayo, Founder, Hispanic Council, Chicago, IL.
• Javier Perucho, PhD, Writer and Professor, Mexico City Autonomous University, Mexico, DF.
• Santiago Portilla, Historian and Social Scientist, Mexico, DF.
• Patricia Prado de Caso, President, Camino a Casa Foundation-Support to Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Abuse, Mexico, DF.
• Juvencio Rocha Peralta, President, Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, Greenville, NC.
• Israel Rodriguez Quezada, Vice-President, Confederation of Mexican Federations in the Midwest (CONFEMEX), Chicago, IL.
• Esther Quintero, Graduate Student, Columbia University, New York, NY.
• Primitivo Rodriguez, Consultant on Migration, Mexico, DF.
• Ramiro Romero, President, Federation of Clubs and Associations of Michoacanos in North America, Los Angeles, CA.
• Raul Ross Pineda, Director, Huellas Mexicanas Electronic Page, Chicago, IL.
• Juan Manuel Sandoval, Coordinator, Center for Chicano and Border Studies, DEAS-INAH, Mexico, DF.
• Agustin Sanchez, President, Council of Latin Americans in Alaska for Special Services (CLASE), Anchorage, Alaska.
• Nadia Sierra-Campos, Pro Woman Civil Association, Mexico, DF.
• Rosa Marta Sanchez, Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Mexico’s National Autonomous University, Mexico, DF.
• Aida G. Taylor, President, Local Council of Mexicans in North Carolina, Greenville, NC.
• Prof. Armando Vazquez-Ramos, Lecturer and Coordinator, California-Mexico Project, Chicano and Latino Studies Department, CSULB, Long Beach, CA.
• Carolina Vazquez-Rubio, Visual Artist, Mexico, DF.
• Claudia Villegas, PhD, Coordinator, Defeños for their Political Rights Abroad, New York, NY.
• Jose Luis Viveros, President, National Board, Unified Front for the Defense of Citizen Rights, Puebla, Pue.
• Lucia Zezatti, Advisor, Camino a Casa Foundation, Mexico, DF.