Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Politics > Obama Outlines Steps to Repair Relationship with Mexico

Obama Outlines Steps to Repair Relationship with Mexico

LatinaLista — On February 6, 2008, Barack Obama penned a guest post at Latina Lista where he vowed to reform the nation’s immigration system.

In today’s The Dallas Morning News, to coincide with his appearance in Dallas, Obama pens yet another opinion piece dealing with issues that are important to Latinos — especially Texas Latinos.
Obama outlines his plans on how he will repair the U.S. relationship with Mexico and create a working relationship with not just our southern neighbor but Canada as well.

Under George W. Bush, the United States has not lived up to its historic role as a leader in the Western Hemisphere. As president, I will restore that leadership by working to advance the common prosperity and security of all of the people of the Americas. That work must begin with a renewed strategic partnership with Mexico.

Mr. Bush took office vowing to make the Americas a top priority. But over the last seven years, the administration’s approach to this issue has been clumsy, disinterested and, above all, distracted by the war in Iraq. Indeed, relations have not fully recovered since Mexico refused to fall in line with President Bush’s rush to war.
Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon just traveled across the United States but didn’t even go to Washington, which isn’t that surprising given how little Mr. Bush has done to improve relations.
Starting my first year in office, I will convene annual meetings with Mr. Calderon and the prime minister of Canada. Unlike similar summits under President Bush, these will be conducted with a level of transparency that represents the close ties among our three countries. We will seek the active and open involvement of citizens, labor, the private sector and non-governmental organizations in setting the agenda and making progress.
With our neighbors to the south, that agenda must include securing our border. The hard work of comprehensive immigration reform must be done at home; we will be a nation of laws and immigrants. But we also have to work with Mexico to crack down on both illegal immigration and transnational criminal organizations that threaten people on both sides of the border.
This will take new investments and new partnerships. Here’s some of what we need to do:
*Increase technology and real-time intelligence-sharing to allow U.S. and Mexican authorities to track and dismantle drug-trafficking cartels.
*Invest in anti-drug education on both sides of the border to reduce demand for illicit narcotics.
*Make a concerted effort to disrupt arms smuggling and money laundering from the United States that supplies Mexican drug cartels with weapons and funds.
*Partner with Mexico to enhance the professionalism of its law enforcement and judiciary officials.
It’s also time to develop a bilateral strategy for lifting up our border communities. Six and a half million Americans live in cities and towns next to the border, and 61 million Americans live in the four states that border Mexico. Too often we neglect the unique needs of these communities, which are integrated with their sister cities across the border. As president, I will work with state and local governments to enhance cross-border partnerships in transportation, law enforcement, environmental protection, health care and water usage.
At a national level, our diplomacy with Mexico must aim to amend NAFTA. I will seek enforceable labor and environment standards — not unenforceable side agreements that have done little to curb NAFTA’s failures. To reduce illegal immigration, we also have to help Mexico develop its own economy, so that more Mexicans can live their dreams south of the border. That’s why I’ll increase foreign assistance, including expanded micro-financing for businesses in Mexico.
Finally, we have to recognize the connection between our rhetoric and our relations — both with Mexico and within our own borders. We can and should have a robust debate about immigration reform, but we should never demonize or scapegoat any ethnic group. Already, we have seen an unacceptable spike in hate crimes aimed at Latinos across America. This has proven divisive here at home, and it risks poisoning our relations with Latin America.
Our relationship with Mexico should serve as a bridge to greater security and prosperity in North America and to better relations with Latin America. But we cannot achieve this partnership unless we engage in sustained and focused diplomacy, and develop a more effective working relationship with our neighbor to the south.

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  • yave begnet
    February 20, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Hear, hear! This is long overdue.

  • Jax
    February 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    So far, so good.
    By the way, You may as well get used to him. He’ll win the general electipon.

    February 21, 2008 at 8:46 am

    I still remain utterly amazed that so many people have gone so ga-ga over a man that was unknown by most of America a year and a half ago. With all his hallow promises and messages of hope and change makes me very uneasy. If he does manage to win the election we will be one step closer to living in a socialistic country. You can say goodbye to your individual liberties as the government takes control of your life.

  • Texas Proud
    February 21, 2008 at 10:32 am

    I don’t get it Eyes of Texas, 1st people complain about too many undocumented people in the country, then they complain because people won’t readily give of their land to the government to build “the wall” and now when Senator Obama is saying what he can do to help with these problems, he’s a socialist?
    Which is it? Its okay to take land from American People to build this “wall” but it’s not okay when the movement wants to help resolve these issues by talking to other leaders in a civilized manner?

    February 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    OK, let your junior Senator talk. HOPE for the best and CHANGE for the worst. Get into the herd with the rest of the sheeple so you can be lead blindly over the cliff by an image created by the media that has never done anythig on a national level to resolve any issue. This man came out of no where, attained American Idol status and now wants to be Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America. We are all in big trouble if he gets elected. Only my opinion.

  • Evelyn
    February 21, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Just because you have been under a rock making up all the lies you and the other racists use to bash Immigrants for the last 10 yr, doesnt mean Obama hasn’t done anything.
    It just means that is what has contributed to your IGNORANCE of all the things Obama has done.

  • Jax
    February 21, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    I think your fears lack foundation.
    Obama, although young, did a lot of good work in the poorer sections of Chicago. Until he came along I, someone who leans toward the Democrat party, supported Hillary, thinking she was the inevitable candidate. I’m a former New Yorker and I can tell you that she is a superb Senator. I think she should stay in the Senate and it appears that she will. I’ll vote for Obama for a number of reason, among them the problem I have with two families controlling the Presidency from 1988 until, perhaps, 2016. We can and we must do better. The Clintons will do and say anything to further their own selfish interests.
    I believe that Obama will be the next President. McCain is a good man but I think the collective wisdom of the American voter will decide to make a change while also thinking this fine man is simply too old.
    I also believe that all illegals should be sent back to their country of origin. Now!

  • Frank
    February 21, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Speaking of lies….no one bashes “immigrants.”
    Only two sentences and the words, lies, bashing, racists and ignorant all appear. Real civil debate there.

    February 22, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I personally do not want to see my country become an Obamanation. When I hear this guy speak it makes me very uneasy. He has convinced all of the sheeple that he will represent all people equally, but I don’t believe he can be trusted to do that. A position of power is his only true goal, and he has that power it will be misused and abused. It will be an Obamanation of the worst kind, in my opinion.

    February 22, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Will someone please give me a short list of the accomplishments that Obama has made on a national level. I realize that he did make a few changes in Chicago, some good, some bad, but has he ever dealt with real issues that has affected our federal government? Also, just for the 100th time, no one here has bashed legal Hispanic immigrants, Hispanic citizens or those Hispanics here on a legal visa. The issue of illegal aliens in this country without proper documentation, for what ever reason, is the only ones that have recieved negative remarks. They are not hated, only not being accepted due to the fact that they have broken, and are breaking, the laws that require their immediate departure. Illegal aliens that are here from every nation on the face of the earth and of many ethnicities must be removed from the U.S. as stated in our immigration laws.

  • Evelyn
    February 23, 2008 at 2:23 am

    Would you like some music to spin to Frank?
    When all the ignorant racists using lies to bash immigrants are civil, I will leave. So get used to it! We’re not taking it anymore!

  • Frank
    February 23, 2008 at 10:59 am

    No one is bashing “immigrants”!!!!!!
    This is about illegal aliens. Your idea of bashing is just providing statistics on illegal immigration and the rule of law.
    One can still be civil in a debate without resorting to name calling. You are bashing Americans, especially of the white variety for their views so what is the difference?
    Who the hell is “we” aren’t taking it anymore? You’re not an illegal alien so what the hell are you talking about? You aren’t even Hispanic for God’s sake!

  • Evelyn
    February 24, 2008 at 4:54 am

    Illegal alien is their status, they are immigrants! You don’t care about “rule of law” you use it to hide behind, and vault your hate agenda forward.
    We, are all the American citizens of every color who are sick and tired of all the racist remarks, innuendo and lies directed at Hispanics and immigrants.
    One does not have to be Hispanic or have illegal alien status, the only requirement to know that what you do is wrong, is to be human.

  • Frank
    February 24, 2008 at 10:24 am

    According to U.S. law, they are not “immigrants” they are illegal aliens. “Immigrants” come legally.
    No one “needs” to hide behind the rule of law. It is what it is and stands on it’s own merit.
    Keep it up, Evelyn. You and your kind are the haters. You hate this country and you hate Whites because they are the majority in this country and you wish to change that. We are sick of YOUR racist agenda!
    Being human has nothing to do with it. Charles Manson was human too. All humans have to follow the law. This has nothing to do with legal Hispanic citizens who love this country and respect our laws. Stop putting them into the same catagory as the others to further your lying agenda of claiming that we just hate ALL Hispanics. It isn’t true!

  • Liquidmicro
    February 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Then by your own statement, Evelyn, due to their “STATUS” they are in fact “Illegal Aliens”. Thus, there “STATUS” is what is being attacked and NOT there ‘person’.
    Therefore, there is NO racist comments towards anybody as you proclaim. You make it a racist argument yourself by failing to distinguish there ‘status’ from there ‘person’. The rule of law is attacking there ‘status’, however, it may effect them as a ‘person’ due to their ‘status’.

  • Evelyn
    February 25, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    I am not in the habit of addressing anyone by their status because it isn’t proper.
    The New World Dictionary of the American Language
    Second Collage Edition states:
    Immigrant: “a person who immigrates”
    Immigrate: “to come to a new country, region or environment in order to settle there.”
    It is improper to call a person by their immigration status when referring to them personally.
    You dont call an alien relative an alien relative.
    You dont call an H1-B alien an H1-B alien.
    You shouldn’t call an illegal alien an illegal alien if you are using proper English. Also it is considered rude and demeaning when referring to his person.
    You dont call resident alien a resident alien.
    All these persons are human beings and the proper name for them is immigrant.
    I cant understand the rest of your gibberish. It might do you some good to take an English class so you can learn to write a cohesive sentence and the proper way of addressing people. Amazing you expect others to do something you wont. Learn proper English.

  • Frank
    February 26, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Liquid, when they have no viable argument they attack one’s English grammar and spelling. They do this all the time in the HB forum.
    This a a blog/forum, it is a place to debate issues not a thesis. The idea is to be able to communicate in English and that is all. We don’t expect any more than that from immigrants either. Spelling an grammatical errors are irrelevant. By the way liquid, I understood you perfectly and you made a lot of sense. This isn’t about “persons” it is about their status in this country.
    According to the dictionary, alien means foreigner. Therefore a foreigner living in this country is an alien.

  • Liquidmicro
    February 26, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Please Evelyn, if you wish to begin with the English classes, shall I go and reference your grammatical errors in your posts. Now, if you wish, I will pit my English versus yours, any day.
    If one were to attack a single person, then you might have a small point, however, we are attacking millions of people from many different countries about there ‘STATUS’ and not them as individuals, but as a group. You make it personal when its not.
    You still attack the person and not their stance. Does it make you feel big to try to belittle someone? I’m not your Husband, so don’t do it again to me, I will not put up with it.

  • Evelyn
    February 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I thought you werent going to stalk me anymore? Then you whine when you get called a liar.

  • Frank
    February 26, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Who is stalking? We don’t have a right to post an opinion in every topic in this blog? If one can’t take the heat perhaps they should get out of the kitchen. At least liquid and myself are being civil and not resorting to pettiness such as grammar and spelling errors.

  • Liquidmicro
    February 26, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    “I am not in the habit of addressing anyone by their status because it isn’t proper.”
    Proper? What do you call Barack Obama? Senator, if I’m not mistaken which is ‘PROPER’, and his ‘STATUS’. What would you call the President, if not by his ‘PROPER STATUS’? Your habit is there, you jut fail to see it.
    “You don’t call an H1-B alien an H1-B alien.
    You don’t call resident alien a resident alien.”
    Yes, in fact the US Government does call them H-1B Visa holders and Resident Aliens.
    “You shouldn’t call an illegal alien an illegal alien if you are using proper English. Also it is considered rude and demeaning when referring to his person.”
    Thats just it, we are not talking about a ‘single person’, we are talking about ‘tens of millions of people’. Even still, in ‘Proper English’ the term ‘illegal alien’ is recognized as the following
    illegal alien
    1. a foreigner who has entered or resides in a country unlawfully or without the country’s authorization.
    2. a foreigner who enters the U.S. without an entry or immigrant visa, esp. a person who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed as a visitor, tourist, or businessperson. Compare resident alien.
    Also called illegal immigrant.
    Cited here:

  • Evelyn
    February 27, 2008 at 1:06 am

    If you are adamant about contributing to the “Dumbing Down” of American. Go for it.
    If you think you can find ANY comprehension errors in my sentences, please feel free to point them out.
    I never referred to spelling or a missed punctuation mark, because unless one uses spell check, no one can be sure their brain doesn’t get ahead of their fingers. I dont like the time it takes, or the fact that it isn’t always perfect.
    I was speaking of sentences that can be understood. Just to give you the benefit of the doubt, I tried to decipher what you were trying to say again. I cant!
    Obamas immigration status in this country is native born U.S. citizen. It would be improper to address his person as such. If one addresses him personally he can be addressed as Sir, Barak, Or Senator. You would not address him as native born U.S. citizen.
    “Linguistic Violence” is the situation in which Individuals are hurt or harmed by being demonized with words. There are some bullies on this forum who consistently participate in the use of “Linguistic Violence.” When the same language is used on them, they turn into spineless wimps and cry babies. Linguists agree that “Illegal alien” is a perfect example of “linguistic violence,” because of this, USCIS is beginning to warm to the term “unauthorized immigrant” when referring to the status of immigrants, now referred to as “illegal alien”.

  • Frank
    February 27, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Liquid, wouldn’t you say that calling someone a racist, bigot, xenophobe, hater etc., “linquistic violence”?
    Funny how some label others in terms that they see them as but deny the right to others to do the same.
    One term is a legal government term to describe those in this country without papers. The others are just plain demoralizing by anyone’s standards especially when it is directed at those who are none of the above.

  • Alessandra
    February 27, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Evelyn, I understand what you are trying to say that words can be used to demonize.
    But, let’s be honest here: those who control the terminology control the debate.
    There is a tendency for pro-illegal advocates to want to conflate ILLEGAL immigrants with LEGAL ones and thus muddy the waters. And herein lies the problem. There IS an important difference as the issue is not those who come LEGALLY, but those who circumvent our immigration laws.
    The legal definition of one who comes illegally is “illegal alien.” The problem is that many people do not understand that “alien” refers to a “foreigner” and tend to think of the word in the context of “extra terrestrial” which can have a dehumanizing connotation to it. An “immigrant” is generally understood to be someone who comes LEGALLY with intentions of becoming a permanent resident of a country.
    For myself, I generally refer to those who come illegally as “illegal immigrants” even though it might not be the legal definition. That avoids conflating the issue of legal vs. illegal, but avoids any possible “dehumanizing” effects.

  • Liquidmicro
    February 27, 2008 at 10:10 am

    If this makes you feel better Evelyn, then how about we call this group of persons the following:
    Unlawful Alien/Stranger/Foreigner/Immigrant
    Prohibited Alien/Stranger/Foreigner/Immigrant
    Banned Alien/Stranger/Foreigner/Immigrant
    Illegitimate Alien/Stranger/Foreigner/Immigrant
    Illicit Alien/Stranger/Foreigner/Immigrant
    Dishonest Alien/Stranger/Foreigner/Immigrant
    No more “Linguistic Violence” even though all the words mean the same thing.
    “Obamas immigration status in this country is native born U.S. citizen. It would be improper to address his person as such. If one addresses him personally he can be addressed as Sir, Barak, Or Senator. You would not address him as native born U.S. citizen.”
    Again, we are not addressing him in a personal way as an individual. He would be included in the group of ‘Senators’, just like the ‘Dishonest/Illicit/Illegitimate/Banned/Prohibited/Unlawful Aliens/Strangers/Foreigners/Immigrant.’
    “When the same language is used on them, they turn into spineless wimps and cry babies. ”
    Maybe you should do a little more research into your ‘Linguistic Violence’ thesis, instead of referencing the Group that you belong to and following their rhetoric. If you would wish to continue with it, I would be more than happy too.

  • Evelyn
    February 27, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you for trying to give me credit for MY “linguistic violance”….thesis…???…
    I would love to take credit but I cant. That credit is due linguists, me, I work more with numbers. Math is more my thing.

  • Frank
    February 27, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Personally, I would much rather be called an illegal alien than a racist. One just describes someone in this country without papers and the other is without a doubt, demoralizing and hateful.

  • Liquidmicro
    February 27, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I’m not giving you credit for “Linguistic Violence”, I am saying you should do some further research into it and then you can write a thesis on it, actually Dissertation may have been the better word, even though they mean the same thing.
    With your personal insults in here, maybe we should call them “Personal covert violence”. But then I wouldn’t expect you to be able to comprehend the ‘gibberish’.

  • Horace
    March 2, 2008 at 9:03 am

    “I would love to take credit but I cant. That credit is due linguists, me, I work more with numbers. Math is more my thing.”
    Here’s some math for you evelyn:
    “Because so much of our legal and illegal immigrant labor is concentrated in such fringe, low-wage employment, its overall impact on our economy is extremely small. A 1997 National Academy of Sciences study estimated that immigration’s net benefit to the American economy raises the average income of the native-born by only some $10 billion a year – about $120 per household” And that meager contribution is not the result of immigrants helping to build our essential industries or making us more competitive globally* but instead merely delivering our pizzas and cutting our grass. Estimations by pro-immigration forces that foreign workers contribute much more to the economy, boosting annual grow domestic product by hundreds of billions of dollars, generally talley what immigrants earn here while ignoring the offsetting effect they have on the wages of native-born workers.**
    In absence of these people, our economy would be far from faltering, as has been argued by Marisa and others in this blog.
    Their tendency to believe the spin of ethnocentrist advocacy groups is understandable, as they’ll rationalize to the extreme for their friends and families, the truth notwithstanding. In a word, the are to biased to argue based purely on logic.
    *We could never compete with China in the cost of manual labor, as they will alwsys be able to pay less than our laws permit.
    **The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s, Heather Mac Donald, et al, copyright 2007, Ivan R. Dee, publisher.

  • Evelyn
    March 3, 2008 at 11:00 am

    My choice is to ignore the ignorance that is permeating on this thread, especially the use of anything a racist like Heather McDonald would say to prove a point.

  • Frank
    March 3, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    In otherwords when one can’t dispute the evidence or make a common sense, civil and logical reply, resort to the race card!

  • Evelyn
    March 4, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    The House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Immigration
    The Centre, Evansville Auditorium & Convention Center
    (715 Locust Street, Evansville IN. 47708)
    The Field Hearing
    Impact on U.S. Workers and Economy
    I am sure that in fitting with the theme of this field hearing, “The Reid-Kennedy Bill: The Effect on American Workers’ Wages and Employment Opportunities,” someone will present studies that undocumented immigrants are impacting American workers. At the end of this report you will find recent studies that dispute those claims, for example, Growth in the Foreign-Born Workforce and Employment of the Native Born, Pew Hispanic Center, 08/10/2006). It shows that rapid increases in the foreign-born population at the state level are not associated with negative effects on the employment of native-born workers. Also new data released by the Census Bureau on August 15 accent the magnitude to which immigration continues to fuel the expansion of the U.S. labor force. (The Growth and Reach of Immigration Rob Paral, Immigration Policy Center, 08/16/2006).
    Earlier in June, 500-Plus Economists including five Nobel Laureates-Thomas C. Schelling (University of Maryland), Robert Lucas (University of Chicago), Daniel McFadden (University of California, Berkeley), Vernon Smith (George Mason University), and James Heckman (University of Chicago) indicated immigration was an economic plus, saying, “the gains from immigration outweigh the losses.”
    Fact: Immigrant labor is needed to fill jobs in the U.S. that an older, more educated American workforce is not willing to fill, especially at the low wages and poor working conditions many unscrupulous employers offer. Currently, there are approximately nine million undocumented workers in the U.S. filling important gaps in the labor market. There is substantial evidence that their presence in the labor force creates jobs and strengthen local economies. Fact is undocumented immigrants contribute to the process of wealth creation.
    30 seconds of my time to shred your evidence to shreds. 500 economists, imagine that!!

  • Frank
    March 5, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Again, my arguments are mainly based on the rule of law. If we need more foreign workers while keeping in mind population stabilization, then so be it but immigration and the importing of foreign workers stills need to occur within our laws.
    If we need to update our quotas and laws based on the above I see no problem with that but no one has the right to jump our borders before such legislation occurs and expect to be given amnesty for doing so.

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