Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is visiting California this week to discuss issues of paramount importance with California Governor Jerry Brown. What issues, you ask? The threat of Mexican drug cartels and their effect on border towns in both countries?
Discussions about what to do regarding the ever-present immigration problems that continue to plague our safety and economy?
No, not that either.
Instead, Brown and Pena Nieto are convening to discuss what Mexico can do to take stronger action against the looming threat of climate change. Judging from the state of things in the federal government, this is apparently the issue of greatest significance to all Americans. And Mexicans.
Brown choosing to devote his diplomatic time to solving an imaginary crisis is not too surprising, but he did manage to drop a bombshell Monday when delivering a speech to the gathered crowd, many of whom were Hispanic. He stepped up to the mic and told the masses that, at least for the day, their citizenship was a non-issue.
“You’re all welcome in California today,” the governor said, apparently oblivious to the ongoing problem of illegal immigration. Well, no, not oblivious. Willfully blind.
His welcome mat is laid out at a time when Mexicans are more intrigued than ever about what kind of life they could have north of the border. A new Pew Research study shows that Pena Nieto’s constituents aren’t as pleased with his economic reform as he might have hoped. His negative ratings have increased by 9 points over the past year, giving him an overall disapproval rating of 47%. Much more of this and he’ll be even more unpopular than Obama.
Of course, even Obama’s legion of “haters” are still fairly comfortable staying in the United States. South of the border, that’s not the case. According to the survey, 44% of Mexicans think they might have a better life if they were to emigrate to the States. 34% would come to the U.S. if they had the chance, and 17% would cross the border even in the absence of authorization. That comes to 20 million Mexicans who would gladly come to the United States illegally.
It is under these circumstances that Jerry Brown thinks it’s okay to tell everyone – legal or non – that they are welcome in California.
It seems clear that Brown’s message was meant only as a populist sentiment on a day meant for harmony between the two countries, but the situation is too dire to play fast and loose with this kind of pandering. This year, our concerns over illegal immigration have focused more on Central Americans than Mexicans, but that’s all the more reason to stay vigilant. When elected officials start saying things like Brown did on Monday, they’re effectively saying, “Hey guys, if it was up to me…”
This is the same kind of attitude that has led to the problem in the first place. Politicians don’t want to piss off the Hispanic voters, so they make these kinds of statements. What they don’t realize is that comments like, “You’re all welcome in California” only awaken the beast. At a time when we’re trying desperately to get a handle on the situation at the border, Brown’s comments are worse than idiotic; they are treasonous.