OPINION

Opinion: Would Immigration, Imprisoned Marine Crises Have Happened Under President Calderon's Watch?

In this June 19, 2014 photo, a Honduran man hugs his wife as she carries their son at a immigrant shelter in Guatemala City.

In this June 19, 2014 photo, a Honduran man hugs his wife as she carries their son at a immigrant shelter in Guatemala City.  (AP)

A United States Marine war veteran enters a fourth month of incarceration in a Tijuana jail. Crisis. Thousands of Central American children are making their way through a couple thousand kilometers of Mexico from its southern border with Guatemala to its border with Texas. Crisis.

These are the two current problems occurring between the United States of America and the United States of Mexico. It is inconceivable that these aberrations would have occurred during the Golden Age of modern Mexican politics ushered in by the astounding election of Vicente Fox in 2000 as the first opposition president since the old oligarchical political party known as the PRI was created by thugs and thieves in 1930.

His six-year term was followed by a razor thin victory by his party’s Felipe Calderon who swept all of Northern Mexico for his win in 2006. Calderon’s six-year term is remembered for his war on the drug cartels.

By Obama doing nothing, the crisis on the border will continue and enough Americans will quit going to Mexico to seriously harm innocent Mexican people whose livings are a supported by American tourist dollars.

- Raoul Lowery Contreras

During the 12-year Golden Age of Fox and Calderon, one cannot recall any serious crisis such as the Mexican imprisoning of Andrew Tahmooressi for the minor crime of crossing the border accidentally with three firearms in his vehicle that wasn’t quickly resolved by people of goodwill on both sides of the border.

In fact there was an identical episode with another U.S. Marine who crossed the border between San Diego and Tijuana with a firearm in his vehicle. The Mexicans went through some formalities and allowed that Marine to leave prison in the company of a U.S. Congressman and the episode ended in weeks. Tahmooressi has been in prison for over four months and has yet to have a court hearing (his mother has fired two attorneys and Andrew is now represented by a third).

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On the crisis of children mostly from Central American poverty and crime-ridden underdeveloped countries, Mexico is strangely silent despite the fact that the children and adults cross Mexico in broad daylight day after day assisted by Mexicans in uniform carrying guns and badges with their hands outstretched looking for the proverbial and traditional Mordida, the “bite” or petty bribes.

One recalls a former Mexico City Chief of Police who collected millions of dollars from his thousands of officers who scammed bribes for parking tickets on up to murder and smuggling.

This is very possible today because of the resumption of the Dark and Evil PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) was returned to the Presidency by the Mexican electorate that was tired of the 6-year long war on the cartels in which over  100,000 Mexicans have died.

So the people who voted for the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto can now watch the entire Mexican government from lowly constable to the Presidency fatten up on the millions paid by people smugglers bringing the kids through Mexico to dump into Texas.

Peña Nieto’s supporters dispute that he is a crook but having been governor the State of Mexico, there is plenty of experience that he is corrupt and, of course, there is the 70- plus years the PRI ran Mexico as a dictatorship during which corruption was its trademark.

There is no doubt that over 100,000 kids and some adults that have landed in Texas managed to cross the entire country of Mexico with official help.

On top of Mexican corruption helping the kids, there is the Administration of Barack Obama not dealing with the Tahmooressi case.

Is Obama’s administration plain dumb or does it care about the crisis that is endangering our relations with our third largest trading partner, Mexico?

The entire cable television world watched Bill O’Reilly call for an American tourist boycott of Mexico (tourism is Mexico’s second largest source of income) to shock the country into releasing the sergeant and there was not a peep from Obama.

More kids walked up to Border Patrol agents in Texas and thanked them for their protection adding to the complicated crisis. Not a word from President Barack Obama. Not a single word from the most powerful man in the world on the jailed Marine sergeant.

President Obama needs to call President Peña Nieto and inform him that Andrew Tahmooressi should be escorted to the border immediately along with an announcement that all charges have been dropped. Otherwise President Obama should not make any public announcement opposing the O’Reilly supported boycott.

A crisis, then, is morphing from a single Marine in a Mexican jail to potentially thousands of Mexicans being thrown out of work.

By Obama doing nothing, the crisis on the border will continue and enough Americans will quit going to Mexico to seriously harm innocent Mexican people whose livings are a supported by American tourist dollars.

President Obama, make that call! 

Raoul Lowery Contreras is a political consultant. He was formerly with the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate. Contreras's books are available at Amazon.com

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