In declassified email, Clinton calls out Mexico’s hypocrisy day after toasting with Calderón

Clinton, Biden and Calderon in the Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State, May 19, 2010

Clinton, Biden and Calderon in the Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State, May 19, 2010  (State Department Photo)

On the same day that then Mexican President Felipe Calderon spoke for 40 minutes before a joint session of Congress denouncing SB1070, Arizona’s tough controversial immigration law, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her private email to imply Mexico’s hypocritical policy in how they treat undocumented immigrants who enter their country, according to a newly declassified email published by the State Department on Monday night.

In a May 2010 email entitled “Mexican treatment of the undocumented,” one of  more than 4,000 documents released from her private account, Clinton responds to a note by one of her closest advisors, Jacob Sullivan, with just one line: “Another example of  ‘you should take the log from your own eye before criticizing the speck in your neighbor’s’,” Clinton wrote.

The email exchange, first pointed at by El País, an influential newspaper in Spain, came a day after then Secretary Clinton and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden hosted a toast and luncheon in honor of President Calderon at the U.S. State Department.

In her remarks before all three leaders, Clinton touted Mexico as a “friend, partner and neighbor,” whose “futures are intertwined.”

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The newly disclosed email was in reply to a comment by Sullivan highlighting that Calderon was lambasting the U.S. immigration legislation in Arizona while ignoring the fact that Mexican law enforcement officials treated their own undocumented immigrants in much the same way.

“However, like SB1070, officials in the course of official “contact” (i.e. traffic stops, investigations, hot pursuit) are authorized to request proof of migratory status,” Sullivan wrote. “They do this in practice routinely.”

Sullivan continued: “In practice, GoM authorities at all levels engage in exploitative treatment of migrants, primarily Central Americans heading to the U.S. These abuses have been well documented by international human rights groups as well as by multiple documentary and news media reports.

The controversial SB1070 law was eventually overturned after a fierce national debate. It empowered police officers to verify the immigration status of people during a lawful stop if they reasonably suspected they were in the U.S. illegally.

The law, Calderon said that day, “introduces a terrible idea: using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement.”

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