Congressman Moran’s News Commentary: The United States & Mexico

May 1, 2013 6:34 PM2 comments

This week, President Obama will travel to Mexico to visit with President Enrique Peña Nieto, elected to office in December. During his two-day visit, the presidents will discuss a wide range of topics, from expanding our increasingly robust and diverse economic relationship to a host of bilateral, regional and global issues.

Cooperation with Mexico is critical to so many U.S. foreign and domestic goals – from security, counterterrorism and trade to social policies. But our relationship is about more than a set of policies. We share a 2000 mile national boundary, but we also share deep bonds of family and community, and not just along that border.

But some aspects of our cooperation raise questions. Writing in the Washington Post article last weekend, Dana Priest documented the challenges of fighting the criminal cartels that have ravaged Mexico in her article, “U.S. Role at a Crossroads in Mexico’s Intelligence War on Cartels.” While it is clearly in our mutual best interest to attack the cartels in a coordinated way, Mexico’s efforts have coincided with an alarming increase in reports of human rights violations.

That’s why I and my Republican colleague Ted Poe (R-TX) wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry last week in advance of President Obama’s trip to ask that human rights assume a central place in the bilateral relationship between our countries. The 22 Members who joined our letter recognize that progress in trade and economic growth won’t be durable if not accompanied by genuine security for all of Mexico’s citizens.

The previous administration made some progress in an effort to extend protections to human rights defenders. But the Calderon Administration failed to carry through on reforms that would ensure that allegations of rights abuses brought against the Mexican military are heard in civilian courts, while seeing reports of torture by security forces increase by 400 percent.

In the short time President Pena Nieto has been in office, he has affirmed his willingness to defend human rights in Mexico. I think that it is critical that we show him that we share his commitment to strengthening judicial reform.

The stakes are high. In recent years Mexico and the United States have entered a new era of economic cooperation. Since our countries inaugurated the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, bilateral trade has exploded. U.S. foreign investment in Mexico grew more than eight percent in 2011, to over $91 billion. And investments flowing the other way grew far more, by 22 percent, to reach nearly $14 billion. Our increasingly integrated economies will lift more and more Mexicans out of poverty and provide jobs to more Americans.

But the challenge of citizen security and the uneven protection of human rights in Mexico threaten the promise of our economic future. One of the best ways for the United States to help Mexico increase citizen security would be to institute more sensible drug policies in our country. By ending the illegal marketplace for marijuana, the U.S. would divert an estimated $2 billion a year in illicit funding away from narco-gangs in Mexico and help reduce the corresponding flow of firearms from the U.S. that feeds violence in Mexico.

Sadly, these goals may elude us in the current political environment. But that is no reason not to work with our partners in Mexico to strengthen the rule of law, protect the rights of citizens, and end impunity on the part of security forces. By making these aims a central part of the U.S. agenda in Mexico, we are sharing a fundamental value of the American people, and grounding our relationship in a way that truly honors the deep bonds of culture, economy and family that unite us.

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/william.wermuth.9 William Wermuth

    OK people I just sent this to the white house. Yes to the president.
    I am asking all of you to copy and paste it and send it as well.
    We need to do something and soon. Feel free to change it if you want.
    I am also going to send it to my congressmen & senators you can get yours at NumbersUSA.com
    Here is the site to send it in. http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

    Dear President Obama,
    We the people of the United States of America want to know why you want to let even more immigrants into our country.
    We have so many here now legal and illegal, 11 million or more illegals, are here now.

    As we have seen on the news of the Boston bombing that the one brother was being watch by both the FBI and the CIA yet was still here in America illegally. He should have been stop from coming back here from Russia but he wasn’t? Now look what has happen.
    Now there are two others that should have not been here. Azamat Tazhayako and Dias Kadyrbayev both from Kazakhstan and the classmates of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the youngest brother, were both here illegally.
    Yet not the FBI, CIA, DHS or ICE did anything about them being here. WHY?
    It wasn’t like any of them were hiding.

    Now you want to let all these illegals stay here with an amnesty. Many of them are still here on expired visas and green cards, and nothing is being done about them breaking our laws.
    The Gang of Eight Bill would grant 33 million new green cards by 2024.
    Don’t you think we have enough here now that you can’t do anything about?
    What about the American people that is out of work? When do you plan on helping them?

    Isn’t it bad enough that Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland and a few other states are helping these illegals get drivers licenses?
    The bank of America has been helping them, the illegals, for years get bank accounts and credit cards that will help them stay in our country.
    If I go into a BOA I have to show two proofs of ID they (the illegals) don’t. WHY?

    Also now they are making it even easier for them to get on welfare, food stamps, housing and whatever else they can get for free. Just like the Tsarnaev family did/had.
    But they have been doing that for years because social services don’t have to check to see if they are legal or not. Again WHY?

    So when are you going to stop helping them and help the people of the Unite States?
    Why don’t you show the American people that you do care about this country and start getting these illegals out of our country?
    Why don’t you show us that you can and will do something about all these green cards and visa’s and help the American people get their jobs back?
    All you and your democrat friends are doing is making it harder for ICE to do their jobs as well as tearing down and destroying this country.

    I am asking you, NO I am begging you, to please SECURE our borders and send back as many of these illegal immigrants as possible, and cut back on the green cards and visa’s.
    I am sure the FBI, CIA, DHS and ICE have lists of the ones who are still here on expired green cards and visa’s or I am sure there are some other reasons to deport them.

    Sincerely, a very confuse American,

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lincoln.nielson Lincoln Nielson

    When you say, “ask that human rights assume a central place in the bilateral relationship between our countries,” are you suggesting an end to the drug war? Because their is no other option in the interest of human rights.

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