The Mexican government is incensed that two of its citizens have been killed at their country’s border with the United States in the past two weeks, apparently in altercations with U.S. Border Patrol agents. In the first incident, on May 31st at the border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, a Mexican migrant died, apparently after being shocked with a stun gun by a border agent. Just last week, a Mexican teenager was shot by a U.S. agent during a rock throwing incident just outside El Paso, Texas.
Mexican officials, including President Felipe Calderon, have been characteristically quick to blame and condemn Washington for the two deaths; in the case of the San Diego incident, accusing the United States of “torturing” the Mexican to death. The United States government, for its part, is doing precisely what it should do — conducting an investigation to determine exactly what happened in both instances.
Mexico’s rush to judgment in blaming the United States, is misplaced. If in fact Mr. Calderon is serious about assigning blame for these unfortunate incidents, he ought to start by looking in a mirror. One of the primary reasons incidents like this occur (not often, but occasionally), is because Mexico and its federal officials actually encourage its citizens to violate American immigration laws, by facilitating their entry into the U.S. and then finding ways to keep them from having to return to their home country. The Mexcian government, for example, issues official identification cards to its citizens who are in the United States without proper immigration papers, so they can open bank accounts, secure credit, and engage in other necessary financial transactions.
Exacerbating the problem is the fact that Mexico’s police and military are among the most corrupt in the world, and often deliberately stymie efforts by U.S. law enforcement to investigate drug and other cross-border criminal activities; including immigration law violations. In fact, according to news accounts, the Mexican federales already are deliberately hampering the FBI’s investigation of the most recent death near El Paso.
If the Mexican government wants someone or something to blame for what’s going on at border crossings between the United States and Mexico, it should start by looking on their side of the border. Of course, this is unlikely to happen. During President Calderon’s most recent visit to Washington, D.C. just last month, he went out of his way to blame the United States for the surge in extreme violence that has infected Mexico in recent months. Obviously it’s much easier to blame the gringos than to start puting your own house in order