2004 March 05 Friday
Mexican Government Wants US Residents To Have Dual Loyalties
Some have reacted skeptically to Samuel P. Huntington's argument that the huge Mexican immigration presence is creating dual loyalties among people of Mexican descent in the United States.
Well, politicians of Mexican descent in America are turning out to be very fertile ground for the Mexican government as it attempts to increase its influence over American federal, state, and local governments.
The Mexican government is lobbying U.S. lawmakers and civic leaders for amnesty or guest-worker status for millions of illegal aliens now in the United States, working through a coalition of U.S.-based immigration rights associations, Mexican-American organizations and grass-roots Hispanic groups.
This growing political alliance, which also seeks expanded education and health care benefits for Mexican nationals in this country, along with additional programs for labor, community development and access to services, is led by the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, also known as the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior.
The institute plans to bring more than 400 U.S. lawmakers and community leaders of Mexican descent to Mexico City by the end of this year.
As part of that drive for influence in the United States 6 years ago Mexico made it possible for Mexican immigrants to the US and even their US-borne children to hold dual citizenship in the United States and Mexico.
Under a new Mexican law that went into effect last month, naturalized U.S. citizens who were born in Mexico can now apply to retain Mexican nationality.
As many as 7 million naturalized Americans could take advantage of the new law, and so could their U.S.-born children, perhaps doubling the number eligible to hold dual U.S. and Mexican nationality. Never before has the United States had to face a problem of dual loyalties among its citizens of such great magnitude and proximity. Although some other countries -- such as Israel, Colombia and the Dominican Republic also allow dual nationality -- no other nation sends as many immigrants to the United States nor shares a common border. For the first time, millions of U.S. citizens could declare their allegiance to a neighboring country.
Mexican immigrants as a group have far less desire to become US citizens than most other immigrant groups.
Mexican immigrants have been less likely than other immigrants to become American citizens. They have waited an average of twenty-one years, compared to about seven years for other immigrants.
Vicente Fox wants open borders and tens of millions of Mexican citizens living in the United States.
In a television interview in 2000, Mexico's President Vincente Fox made his country's intentions clear concerning the balance of power in the Western Hemisphere:
"I'm talking about a community of North America, an integrated agreement of Canada, the United States, and Mexico in the long term, 20, 30, 40 years from now.
And this means that some of the steps we can take are, for instance, to agree that in five years we will make this convergence on economic variables. That may mean [that] in 10 years we can open up that border when we have reduced the gap in salaries and income."
In other words, his stated long-term goal is the abolition of the border between the US and Mexico.
The US Supreme Court has made it far easier for US citizens to maintain loyalties to other governments.
Anti-American combatants John Walker Lindh, the notorious "American Taliban," and Yaser Esam Hamdi, a citizen of both the United States and Saudi Arabia, were captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But neither Mr. Lindh nor Mr. Hamdi will be stripped of his U.S. citizenship, because in 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that citizenship is an inalienable right that can only be lost if it's voluntarily renounced.
The number of Americans who are also citizens of other countries is soaring. And the growing prospect of U.S. citizens serving in foreign, even antagonistic, armies and governments, and foreign citizens serving in our own army and government and voting in our elections, raises disturbing questions about loyalty and national identity.
Dual citzenship is like believing in two religions at the same time.
Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, also believes Mexican dual citizenship will have a negative impact on the U.S.
"In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, dual citizenship is a 'self-evident
absurdity,'" Krikorian told WND in an interview. "You can no more be a
genuine citizen of two countries than you can adhere to two different
religions at the same time."
Actually, some find it possible to hold contradictory beliefs on subjects that can not be proven and many religious religious beliefs certainly can not be proven. But when it comes to political loyalties contradictions end up getting resolved by specific actions that support one or the other of competing loyalties.
Mexicans are not the only group with divided or questionable loyalties. Most Muslims in the Los Angeles area have more loyalty to another country than they do to the United States.
In one of the few systematic in-depth studies of identifications of Muslim immigrants with their country of origin and the United States, GhaneaBassiri (1997), an Iranian doctoral student at Harvard, found that they are extremely ambivalent about this country. More specifically, GhaneaBassiri found "a significant number of Muslims, particularly immigrant Muslims, do not have close ties or loyalty to the United States." Indeed, his questionnaire showed that 80 percent of his sample of Muslims in Los Angeles and a third of those who had converted to the Muslim religion felt more allegiance to a foreign country than to the United States.
So do you think they're plotting/planning the Reconquista?
Old news. Governments always angle for more power when they can and Mexico is no exception. It's a trifle ironic though when you consider the way PRI treated English speaking enclaves in the early 20th Century. But it's also worth remembering that friendly emigre communities can be a helpful factor in international politics as shown by the way both Turkish-Americans and Greek-Americans went to back for Turkey and Greece when those 2 nations were at war. An ancestor's country is not one's own but it's still an ancestor's country and that will always cause some sentiment. It merely means that we should work hard on assimulation and stopping the "bilingual" lobby among the teachers and make it clear that Mexico's pretensions in this direction will be rejected.
But if we're *really* worried about dual loyalties perhaps we should look into Irish-American funding of the IRA. Hm? :P
But the Irish are far fewer in number, Ireland does not border on the United States, and there are not that many coming in now. Also, the Irish government is not trying to develop millions of dual loyalty US citizens.
How were the Turkish and Greek Americans a helpful factor in international politics? Seems to me that their demands made US foreign policy toward Turkey and Greece more difficult, not less.
If we want to stop Mexico's pretensions we ought to build a wall and let a few decades go by to assimilate the Mexicans who have already come here.
I agree, but the principle that dual citizenship is absurd is not the right principle to go by. The principle must be to ask, what is in America's best interest? The fiction of dual citizenship only causes problems when the two countries are in significant conflict. So it should be on a country-by-country basis. The benefit to America by granting, say, an Israeli dual-citizenship, or allowing an American to also become an Israeli citizen may be different from granting a North Korean dual citizenship.
Andy, there is also the question of scale and of concentration. If there are 10 dual citizens in the entire country it is down in the noise. If there are 10 million then the dynamic changes. Also, if that large number is all tied to the same other country that creates a dynamic that is different than if they are citizens of dozens of different countries. It also matters more if the country borders on the US because then they could argue for secession or for partial rule by the other country.
Randall, the risk of the United States dividing into two or more countries is the biggest risk associated with Mexican immigration (into the United States) in my opinion.
During the 18th century American patriots decided to seek independence from Britain. In the middle or latter part of this century Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in the USA may decide to seek political independence from the USA.
By reducing immigration from Mexico the risk of loosing parts or all of the American Southwest to Mexico or a new Hispanic nation state can be reduced in my opinion.
Some may say that Mexican immigrants are better than Moslem immigrants. However,age 25 to 64 immigrants from the Middle East are much more likely to have a bachelor's or higher degree than age 25 to 64 Mexican immigrants. There are, of course, alternatives to immigration from Mexico and predominately Moslem countries.
I think that non-Mexican ethnic activists can and should say that the current immigration system (a US-Mexico border that is mostly unguarded disproportionately favors Mexican immigrants over immigrants from other countries. Chinese American immigration reformers can say that 1 out of 6 people in the world lives in China. So why should Mexico be allowed to send more immigrants to the United States than China? Chinese American immigration reformers can say that adult Chinese Americans tend to have higher incomes and higher levels of educational attainment than adult Mexican Americans. Indian American immigration reformers can say that 1 out of 6 people in the world lives in India. So why should Mexico be allowed to send more immigrants to the United States than India? Indian American adults tend to have higher incomes and higher levels of educational attainment than Mexican American adults.
Black Americans could say that there are far more black Africans than Mexicans, yet in the US there are more immigrants from Mexico than immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, black American immigration reformers may say that there should be more immigrants from black Africa than from Mexico.
European American could say that there are several hundred million more Europeans than Mexicans, yet in the US there are more immigrants from Mexico than immigrants from Europe. Therefore, European American immigration reformers may say that there should be more immigration from Europe than from Mexico.
Proborders, Regards higher Muslim immigrant incomes: That's probably due to a much larger fraction of them coming here to go to college in the first place. I'm all for tilting immigration policy toward entirely keeping out the high school drop-outs and having preferences for college grads and especially for hard science, math, and engineering grads. That will raise the incomes of the average immigrant dramatically.
Our immigration policy needs to become far more selective. Our current immigration policy is favoring the least able immigrants and as a result we have a large growing recipient class.
Just indulging a pet rant of mine here: and how about the druthers and preferences of people who are already American? Seems to me odd how often the people's preferences in the matter are cited. People will argue that high immiration rates from whatever country are good or bad economically, or for defence, or on this or that principle. What seems to me most important in the matter is the preferences of the people whose country this is. What do they want? And the answer of course is: lower rates of immigration, better assimilation, etc. Every other question seems to me subordinate to that one.
Great posting, BTW. Thanks.
Mexican-American loyalty is continuously questioned by the anti-immigrant (i.e. Mexican) crowd.
Nobody seems to question when a Mexican-American is sent to fight in Iraq for 16 months(like me), or when resident aliens are sent to fight for the United States ... like my dad in Korea or my grandfather in World War 1.
I'm planning on getting dual US-Mexican nationality so I can buy beach front property in Baja California!
I'm a Commissioned Officer in the CA Army National Guard .... does this mean I'm invading Mexico?
Reconquista!?! Give me a break!!!
I personally believe all post have half truth in them. I'm a Mexican by birth, my parents are Mexicans by birth as well. Do Mexican immigrants hardly pursue degrees to better their life condition? Yes. The reason is because the immigrant force himself to better the life conditions of the family that is left behind in Mexico. Majority of the times when an immigrant doesn't know the language don't have other choice but to work whatever is available. Does the average Caucasian stereotype the immigrant as low level educated person? Pretty much yes, Why? Because when a person perceives the working class immigrant as a labor worker it registers as the immigrant having poor or low level of education. But the true of the matter is that there are doctors, lawyers, engineers, bookkeppers, professionals, etc., working in farm fields or construction because that is what they can get at the time. It is difficult or the opportunity to learn english is limited because of false information that if they enroll to college they might be asked for proper ID and that could jepardize their ilegal status.
Are immigrants educated? Now with the help of Mexican-american institutions of all kinds they can provide and explain the rights of the new immigrant. Now you have those professionals going to college and getting certified to exercise their degree. Now you have immigrants going to school to better themselves.
Do immigrants help the economy? A great percentage of the tax payers money that is not claimed in the first quarter of the year comes from immigrants that cannot claim their tax return because they do not have 'papers' or they are working with someones social security number... You cannot blame the immigrants for abusing the system, the system has been abused way before immigrants got here.
The fear that is going on now with the 'Minuteman' proyect is the fear that the government itself impossing to the American people with the war on terror crap with the level of terror going to elevated to high and back to elevated, it confusesses people. Their is no one from Mexico that will do damage to U.S. soil. Mexican immigrants are noble people that want to suceed, go to work for a season and save money so they can build their houses and business and make their Mexican dream come true. People have needs and have to feed their families. Unfortunetly, the mexican government hasn't help to much for its economy and job employment. Those immigrants you typically stereotype as low educated immigrants find the way and still will continue to find a way to cross-over border. People will continue to immigrate regardless of how big or how high you set the wall, trust me, it will never work. The immigrant will go to the U.S. because of the money value to their origen country is so significant. the border of Mexico-US is just an ideology set by paranoid white man. They are afraid it might be taken away, but why? (si nada debes nada temes)...
As I read before on another post, you never question the loyalty of a U.S. resident that goes to war, right? Right then and there you image the Soldier or Sailor as a US Citizen, correct? Well I was once a Resident Alien and joined the Armed Forces. So really, who's war I'm fighting? I personally believe that if EVER there was to be a battle for whatever reason between the U.S. and Mexico.... I can guarantee you that ALL Residents and those who posses dual citizenship will bear arms against those that are attacking the Mexican soil because to them is mother land that saw them give birth to them and their ancesters. Or who knows it could just be the other way around, its just matter of self-interest, Where is my family? What has mexico gave to me? What has the U.S. offer me? Where are my friends? Don't look at only mexican-americans as a 'threat' of national interest in this respect, it could definetely happend as well for someone who's country of origen is being attacked? how is the american-dual citizenship person going to react?
Remember, Nueva España was conquest by Spain and that land was called Aztlan by those people living back then. I really hope that and event like the one mentioned never occurs, but if its unavoidable, U.S. might end up lossing. Remember the number of mexicans in the U.S. as a hole. We are talking of millions. Could this be a reconquista? in the mind of some it will becuase is that land that once was stolen by a stupid battle that the American prides itself of 'El Alamo'. In the end its all stolen. Bad business and decision making by one person, Santa Anna. The people didn't decided. The recentment is there. But all of this is war fiction as we know it, but is present in the ideology and minds of mexican immigrants that the land they are standing now is Mexico (Cali, Texas, Arizona, etc)... so whatever did go around, may come around.
But remember, just because we have a spanish last name or look indian to you doesn't mean we don't sacrifice our lives for this land, we give up a lot to come here and strive to suceed, to become better men. We leave behind families and friends, love ones. For what, so we can put food in our tables, so we can joined the Armed Forces so we can become US citizens for convenience of better jobs. Thats all. Our hearts will always be from once we came.
I suggest people open up their eyes, and pay attention to what is going on in the world today. EDUCATE YOURSELF! I see both sides. The Americans living the American Dream that were born in this country. Also, I see the people who want to take those rights given to us from our 4 fathers away! Read up on the NAFTA project, world government, VERA chip, then you will see how immigration truly effects our country! The info is all on the internet and most can be found on UTube. Check out the Mexican gangs web sites and see that they are recruiting young hispanic American children to join their army, to take down all non-mexicans/mexicans who are against their plan to become a dominate race. Putting an end to whites, blacks, and asian's! Another Nazi Germany! See the amount of crimes in your own back yards & are committed by immigrants in this country! Raping our women, molesting our children, & shooting/slaughtering our people like their cattle! We have enough sick people born here. Are these people so harmless?