Posted by: bklunk | March 25, 2007

There Was This One Time, In Student Council . . .

Back in my high school days, we had this friend who was very bright but not well liked by all the people who imagined he was conceited about his intelligence. Whenever we wanted to make sure a motion would pass in student council we would have him speak on the other side because we knew that many people would line up to oppose whatever he seemed to favor. 

This reminds me of our strategic unpopularity approach. It may be that the harder Calderon pushes immigration reform, the more opposition there will be to reform in the U.S. political system.

By the way, our unpopular friend is now a prominent well-regarded legal scholar who makes guest appearances on Nightline. So it only goes to show you.


After Calderon’s recent talk with President Bush, he has taken on a new strategy for dealing with the immigration issue.  Instead of having immigration at the top of the US and Mexican agenda, Calderon is trying to make the issue of immigration not at the top of the agenda, but further down in importance.  His strategy, desmigratizar, (literally meaning de-immigration) aims at removing immigration from the forefront of the bilateral agenda between the US and Mexico.  Calderon’s top foriegn aid said that in order to evetually get an immigration reform, Mexico must show the US that it is trying to deal with the internal problems, lack of jobs and low standard of living, that have made people migrate to the US.  With his deicison to try and shift the agenda away from immigration reform, Calderon is faced with the challenge of trying to generate more jobs in Mexico and improve social services.  Although he values eventually achieving an immigration program that will help families separated by the border, he has decided to take a slower appraoch from simply trying to get the United States to pass a new reform.  Instead his goal is show that Mexico can deal with its internal problems and maybe lessen the amount of immigrants to the US.  His tools for achieving this are to generate more jobs and improve the standard of living for many Mexicans.  He knows that this will take a long time, and that any immigration reform will probably not be passed within Bush’s last two years of his term, but he is willing to take it slowely.  It will be a huge challenge to suddenly shift the focus away from immigration and turn towards internal problems.  Bush has become very unpopular in Mexico and Latin America as a whole and many Mexicans view the relationship between the two countries as failing.  There will probably be criticism expressed towards Calderon’s new policy as immigration is at the top of the list for everyone in Mexico and for illegal immigrants in the US. 

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