Mexican Government Opens More US Offices
The doors didn't open until 8 a.m., but Tania Fernando wanted to make sure she wasn't left out in the rain when Minnesota's long-awaited Mexican consulate began business Monday on St. Paul's East Side.If Mr. Fernando is so enamoured of the Mexican flag, he might consider staying in Mexico. But, of course, placing the Mexican flag on American soil is the thrust of the whole exercise. In California, Mexican government officials are becoming especially bold, which is not surprising given that Washington turns a blind eye to their operation on US soil.
Expecting a packed house, Fernando, 18, and her father arrived at 5 a.m.
Before Monday, Mexican immigrants living in Minnesota often drove to Chicago if they needed consular services. At the consulate there, they could request such documents as passports and official IDs.
Fernando and her father, Ramiro, of Burnsville, made that trip earlier this year.
'Whew, it was a long drive,' Ramiro Fernando said. They made the round trip in one day, as many do.
The Fernandos made their much shorter trip Monday because Tania needed a passport so she could go back to Mexico City before returning to the Twin Cities to attend college.
They were the first ones at the counter Monday morning. To their surprise, the consulate did not look like Chicago's, where hundreds of people and a lot of paperwork can create some grumpy attitudes at times.
With about 30 people waiting quietly behind them and Tania wiggling her knees in excitement, her father looked up at the Mexican flag hanging behind the counter and whispered: 'This is beautiful.'
Responding to comments from two Escondido officials who criticized the consulate's presence at a city-sponsored event, the top Mexican diplomat in San Diego on Tuesday responded by calling their statements irresponsible and misleading.Well, at least one city official had the temerity to criticize a foreign government's officials operating on American soil. To bad, so few American officials have Ms. Gardner's courage.
Luis Cabrera, Mexico's consul-general for San Diego, said that his office had done nothing wrong in setting up a mobile unit at a May 21 Escondido Civic Faire event at Grant Middle School, where Mexican nationals could apply for an identification card known as a matricula consular.
On Monday, City Councilwoman Marie Waldron and Escondido Union School District board President Joan Gardner told the North County Times that allowing the consulate to issue the ID cards at a city-sponsored event on a public campus promoted illegal immigration. Waldron also characterized the cards as easy to forge and an unreliable source of identification.
'It is very common but it's very misleading,' Cabrera said of their comments. 'Issuing these documents has nothing to do with immigration.'
Cabrera added: 'The statements of Ms. Waldron are very superficial and show a great ignorance. Saying our cards are based on fraudulent information is very irresponsible.'
Gardner took her concerns to the City Council last week, prompting Waldron to ask the city staff to investigate who invited the consulate to the annual event. She suggested cutting off city funding for the event if the Mexican agency continues to participate.
Permitting millions of Mexicans to swarm across the border and then refusing to deport them weakens both respect for the law inside the US and the very notion of US sovereignty. Mexico is clearly delighted to acheive this. Apparently US President George W. Bush is too.