Did you happen to see the joint presser today, with Calderon, Obama, and Harper? I should know better, high blood pressure inducing...but I did see it.
As we knew he would, Harper again bashed our Immigration/Refugee system and suggested that the problem had nothing to do with Mexico, but was a Canadian problem. He said something like, ' Canadian refugee laws encourage bogus claims. In the absence of legislative change, a Visa requirement was the only way to fix it'.
That he said this is not a surprise, but consider his words for a moment. He is on a world stage, announcing that we have bad laws that literally encourage bogus refugees claimants, and this problem can only be fixed in parliament.
So, what the hell has he been doing for almost 4 years? It's not as if this is a new problem. In fact, there was an article in March that referred to it:
Interestingly, the largest number of refugee claimants in Canada now comes from Mexico and there are now concerns over illegal Mexican immigration here as well.
It went on to say:
Either way, Canada should be paying more attention to Mexico, not wishing it would somehow go away.
Filipe Calderon didn't mince words. He responded that this issue is serious and has made what should be a strong relationship difficult. Very telling that.
Here's the point though. On more than one occasion, this government has not thought through the consequences of their actions. Like adolescents they seem to only be able to see what is in front of them and dismiss future fall out.
I have no doubt that the bureaucrats warned them, but I also have no reason to doubt that they ignored the advice as we know they are wont to do.
Here's an example of the fall out from this ill conceived policy.
I am a Canadian citizen, born to a Mexican mother, and have been sending kids from Mexico to Canada, to the Victoria and Calgary school districts, for many years. This surprising visa issue has been devastating, and yet most Mexicans have been more than gracious about it.
Our work of an entire year, to enhance the Canadian and Mexican public school systems not only economically but with the thousands of pesos Mexicans spend to study in the system and the resulting cultural advantages, has been severely affected. I am appalled and embarrassed at the handling of this situation. The very least they could have done was give them enough notice to be able to graciously and calmly get their documents together and have a choice of sending them or appearing at the embassy to apply.
Is it really too much to ask that our government think before it takes action?
I won't quibble that our system needs fixing as they say, but watching this gang who can't shoot straight, has gone beyond being embarrassing.
A Prime Minister is charged with protecting our interests abroad and improving them at home, not mocking them, but we know that's his comfort zone, don't we?
Update - One Mexican's personal experience.