Castaneda to Calderon

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on April 16, 2009

Press Obama for the whole enchilada

In a column today in Mexico's Reforma newspaper, former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda writes that President Felipe Calderon should press President Obama not only for a sweeping legalization of illegal aliens but also for a temporary worker program. The column appears as Obama and Calderon are due to meet in Mexico City.

Castaneda observes that despite the recession in the U.S., the famous massive return (of Mexican illegals) hasn't taken place and isn't going to take place, the small decrease in (illegal) flows to the U.S. will be ephemeral, and the number of Mexicans who have lost their jobs in Mexico is reaching alarming proportions.

Drawing on figures from the Mexican Social Security Institute, Castaneda makes the case that his countrymen are going to want more access to the U.S. job market. He reports that 55,984 Mexicans lost their jobs in November, followed by 199,648 in December, 143,813 in January, 62,010 in February, and 20,002 in March. "We are almost at a half million, and it's very possible that by the end of the year, a million Mexicans will have lost the work they had," he writes, making no mention of much larger job losses north of the border.

Castaneda says that Calderon's job is to make the case that "without a temporary (worker) component for the future, legalization alone won't be enough."

If you enjoyed this blog, check out Impatience Mixed with Hope in the Spanish-Language Press and 'If Mexico had had an avalanche of foreigners so large'.