Editorial: Calderon’s message, Mexico president’s words ring true, but they must be backed by stronger deeds

Houston Chronicle, 5/22/2010

In case we needed reminding, immigration reform is not a matter of interest to this country only. Mexico has a stake in effective reform, too — and it’s a huge one economically, socially and politically. That much was made clearer during last week’s visit to Washington by Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon.

Calderon said many of the right things about immigration reform during his visit here. Most importantly, he called for cooperation in creating a safe border that is an asset for both countries. That’s what Americans, most of us anyway, want, too. A safe and secure border is the beginning point for any meaningful reform.

But the devil is in Mexico’s ability to back its president’s words with deeds. The track record is not encouraging. The border has been infected with drug dealers who also traffic in murder and mayhem. Some parts of Mexico are in a state of open warfare. Some are under the effective control of the drug lords.

Responsibility for the drug violence plaguing Mexico is shared by this country. It is fueled by the huge appetite for illegal drugs here. Curbing that appetite is an essential element of effective immigration policy just as surely as effectively controlling the border is.

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