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Mexicans who help build Trump wall are ‘traitors,’ top archdiocese says

A painting of Jesus Christ is seen on the wall of a house, next to a section of the border fence separating Mexico and the United States, on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, on March 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Edgard Garrido

A painting of Jesus Christ is seen on the wall of a house, next to a section of the border fence separating Mexico and the United States, on the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, on March 3, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) Mexicans who help build President Donald Trump’s planned border wall would be acting immorally and should be deemed traitors, the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico said, turning up the heat on a simmering dispute over the project.

In a provocative editorial published Sunday (March 26), the country’s biggest archdiocese sought to increase pressure on the government to take a tougher line on companies aiming to profit from the wall, which has strained relations between Trump and the Mexican government.

“Any company intending to invest in the wall of the fanatic Trump would be immoral, but above all, its shareholders and owners should be considered traitors to the homeland,” said the editorial in Desde la fe, the archdiocese’s weekly publication.

On Tuesday, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo warned firms it would not be in their “interests” to participate in the wall. But the editorial accused the government of responding “tepidly” to those eyeing the project for business.

A spokesman for the archdiocese, which centers on Mexico City and is presided over by the country’s foremost Roman Catholic cleric, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, said the editorial represented the views of the diocese.

Trump says he wants to build the wall to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S. southern border. He has pledged that Mexico will pay for the wall, which the Mexican government adamantly says it will not do.

The Desde la fe editorial, which was published online, said the barrier would only feed prejudice and discrimination.

“In practice, signing up for a project that is a serious affront to dignity is shooting yourself in the foot,” it said.

Mexican cement maker Cemex has said it is open to providing quotes to supply raw materials for the wall but will not take part in the bidding process to build it.

Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, another company specializing in construction materials, has also signaled readiness to work on the project.

(Reuters)

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Dave Graham

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Lizbeth Diaz

23 Comments

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  • So the wall allegedly being built to keep out illegal aliens and “protect American jobs” practically requires construction by Mexican companies and workers. The Trump presidency is really doing a number on my irony meter. I may not be able to get it out of the repair shop for another 3+ years.

    Here is a novel idea! How about instead of spending billions of dollars on a boondoggle useless wall on our Southern border which serves no effective purpose, we use that money to do something for Americans which will provide tons of jobs: Repair: general infrastructure, the national power grid, and go through the necessary measures to improve our failing public water supplies.

    Oh wait, that doesn’t attack brown people and may actually provide benefit for the poor and working class. No Republican would ever approve such measures.

  • I have no problem with the edict of the archdiocese of Mexico on that issue. Building Trump’s wall has to be comparable to the Jews forced to build the Roman siege ramp to Masada.

  • Perhaps instead of attacking laborers, many of whom are desperate for a job, any job, in order to survive, They should address their ire where it belongs – on the people who want the wall built in the first place. And the gross economic inequities that force people to accept terrible jobs.

  • To say nothing of the aid it would produce for all Americans, simply by improving the infrastructure, which desperately needs work.

  • This article failed to quote one of the most incendiary passages in the editorial, directed not at potential Mexican contractors, but rather at the U.S. Government [in translation – link if you read Spanish or want to Google translate the whole thing]: http://www.desdelafe.mx/apps/article/templates/?a=7164&z=40

    “…Any deportation, when there is no proven crime and which lacks administrative justification according to law, is a sign of terror, and the wall is a monument of intimidation and silence, xenophobic hatred [used] to silence the voices of poorly paid and ill-treated workers, unprotected families and abused persons; it is a retreat from the noblest longings of mankind, over which much blood has been shed; it is a prelude to the destruction of the values of democracy and social rights.

    The wall represents the domineering of a country which considers itself fine with the manifest destiny to overpower a nationality which it has considered [to be] perverted and corrupt: the Mexican…”

    Additionally, the editorial had this interesting tidbit (where Reuters only mentions two companies): “…We are not dealing with two or three [Mexican companies], but more than 500 companies which seek to obtain good economic slices…”

    And, one more thing: It is not a painting of Jesus in the picture, but rather a painting of Saint Jude the apostle, also known as St. Judas Thaddaeus (or San Judas Tadeo in Spanish), the patron saint of impossible causes, who is depicted as wearing a medallion on the chest with Christ’s image (representing evangelism).

  • The world is a funny place. Who knows where the workers will come from, but I read somewhere that over 90% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies have invested in Mexico. Also, I recall visiting in the state of New Mexico and the Native Americans were using Hispanic workers to build a casino and their Indian Cultural Center…

    I agree with you that we desperately need to work on our national power grid, to say nothing of other infrastructure, not just water, but bridges and roads. Meanwhile, real estate is headed for another bubble and it also looks to be another hot summer…

  • More comparable to the walls Israel builds to keep Palestinians out. Or the wall on Mexico’s southern border to keep immigrants out of their country. Those walls are great, eh?

  • Israel wouldn’t need walls or Iron Dome defenses if their neighbors would just recognize their right to exist. One state, two states, three…none of that matters as long as Palestinians insist that the only good Israel is no Israel. By that standard, Israel treats them better than they would treat Israel if they had the upper hand. As for Mexico, they have universal medical care and social benefits that they cannot afford to just give away for free to people from Central America. As for us, we make our own problems by policies that won’t be fixed by a wall. Birthright citizenship in America should not depend on the dirt you’re born on, but whether or not one or both parents are U.S. Citizens. That would take away one big reason for a wall. We need to pay people a living wage on top of the table. Under-the-table wages are the magnet that draws illegals here and that’s all on the GOP fat cats who want quality work for unfair wages paid under the table.

  • “Birthright citizenship in America should not depend on the dirt you’re
    born on, but whether or not one or both parents are U.S. Citizens.”

    I am going to have to disagree with you on this one little point pretty strenuously. Citizenship by birth (based on being born inside US borders) is a major difference between immigration here and how it is handled in most other countries. Citizenship by birth has been largely successful in integrating immigrant populations within a generation. It gives people born and raised here a stake in full participation in the country.

    Most importantly it avoids creating mutligenerational slums/ghettos common in Western European immigrant communities. People and successive generations born in the country, speak the language, educated in the schools but denied any kind of right or ability to become part of the country in a meaningful way.

  • The Archdiocese of Mexico City should examine how its 500 years of dominance in shaping Central American societies has created a situation where people are desperate to leave their home, cross borders illegally through unsafe terrain and work in the shadows for a life that offers much more physical and economic security compared to Mexico and Central America. The wall is a waste of funds.

    We should provide economic stimulus to Central America to give would be illegal immigrants a better choice in their homes while holding American employers accountable for hiring illegal immigrants and using immigrants to suppress wages and benefits in this country.

  • That is not the common denominator in why we have social integration in America. It’s our inclusive, comprehensive public education system that fully integrates new Americans into American culture, while respecting their home subcultures. European schools start segregating students by ability levels as early as 2nd grade, which puts immigrant kids still learning the language at an immediate educational disadvantage that follows them for the rest of their lives. Tracking and segregating kids by “ability” so young basically puts socially and economically advantaged kids ahead of poorer kids and immigrant kids for their entire lives. That’s why, for all of its faults, our public education system is what makes “Multicultural/Multi-ethnic America possible, not how we become US Citizens.

  • Citizenship by birth avoids the multi generational disenfranchising you see among native born populations of foreign ancestry practically everywhere else. It discourages officially sanctioned discrimination against people born here on the basis of their ancestry.

    As a policy, enshrined by the 14th Amendment, it works and has a long history of success. We do not need to follow policies known for promoting segregation, radicalization and poverty.

    Europeans treat immigrants like crap and have no apparent use for native born people of foreign ancestry.

  • “Europeans treat immigrants like crap and have no apparent use for native born people of foreign ancestry.”

    That problem would not be resolved by changing how birthright citizenship works in those nations. Segregation starts with kindergarten in those nations. It is not a function of “birthright” citizenship. The two things are not related. The provision in the 14th Amendment was created to prevent people already born here from being treated like non-citizens just because their ancestors came here involuntarily as slaves instead of voluntary immigrants. Technically, the 14th Amendment should apply to so-called “dreamer kids” who were brought here involuntarily by their parents, even if their parents entered the U.S. illegally. The dreamer kids are in exactly the same situation as post-Civil War freed slaves and should automatically be considered “naturalized” by growing up here.

    I am not against immigration or open borders but to have open borders we have to change how birthright citizenship occurs. And we have to change our immigration and naturalization laws to be more open, transparent and fair. It has to be a package deal, not piecemeal or it will just make the problem worse. Ideally, any law-abiding person who wants to work, study or live in the US should be able to do so for as long as they choose to, and opt for citizenship as a personal choice, not as a condition of just being here. Once they naturalize, their kids get birthright citizenship through their naturalized parents. But every kid here, regardless of parental status, should be in our comprehensive public schools, unless parents opt for private school or home school. No child’s education should be put on hold by politics.

  • For European countries segregation begins at birth. If you parents or grandparents weren’t somehow made citizens or came here as guest workers or refugees, you will never be considered a full member of that society.

    “That problem would not be resolved by changing how birthright citizenship works in those nations”

    Actually it does change things because those native born people of foreign ancestry become citizens with rights to vote and be represented. They have means of protecting their rights which would be previously unavailable. It’s the reason why “anti-anchor baby” bills die a quick death on the Congress floor.

    It makes no sense that a person born in a country, speaks the language, lives in the culture of a country but denied basic rights as everyone else who has done the same. The US is a country where people leave cultural baggage and the weight of ancestry behind. It’s part of our ethos.

  • You seem to mistake where I come from on the issue. I do not side with anti-immigration groups. I do not propose taking American citizenship away from anyone who now has it by right of being born here as an “anchor baby.” I do think we need to change how that happens in the interest of having open borders. I think that kids who are raised in the United States should be considered “naturalized” by living here during their formative years, regardless of where they were born. Even now, in the United States, children of naturalized citizens are born U.S. citizens. That would not change. All that would change is that their birthright would attach to parents rather than to dirt, as it now is.

    “It makes no sense that a person born in a country, speaks the language, lives in the culture of a country but denied basic rights as everyone else who has done the same.”

    That is NOT my position. You keep conflating what I do say with that wrong idea. I do not support that sort of segregation or denial of human rights in any way, shape or form. It is very egregious for you to assume, again and again, that such would be my position, even when I say that it is not. Since you seem to speak past me and ignore what I do say, I think we need to stop talking. I feel like I am trying to talk to myself on the issue. You sure are not reading or actually considering anything I do say or believe.

  • I understand your position and agree with most of it. Except on this one point. The results of your position are tangible and well documented. You mean well here and I appreciate it. But on this point, there is a long history of this going badly.

    -It makes no sense that a person born in a country, speaks the language, lives in the culture of a country but denied basic rights as everyone else who has done the same.”
    That is NOT my position.

    I understand it is not your intention. But that is what happens under such laws.

    Citizenship by ancestry promotes maltreatment of people of immigrant descent by excluding native born people based on their parentage. It has been used to do so all over the world.

    For example, there are about 3-5 million people in Japan whose grandparents or great grandparents were brought over from Korea and China as slave labor. Their descendants, although speak Japanese, have Japanese names, have no real connection to Korea or China outside of their ancestry. But they will never be considered Japanese. Up until a generation ago, they were not even allowed to attend public schools. It is a population which will never be integrated into the country and is intentionally held at arms length.

  • The problem with that example or any other example like that one is that Japan has a monolithic culture for the most part. If you could cite evidence of that from New Zealand or Australia or any other nation that started out as a colony and has its origins in immigration, then perhaps you might be right. Citing the social rigidity of nations that were formed primarily by either an ethnic or linguistic difference from other similar nations hundreds of years ago does not compare to the American experience. We are a nation of immigrants. Therefore, you need to cite evidence from nations that were also first colonies and then independent nations. India was an independent nation, then a colony, and then an independent nation. While the cast system persists, their government works toward getting rid of it. India has had Sikh prime ministers as well as Hindu ones, showing that previously “untouchable” religious minorities can get ahead in India. The shared oppression of British colonialism helped to break down the cast system and the undemocratic values that went with.

    Here is a current headline from Australia touting the fact that about 24% of the current population was born elsewhere:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/bernard-salt-demographer/australia-is-worlds-most-successful-immigrant-nation/news-story/1b07d0d672e5eb6ba5e8b6630e5e55af
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_nationality_law

    Even so, Australia still has a problem with accepting refugees. They apparently keep uninvited refugees in camps off-shore on neighboring island-nations poor enough to need the cash.

  • Australia and NZ had blatantly racist immigration policies until a generation ago. If you weren’t the white subject of a Commonwealth country, you could not even stay there for extended periods of time. Their current treatment of refugees is downright deplorable. Essentially putting them in offshore Island concentration camps in the pre WWII sense of the term.

    The UK and Canada have naturalization and citizenship policies which are nearly identical to the US, rather than Continental Europe.

  • Funny how Utah Mormonism lost its blatant racism about the same time that New Zealand and Australia did. The current homophobia in Mormonism parallels the same negativity in developing nations where Mormonism seeks to expand, but that’s just a “coincidence.”

  • To change your first sentence from false to true, change “you” to “I.” For all your spot on, often brave comments, I’m surprised you hide behind using “you” here.

  • Homeowners who put locks on their doors and insist strangers “knock” before entering are racist white supremacists.

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