23 de septiembre de 2007

Taller de Liderazgo American Jewish Comité/IME 23.IX.07

Good evening and welcome to the Mexican Cultural Institute. It is indeed an honor to be with you tonight on occasion of the Second Workshop for Mexican and Mexican American Leaders in Washington, DC. I am particularly pleased that this initiative has spawned a national model to improve the skills of Mexican and Mexican American leaders in advocacy, public relations, outreach, and leadership based on the experience of the Jewish community. I am very familiar with it, since I had the opportunity to start this cooperation agreement with the American Jewish Committee during my tenure as Consul General of Mexico in New York. It is in this regard that I would like to recognize Dina Siegel, Director for Latino Affairs and Latin American relations of the AJC in Washington, DC and Dianne Steinman, President of the New York AJC chapter for their continuous support and vision in maintaining and expanding the ongoing cooperation between our two communities. I wish to also acknowledge the presence of Leni Gonzalez, a former IME counselor and Mr. Cándido Morales, Director of the Institute for the Mexicans Abroad, who have worked tirelessly in the advocacy of the interests of Mexican communities in the United States. We have among us a group of representatives of twelve states for this workshop. They come from all regions of the US and they represent a wide array of areas of social activism. To all of you, who undeniably recognize the importance of better serving the communities you represent, please feel welcome “en ésta su casa”. This Second Workshop for Mexican-American Leaders represents an exceptional opportunity to strengthen the increasing ties between Jewish and Mexican communities in this country, since both communities and their leaders share a common goal: to promote a more plural, tolerant and inclusive society in the United States. The AJC has a vast experience and expertise in advocating for this cause and effectively promoting the interests of the American Jewish community. Given the difficult circumstances that minorities and immigrants currently face in this country, the Mexican community and its emerging leadership must take advantage of this experience, in order to advance their own interests. The Mexican Government will support this endeavor, underscoring that their empowerment across the United States, socially, politically, economically and culturally is the key to their successful insertion into the fabric of American society. I wish to commend the AJC for their openness and disposition to promote an association with the Mexican community, an increasingly active and organized participant in this country’s society. The Mexican government is concerned about the adverse circumstances that our communities, at the present time, are facing in the United States. The lack of political will in certain corridors of Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform has resulted in a vacuum filled by enforcement and the proliferation of anti-immigrant legislation at the local and state levels around the country. As a result of this, the Mexican consular network in the United States will be expanded and will receive more resources than ever for the protection of the rights of Mexican communities. Notwithstanding, President Calderon has stated that comprehensive immigration reform in the US has to start in Mexico. Unless Mexico can trigger economic growth and well paying jobs, even with comprehensive reform, we won't be able to hold onto skilled and motivated people which Mexico needs to grow.

At the same time, and as long as the labor market between our two countries is not regulated, we need to continue promoting the integration of our communities within the American mainstream. Mexico will work towards that goal in association with organizations such as the AJC, to provide Mexicans in the US not only with more and better access to education and health services, but also with better opportunities to fully participate in this society. Now, more than ever, we must underscore a self-evident truth: migrants are not a threat to the security of the US; they are important actors in the fabric of what makes America great. We need to encourage a responsible and intelligent civic engagement of our communities. I am thus sure that this Workshop will greatly contribute to this end. Ladies and gentlemen; The American Jewish Committee is without doubt a true friend of the Latino community. A community, however, that sadly some would like to make invisible today. As Ralph Ellison wrote “I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” This cannot and must not stand for, to quote Ellison again, “America is woven of many strands. I would recognize them and let it so remain. Our fate is to become one, and yet many. This is not prophecy, but description.” Thank you.