Just a month after his visit to California where he arrogantly declared that the United States is the “other Mexico,” Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spent four whirlwind days in New York.
First, he met with UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. Then, later the same day, Pena Nieto and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio met to speak about how the city can better assimilate its growing Mexican population. During his stay, Pena Nieto also addressed the Economic Club of New York where he lobbied for amnesty, participated in the UN’s climate change panel discussion, spoke to the Council of Foreign Relations, and received the World Statesman Award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.
The World Statesman Award! That’s hardly the honor to bestow on the Mexican president who could, but refuses to, order the long overdue release of Andrew Tahmooressi, a U.S. marine veteran who was arrested by Mexican authorities on March 31.
Pena Nieto isn’t the only president who refuses to act. Although the House of Representatives introduced a resolution which urged Mexico to promptly release the former U.S. sergeant so he could receive medical treatment in the U.S. for his post-traumatic stress disorder, the White House won’t budge.
In his response to a reporter’s direct question that asked when President Obama might call Pena Nieto to intervene on behalf of Tahmooressi, press secretary Josh Earnest marginalized the inquiry and deflected responsibility to the State Department.
Let’s be candid. Obama could easily get Tahmooressi back home by picking up the phone. In the unlikely event that Pena Nieto refuses, Obama could threaten to withhold aid or to tax remittances until Tahmooressi is freed.
Doing nothing gives the impression that Mexico has its way with the U.S., not only on immigration, but also international relations.