Pope Francis may have aggravated those of his Mexican flock, but for Americans in the Southwest who are not wild about immigration, he may have given them leverage:
On Monday Mexico’s foreign minister, Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña, complained–“with sadness and concern”–that comments recently made by Pope Francis had stigmatzed the Mexican people. The Holy See spokesman was forced to issue a “clarification” of those remarks this morning. So what did Francis say that so wounded the Mexican government?
“Hopefully, we’re in time to avoid ‘Mexicanization,'” the pontiff wrote to an Argentine lawmaker last Saturday. “I’ve been talking with some Mexican bishops, and the situation is terrifying.” Francis was referring to Argentina’s drug problem. According to the UN, Argentina is the third largest exporter of cocaine, after Colombia–and Mexico. The Mexican government was so upset that it hauled in the papal ambassafor to air its grief over Francis’s remarks. It must have come as quite a shock when the papal ambassador informed the foreign minister that Mexico has a calamitous drug-trafficking problem.
Of course, the use of a private message from Pope Francis is inappropriate. But if Pope Francis sees south of the border what American opponents of immigration do, why can’t the popes bishops or the United States immigration agencies?