Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Is Luz Robles Planning to Run for Mexico?:

Mexican Flag Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono /

April 2009.

Luz Robles is already a Utah state senator, having taken office in January.

Her three-year term with the CCIME had ended at the end of December 2008.

Yet in April, now Senator Robles is again in attendance at a CCIME conference in Mexico City.

We now have a bit of a mystery.

If Luz Robles was no longer an advisor in the CCIME and had already become a Utah state senator, why was she attending the April 2009 CCIME conference in Mexico?

One speaker was so pleased to see her that he announced her presence with great exuberance.

Efraín Jiménez, the speaker, acknowledges the dignitaries sitting in front, the assembled CCIME members, and then gushes about Luz Robles:

"Very distinguished colleague and pride of many Mexicans who are abroad, Luz Robles, elected senator by the state of Utah."

("Muy distinguida compañera y orgullo de muchos mexicanos que estamos en el exterior, Luz Robles, senadora electa por el estado de Utah.")

Senator Robles then receives a very warm round of applause from the assembled council.

There is a video of this speech and the part just described on  The acknowledgment occurs at the beginning of the video.  It is difficult to pinpoint Luz Robles in the group in the video, but it pans to the right after the acknowledgment as if the camera-person was trying to get a shot of her.  It is an interesting video because it shows how the meetings for the entire group took place and indicates the chance the advisors had for rubbing elbows, so to speak, with high-level Mexican government officials. 

The video is at:

The speech by Efraín Jiménez is available at:

Senator Robles also appears to have attended a meeting of the Political Affairs Commission of the CCIME in conjunction with the conference.  Her name appears on page 4 of the document below.  She is listed as an observer:

She apparently also attended a Legal Affairs Commission meeting.  Her name and signature appear at the bottom of page 6 of the following document:

Again, what was Senator Luz Robles doing in Mexico at this meeting after having taken office?

Given that Mr. Jiménez was so animated to see Luz Robles, we may find a clue in his speech as to why he was so happy to see her. 

Early in his speech, he says this:

"The Mexicans that [we] are in the exterior do not forget our land, our families, and the achievements that I will mention recognize the commitment that we have to this trans-border Mexican nation."

("Los mexicanos que estamos en el exterior no sabemos olvidar de nuestra tierra, de nuestras familias, y los logros que a continuación menciono dan cuenta del compromiso que tenemos en esta nación mexicana transfronteriza.")

Thinking of oneself as belonging to a nation that crosses borders would naturally lead to the idea that one should retain political rights in the nation one belongs to - even though it is not the nation of residence.

For example, later in his discourse, he makes this statement:

"It is urgent to integrate the Mexicans abroad into the political life of our country and that we are guaranteed the right to vote and to be voted for and that the participation of the migrant sector in national politics in the large and small needs of the country is guaranteed."

"Es urgente integrar a los mexicanos del exterior en la vida política de nuestro país y que se nos garantice
el derecho a votar y ser votados y que se garantice la participación del sector migrante en la política nacional y las grandes y pequeñas necesidades del país."

Mexicans living abroad achieved the right to vote for the President of Mexico and exercised this right for the first time in 2006.  Given this fact, what does Mr. Jiménez have in mind with his statement above?

He adds this: 

"We are 12 million Mexicans abroad who contribute more than 2.5% of the national GDP in remittances, however we have no formal representation (and) that directly knows our needs."

("Somos 12 millones de mexicanas y mexicanos en el exterior que aportamos más del 2.5% del PIB nacional, por concepto de remesas, sin embargo
no contamos con representación formal y que conozca directamente nuestras necesidades.")

Mr. Jiménez then goes on to criticize the major Mexican political parties for not putting forth migrants as candidates, in any significant way, for the Chamber of Deputies (similar to the U.S. House of Representatives). 

The situation at the time seems to have been as follows:

1.  Mexicans abroad could vote for president, but not for other federal offices - unless they were present in Mexico to vote. 

2.  Mexicans abroad could be candidates for the Chamber of Deputies, but only if nominated by a Mexican political party for a seat by specific district or a proportional seat within a larger geographical area called a circumscription.  Mexicans abroad had no representation in the Chamber of Deputies outside of this method. 

3.  A Mexican citizen could hold an elected position in Mexico even though they were actually residing outside of the country. 

If the parties actively denied migrants a place on the candidate lists, they were essentially denied representation. 

The Mexican Chamber of Deputies electoral system is described as follows:

"The Chamber of Deputies is formed by 500 representatives of the nation. All deputies are elected in free universal elections every three years, in parallel voting: 300 deputies are elected in single-seat constituencies by first-past-the-post plurality (called uninominal deputies), and the remaining 200 are elected by the principle of proportional representation (called plurinominal deputies) with closed-party lists for which the country is divided into five constituencies or plurinominal circumscriptions. Deputies cannot be reelected for the next immediate term."  ( 

The nation is divided into five geographic regions for purposes of proportional representation.  A map of these regions is available at:

Mr. Jiménez goes on to state:   

"We want to be recognized and treated as Mexicans with full rights and for this it is imperative to be recognized as citizens who believe in the government institutions. For this it will be necessary that the attitude of our political leaders here in Mexico change, enough slights."

("Queremos ser reconocidos y tratados como mexicanos con derechos plenos y para ello es imprescindible que se nos reconozca como ciudadanos que creen en las instituciones de gobierno. Para ello será necesario, que la actitud de nuestros líderes políticos aquí en México cambie, ya basta de desaires.")

Mr. Jiménez is calling for a change in attitude among the Mexican parties and that they get serious about allowing candidates from abroad. 

How serious is he about the issue?  Very serious. 

For example, in a short article that appeared in a number of sources in Mexico, the following appeared:

"The activist [Jiménez] acknowledged that they will call to not vote on July 5 from the United States for a future legislature that may not have a migrant deputy, unlike the 3 there are now."

("El activista admitió que llamarán a no votar el 5 de julio desde Estados Unidos por una próxima legislatura que quizás no tenga ni un diputado migrante, a diferencia de los 3 que hay ahora.")

A blog entry about the issue included the idea that Jiménez said the parties will not be able to count on their families' votes on June 5 because of the situation ("that they will not have the vote of our families" - "que no cuenten con el voto de nuestras familias" -

Mr. Jiménez seems to be saying, therefore, that immigrant leaders in the United States will call for Mexicans in Mexico to not vote by having immigrants encourage family in Mexico not to vote if the situation is not changed. 

This article is found at:

The article also focuses on the removal of two immigrant candidates from the candidate list of the PRD, one of Mexico's main political parties - a situation that seems to have left only two immigrant candidates with the possibility of being elected to the new legislature. 

If the Mexican political parties will not put forward enough migrant candidates from the United States, what should be done to fix the situation?

A number of ideas for resolving the problem circulated among Mexican leaders in the United States.  These included:

1.  Setting up a cabinet-level department to deal with immigrant issues.  Although not directly addressing the issue of migrant representation, it was seen as a way to give Mexicans abroad a permanent voice in the Mexican government (proposed by Efraín Jiménez in his speech)

2.  Asking the political parties to nominate migrants to be candidates.

3.  Seeking a law to demand a certain number of migrants be candidates.

4.  Creating a Mexican political party in the United States that would represent immigrants. 

5.  Demanding that a certain number of the proportional representatives be set aside for migrant candidates. 

6.  Seek constitutional changes that would make the United States part of a 6th geographical region to be represented in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies and thereby ensure a minimal number of migrant representatives. 

Number two appears to have failed.  It was the subject of the speech by Jiménez and critical comments by other Mexican immigrant leaders. 

At the time of the April 2009 CCIME conference, there appears to have been a move to get the Chamber of Deputies to pass a law making a certain number of immigrant candidates mandatory. 

The article cited above, for example, ends with this paragraph:

"For her part, the Democratic Senator from Utah, Luz Robles, accompanied Quintana and Gerardo Trejo, advisor of the IME for Indianapolis, to the Chamber of Deputies to ask the parties that they pass a law in which is included by obligation a quota of migrant candidates in the 2012 elections."

Por su parte, la senadora demócrata de Utah, Luz Robles, acompañó a Quintana y a Gerardo Trejo, consejero del IME por Indianápolis, a la Cámara de Diputados para pedir a los partidos que aprueben una ley en la cual se incluya por obligación una cuota de candidatos migrantes en las elecciones del 2012.")

Luz Robles? 

Isn't that a rather strange thing for a state senator from the United States to be doing? 

In all fairness, even though the article that mentions Luz Robles going to the Chamber of Deputies appeared in a number of news outlets, it comes from a single source.  To judge the credibility of the claim, therefore, we have to examine the larger context surrounding it. 

First, of course, is the mention of Luz Robles in the article.  The article was written by Federico Campbell Peña, who appears to be a respected and credible journalist.  But even journalists can make mistakes.

Second, the article was widely distributed and ended up in various Mexican news outlets.

Third, we also have as a clue the exuberant welcome given to Luz Robles by Efraín Jiménez in his speech at the CCIME - a welcome that seems to imply that he was glad to see her beyond just being pleasantly surprised - perhaps because she would help in the effort to get more migrant representation that his speech called for. 

Fourth, we also have the odd presence of Luz Robles at the CCIME in the first place.  Why was she there?  Certainly, there could be a variety of reasons and maybe she was in Mexico City or even at the CCIME meeting for more than one purpose.  Even so, fulfilling other purposes would not necessarily conflict with an effort to increase migrant representation in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. 

Fifth, the article also mentions a Gerardo Trejo and says he was an advisor of the CCIME. 

Who is Gerardo Trejo? 

The name "Gerardo" is probably incorrect.  It likely is "Germán Trejo." 

The reasons are as follows: 

a.  He is mentioned in the article as being an advisor of the CCIME.  In both the list of advisors and the profiles for the CCIME for the the groups 2006 - 2008 and 2009 - 2011, there is no Gerardo Trejo listed.  However, there is a Germán Trejo in the 2006 -2008 group. 

b.  The article says he is from Indianapolis.  This is the jurisdiction area listed for Germán Trejo in the directory. 

c.  Germán Trejo has a close relationship with Luz Robles - they both served on the same CCIME commission (political affairs) for a time.  Germán Trejo, you may recall, was also a significant advisor to Luz Robles' state senate campaign - contributing $6,000.00 in in-kind contributions pre-convention in 2008 ( 

d.  The same journalist referred to Germán Trejo as "Gerardo" in a previous article (; an article, incidentally, which places Trejo in Mexico City during the month of April 2009.

e.  But, if Germán Trejo was an advisor for the 2006 - 2008 group, is there any reason to believe he was in Mexico City during the April 2009 CCIME conference and that he attended the conference?

The Commission on Political Affairs of the CCIME held two meetings during the April 2009 conference.  The minutes for these meetings indicate that Germán Trejo was expected to attend the first meeting, but did not make it for some reason.  Mr. Mike Gonzalez tells us that a report of the previous (2006 - 2008) commission's work could not be made at that time because Germán Trejo was not present (  

Incidentally, among a variety of proposed topics for the new commission to work on, a couple of relevant issues for our discussion were outlined:   

1.  "Vote in the exterior, law reform for the vote of the emigrant"  ("Voto en el Extranjero, Reforma de Ley la para el Voto del Emigrante")

2.  "Emigrant representation in Congress"  ("Representation Emigrante en el Congreso")

Luz Robles attended this meeting of the Political Affairs Commission of the CCIME in which the issue of immigrant representation in the Mexican congress was placed on the agenda. 

Although the minutes do not indicate that Luz Robles attended the second meeting of this commission, they do indicate that Germán Trejo did - as several comments are attributed to him.  Luz Robles was possibly attending another commission (Legal Affairs) that was being held at about the same time (  The main work of this second meeting of the Political Affairs Commission was to vote on officers for the commission.  

It is possible that Mr. Trejo was attending the meeting as a "transition advisor," i.e., someone helping with the transition from the previous group of advisors to the new group.  He is mentioned as being a transition advisor at:  He may also have attended in conjunction with his position at LULAC (Chair, LULAC National Immigrant Affairs Commission).  Either, both, or neither may be the case.  In any event, the information above is enough to establish that he attended part of the conference. 

We have now determined that Gerardo Trejo is actually Germán Trejo - a close associate of Luz Robles.  We also know that he was in Mexico in April 2009 and attended at least one commission meeting of the CCIME.

Germán Trejo, according to the Federico Campbell Peña article, was one of those who went to the Chamber of Deputies to push for a migrant deputy quota law. 

Is there other evidence of Mr. Trejo's interest in this goal?

There is. 

One avenue of pressure for immigrant leaders was to attempt to deliver a letter to President Obama during his visit to Mexico City in April 2009 and ask him to not meet with "anti-immigrant" leaders in Mexico, i.e., Mexican politicians who were impeding the goal of migrant representation in the Chamber of Deputies.  A complaint was also made to the National Commission for Human Rights in Mexico.

From an article which discusses the issue:

"Mexican immigrant leaders reported that PAN, PRI and PRD have excluded their community from the national political agenda and from the legislative spaces for proportional representation.
They went to the National Commission of Human Rights to complain about violations of their political rights. They revealed, by way of a letter, a request to U.S. President, Barack Obama, not to meet with anti-immigrant Mexican politicians during his visit to our country."

("Líderes de inmigrantes mexicanos denunciaron que PAN
, PRI y PRD han excluido a su comunidad de la agenda política nacional y de los espacios legislativos de representación proporcional.
Acudieron a la Comision N
acional de los Derechos Humanos para quejarse por violaciones a sus derechos políticos. Ahí revelaron que, por medio de una carta, solicitaron ya al presidente estadunidense, Barack Obama, no se reúna con políticos mexicanos antiinmigrantes durante su visita a nuestro país.")

Germán Trejo was a key figure in this activity as was Fabián Morales:

"At the CNDH, attended Fabián Morales, of the Confederation of Mexican Federations in the Midwest, based in Chicago and which groups about 300 thousand countrymen; and Germán Trejo, of the coordination of immigrant affairs of LULAC, another Hispanic-Latino organization with 250,000 affiliated [people]."

("A la CNDH asistieron Fabián Morales, de la Confederación de Federaciones Mexicanas del Medio Oeste, con sede en Chicago y la cual agrupa alrededor de 300 mil paisanos; y Germán Trejo, de la coordinación de asuntos migratorios de LULA, otra organización hispanolatina con 250 mil afiliados.")

The article can be found at:

The article was significant enough for the CCIME to reproduce part of it and link to it in their "Lazos" for April 14, 2009:

Trejo and Morales, also made their concerns known about the political situation in another article which appeared mid-April:

Germán Trejo was also interviewed sometime in April 2009 - in conjunction with his role in LULAC as chair of the immigrant affairs commission of that organization.   The interview appears to have taken place in Mexico sometime around the anticipated visit of President Obama to Mexico in April 2009.  The interview was done by the Mexican news organization, Reporte Indigo.  In this video, Mr. Trejo takes up the themes of criticizing politicians and parties in Mexico that are impeding immigrant representation.

In the interview, he makes the following interesting comment:

"...I was in teleconferences in the last, the last few weeks with the immigrant leadership, people like Senator Luz Robles, the highest elected immigrant here in the United States, people named by governments to represent the Hispanic community who are immigrants ... with the leaders of the major federations of the major immigrant groups... Efraín Jiménez with the Zacatecanos ... "

("...estaba yo en teleconferencias en las ultimas, las ultimas semanas con el liderazgo inmigrante, gente como la senadora Luz Robles, la inmigrante electa de la mas altagera aqui en los estados unidos, gente nombrada por gobiernos para representar a la comunidad hispana que son inmigrantes...con los lideres de las federaciones mas importantes de los grupos de inmigrantes mas importantes...Efraín Jiménez con los zacatecanos..."

The video (Reporte Indigo - "Ha llegado el momento de decir Ya Basta!") is available at: 

Germán Trejo, the man who is reported to have gone to the Chamber of Deputies with Luz Robles and Javier Quintana to petition for an immigrant candidate quota law, was in teleconferences with Luz Robles and Efraín Jiménez?

If accurate, this would mean that, at some level, Luz Robles was part of this discussion process about the problem of a lack of immigrant representation in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies and of how to correct the situation. 

This would have preceded her presence in Mexico at the CCIME conference in April 2009 and would make the report of her going to the Chamber of Deputies (to promote a law to ensure a minimal representation of immigrants) a very reasonable action, given the larger context of the efforts to ensure immigrant representation in the Mexican legislature. 

Mr. Trejo also mentions Efraín Jiménez as an individual who was part of the process.  Mr.
Jiménez, you may recall, was the speaker at the CCIME conference who made such a fuss about Luz Robles being in attendance and then went on to address the very same themes as Mr. Trejo did in his interview. 
Imagine, a Utah state senator working to ensure that Mexican immigrants in America have representatives in the Mexican legislature. 

If Senator Luz Robles was part of such an effort, it seems massively in conflict with her role as an elected leader in the United States.

So, how did all these efforts turn out?

On August 22, 2009 a working meeting was held of the Political Affairs Commission of the CCIME at the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.  The meeting was outlined in the August 2009 Newsletter of the CCIME and among proposals considered at the meeting, the following was put forth:

"Political rights of Mexicans abroad: it was agreed to support the alliance between the political parties with a presence in the U.S. to promote the political rights of Mexicans abroad; also the modification of the Constitution and the Electoral Law to create the sixth nominal circumscription."

("Derechos políticos de los mexicanos en el exterior: se acordó respaldar la alianza entre los partidos políticos con presencia en EU para promover los derechos políticos de los mexicanos en el extranjero; así como la modificación de la Constitución y la Ley Electoral para crear la sexta circunscripción nominal.")

In attendance at this meeting was Jorge Mújica

Mújica was a new advisor from Chicago on the CCIME in 2009 and was at the Political Affairs Commission meeting in April 2009 - the meeting also attended by Luz Robles - the meeting where immigrant representation was placed on the work agenda.  He also appears to be an associate of Fabián Morales, who was in Mexico in April 2009 and coordinating with Germán Trejo, Luz Robles' close associate, to deliver a letter to President Obama to not-meet with Mexican leaders who were impeding immigrant representation. 

At the Political Affairs Commission of the CCIME meeting held in November 2009 (oddly enough, on Friday the 13th), Jorge Mújica proposes some modifications to a much more detailed proposal that would make the United States part of a new 6th circumscription.

If enacted, this proposal would turn the United States into a geographic area from which Mexicans would elect both deputies and senators on a proportional basis.  The number suggested in the document would be 15 deputies and 5 senators.  Given that most Mexican migrants live in the U.S., most of these deputies and senators would be from the U.S.  Mr. Mújica makes the following comment:

"Jorge Múgica [sic] makes a proposal for reform of the reform. (see the above points)  Of the 500 deputies, 300 are district and 200 are plurinominals [proportional]. It is proposed to add the number of deputies and senators. There is a movement in Mexico to reduce the number of lawmakers. We do not want to add to it but, within the existing number, to make a special allocation of migrants. We want 25 or a fixed number to be determined."

("Jorge Múgica hace una propuesta de la reforma de la reforma. (ver arriba los puntos) De los 500 diputados, 300 son distrito y 200 plurinominales. Se propuso agregar el número de diputados y senadores. Hay un movimiento en México de reducir el número de legisladores. No queremos agregarle sino que dentro del número existente se haga una asignación especial de migrantes. Queremos 25 o un número fijo por determinar.")

The minutes for this meeting and a copy of the more detailed proposal can be accessed at:

Another of the proposals in this detailed document is that a Mexican elected from abroad could not hold a simultaneous position with a foreign government. 

Recall that Fabián Morales was in Mexico in April 2009 with Germán Trejo trying to deliver a letter to Barack Obama about the immigrant representation issue.  It is also likely that Mr. Morales is connected to Jorge Mújica in a significant way.  Mr. Morales was an instrumental figure in the "Movimiento 10 de Marzo" organization, which put together the coalition that led to the massive pro-amnesty march in Chicago on March 10, 2006.  Jorge Mújica was also a key figure in this movement. 

Jorge Mújica and Fabián Morales were also seeking political office in the Chicago area in 2009, along with another figure from the Movimiento 10 de Marzo organization, Omar Lopez.  Omar Lopez was running for a position as a Cook Country commissioner.  Fabián Morales was seeking to become a state representative.  Jorge Mújica was seeking to become a congressman in the Illinois third congressional district. 

Omar Lopez and Fabián Morales were former advisors on the CCIME during the 2006 - 2008 period - at the time Luz Robles and Germán Trejo served. 

Jorge Mújica was a new advisor to the CCIME in 2009.

Let's stop a second and ponder Mr. Mújica's actions and positions:  

Mújica is a significant Mexican immigrant leader.  He was a member of the advisory board, the CCIME, that represented immigrant issues to the Mexican government.  In addition, he was pushing for immigrant representation in the Mexican Congress as part of his work on the CCIME.  These changes would essentially result in the United States becoming a represented geographic area for electing deputies and senators to the Mexican legislature.  Mr. Mújica was doing this while himself seeking to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

This boggles the mind in its brazenness. 

Mr. Mújica lost in the 2010 primary. 

If he had won the primary and gone on to win the general election, we would have had a sitting U.S. congressman who was seeking the right to have Mexican immigrants be elected in the United States to serve in the Mexican legislature on behalf of those immigrants. 

These changes being proposed in 2009 do not appear to have be enacted so far.  A look at the current website seems to indicate that the situation today is the same as it was in 2009.  Mexicans abroad can vote for the Mexican president, but not for other federal offices ( 

It is interesting to note that Mexicans who have dual-nationality can vote for the Mexican president from abroad. 

That would be an interesting question for Senator Robles.  Did she vote in the Mexican presidential election this year (2012) or previously in 2006? 

By way of conclusion:

We see that Luz Robles was mysteriously in Mexico City in April 2009.  She was reported to have gone to the Chamber of Deputies to push for a law to create a quota of migrant legislators.  We also see that in the context of other efforts to push for greater Mexican immigrant representation in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, that her presence, if the report is correct, would have been very reasonably compatible with those efforts. 

It is hard to gauge the role Luz Robles may have played in these efforts.  On the one hand, perhaps she had little or no involvement.  Or, she may have had the involvement outlined here.  Could she have been even more involved in the effort to push for greater immigrant representation?  Difficult to say. 

Perhaps Senator Robles would publicly outline for us exactly what her positions are on this matter and precisely why she traveled to Mexico City in April 2009 and what role she may have played in the efforts described here. 

Is Luz Robles, therefore, planning to run for Congress in Mexico? 

That is also hard to say. 

Right now, it appears to not be possible unless changes are made in the Mexican election system. 

Even if Luz Robles is not interested in serving in Mexico's Chamber of Deputies or had little or no involvement in the efforts to ensure immigrant representation in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, the larger context must be considered.

The fact that efforts were underway to create a representative system for Mexicans in the U.S. within the Mexican governmental structure ought to be something that every American carefully ponder. 

The impacts and challenges to our sovereignty, for instance, and to the idea of assimilation to American society and culture by immigrants would be seriously challenged. 

Note:  This post is a greatly expanded revision of the corresponding section of the "Luz Robles Report" ("Senator Robles Attends the CCIME After Taking Office") - which is available at at:

For More Information about the CCIME:
The CCIME is an advisory board to the Mexican government.  Ms. Robles was part officially part of this board from 2006 -2008.  For more information about the board and Ms. Robles' role within it, please visit the following two sites:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Luz Robles' Mexico Meeting with a Mexican Legislative Commission in February 2007:

The Deseret News reported on February 20, 2007, that several members of a Utah legislative committee walked out of a committee meeting of the Utah House of Representatives the previous day ("Sponsor suspects ID-verificaton bill was quashed by House committee,"  As a result, a quorum was lost and an immigration bill, which would have required businesses doing business with the state to verify the identity of their new employees, was sent back to the Rules Committee.

The bill was sponsored by Representative Stephen Sandstrom (R-Orem).  Rep. Sandstrom, according to the article, felt he had the votes to pass the bill out of committee on that occasion. 

Rep. Sandstrom stated: "The thing that outrages me the most is the state Office of Ethnic Affairs torpedoes this bill."

Why would he think this?

Because, according to Rep. Sandstrom, Luz Robles, the Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs, had been talking to some of the committee members before his bill came up.  Luz Robles stated in the same article that she was merely providing "data" to the lawmakers and that she didn't know why they had left.  She also stated:  "I didn't even know they didn't have a quorum...If they ask for information, even Rep. Sandstrom, we can provide that information." 

Sounds just a bit disingenuous, doesn't it?

Why was she at the committee hearing in the first place?

Different people will see this situation and interpret Ms. Robles' actions differently.  Some will say she intentionally acted to undermine Rep. Sandstrom's bill.  Some will say that she did not. 

Were these alleged actions by Luz Robles merely legislative high jinks? 

Were they acceptable strategies to get the important work done to serve the best interests of Utah and the U.S. as she perceived it?

Or were the alleged actions indicative of a worldview being carried out by Ms. Robles that was not concerned with what was best for the nation as a whole at all - except as it overlapped with what she might really have been after, i.e., what was best for Mexicans living in the U.S., whether legally or illegally?

Would it help to decide this question if it were known that Luz Robles was in Mexico on February 15, 2007 - just four days before the committee meeting mentioned above?

Would it help to know that it is highly likely that, while in Mexico, she met with the Federal Election Institute (Instituto Federal Electoral - IFE) of the Mexican government?

Would it help to know that it is certain that she met, while in Mexico, with members of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies?

Luz Robles, while serving the State of Utah as the Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs, met with Mexican government officials in Mexico just four days before the Utah House committee meeting discussed in the Deseret News article.

Are the meetings in Mexico and the alleged actions of Luz Robles during the committee meeting connected?

In a direct sense, there is no evidence to make such a link.

In the less direct sense, of someone acting out of her personal ideology, the answer is probably yes.

It is reasonable to assume that meeting with Mexican officials and later allegedly sabotaging the legislative process in Utah are in line with Luz Robles' political impulses to advance the goal of accommodating illegal immigrants. 

But is that all she is interested in? 

What were those meetings in Mexico all about?

The Mexican Federal Election Institute (Instituto Federal Electoral or IFE) is an independent and autonomous agency of the Mexican government which oversees federal elections for president and the Mexican legislature, helps to coordinate election policies, and investigates and responds to complaints about elections. 

A key area of work for the CCIME** was to promote the vote for Mexicans living abroad.  This goal was achieved and led to the government creating voting mechanisms for Mexicans abroad to vote in the 2006 Mexican presidential election.  The proposals for the vote for Mexicans living abroad would have passed through the IFE at some point and would also have been an area of continued interest and work for both the IFE and the CCIME (which represents Mexicans living in the exterior).

In a February 20, 2007 bulletin of the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME - #53, "Lazos Voto") a working meeting between IFE officials and members of the Legal Affairs Commission of the CCIME was reported on.  The purpose of the meeting was to ""talk about the gains and challenges of the vote of the Mexicans residing in the exterior" ("dialogar sobre los alcances y retos del voto de los mexicanos residentes en el extranjero").  The information was distributed through the CCIME's "Lazos Voto" e-mail bulletin network.  The bulletins sent through this information network regarding the vote in the exterior are sent at the request of the IFE. 

This particular bulletin can be accessed at:

The document does not list any specific members of this commission of the CCIME who may have been in attendance. 

Would it be reasonable to assume that Luz Robles was at this meeting?

Consider this:  Luz Robles was the coordinator of the very commission of the CCIME that was meeting with the Mexican elections institute. 

While it is certainly possible that Luz Robles may not have been at this meeting, there is additional evidence that makes the assumption that she was at the meeting the stronger assumption to make.

She was in Mexico on the same day as this meeting with the IFE.
This other meeting, which was certainly attended by Luz Robles, was held with members of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the Congress of Mexico (similar to the U.S. House of Representatives). 

This is significant because it shows Ms. Robles meeting with Mexican officials outside of the bi-annual conferences of the CCIME.

The meeting appears to be in conjunction with her role as the Coordinator of the Legal Affairs Commission of the CCIME.

This was also during the time that she was Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs.

The information about the meeting being held comes from a type of log of meetings that can be found at:

The notation is as follows:

"February 15, 2007. Meeting of the Foreign Relations Commission with advisors of the Institute of Mexicans in the Exterior (IME).

A working meeting was held between members of the Foreign Relations Committee and the advisors of the IME Luz Robles, Reyna Polanco and Federico Castelán and the former advisor Roberto de la Rosa.                                                                                                                                                                     In the meeting issues were discussed such as social security funds of the migrants, the rights of the undocumented and the raids against the migrants, among others."
("15 de febrero de 2007. Reunión de la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores con consejeros del Instituto de Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME).

Se llevó a cabo una reunión de trabajo entre miembros de la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores y los consejeros del IME Luz Robles, Reyna Polanco y Federico Castelán, y el ex consejero Roberto de la Rosa. 

                    En la reunión se abordaron temas como los fondos del seguro social de los migrantes, los derechos de los indocumentados y las redadas contra los migrantes, entre otros.")
What was the Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs doing in Mexico discussing these issues with Mexican legislators? 

Does this sound like something in her Utah job description?

Is there more information available about this meeting? 

There certainly is.

There is a transcript of the meeting itself. 

The link to the transcript is not a direct one from another website, but is a pdf file that comes up without a web address to a specific website when accessed.  If you type the following into Google you should be brought to a link that you can open as a pdf file:

IME_15 de Febrero de 2007 - El presidente, diputado Gerardo

Click on the item with the same title on the Google search list (which will possibly bring up only two documents) and you should be able to download the document.

The other route is to use the Google's quick look link below (derived from the Google entry above):,+diputado+Gerardo&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgxYXYFPdN4G0NggO80FPBEcHLkFJBZbsVezBr1vyNae9G6lh8cbUSqDJZtD3sY7zZtE_g82LlJYC0MW4BvWOloh2-6cK4YsVI8lY7OoBYV0PHXicTtjs8N65eEKz7UJ5yUMWYr&sig=AHIEtbTBF2VHQw3j5Aa2_6P0089c45rvLw

The link directly to the article, as derived from the google quick look link, is:,+diputado+Gerardo&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgxYXYFPdN4G0NggO80FPBEcHLkFJBZbsVezBr1vyNae9G6lh8cbUSqDJZtD3sY7zZtE_g82LlJYC0MW4BvWOloh2-6cK4YsVI8lY7OoBYV0PHXicTtjs8N65eEKz7UJ5yUMWYr&sig=AHIEtbTBF2VHQw3j5Aa2_6P0089c45rvLw

When reading this document it is important to recall that Luz Robles is the Coordinator for the Legal Affairs Commission of the CCIME. 

The document makes clear that the meeting was held at the request of Humberto Ballesteros of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Mexico (SRE - Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores), who appears to function as the liaison with the legislative commission of the Chamber of Deputies.  The original entry talking about the participants from the log above mentions only four individuals from the CCIME attending the meeting.  In fact, there were eight individuals: five current advisors of the CCIME, one former advisor of the CCIME, one official of the IME, and the mysterious Javier Rodriguez.

During the meeting, Luz Robles speaks as Coordinator of the Legal Affairs Commission of the CCIME, and asks the others there with her to introduce themselves.  This introductory process begins with Ms. Robles herself. 

She makes this comment: 

"Currently I work with the governor and we have had the opportunity to have a very good relationship between the state of Utah and the government of Mexico since he became governor."

("Actualmente trabajo con el gobernador y hemos tenido la oportunidad de tener muy buena relacion entre el estado de Utah y el gobierno de México desde que él entró como gobernador.")

That governor, of course, was Governor Jon M. Huntsman.

In the exchange below, on page six of the transcript, the deputy president of the legislative commission asks Luz Robles to outline the reasons for the meeting and then another of the CCIME group, who was overlooked in the introductions, introduces himself.

"The Deputy President Gerardo Buganza Salmeron: Okay. Then again let's let Luz Robles make a presentation that [gives] the motivation for this meeting, of the reasons that .... Oh, sorry we missed here--pardon.

Citizen Hector Noriega:  I am Hector Noriega, I am in the Mexican foreign service, an official of the IME, currently deputy director for attention to advisers [of the IME].

The deputy chairman Gerardo Buganza Salmeron: Okay Don Hector, welcome.

The citizen Hector Noriega: Thank you.

Deputy:                              As my colleagues mentioned, we are very happy to be able to be here, as all will realize, ladies and gentlemen deputies are persons who work for the migrant in the United States and I thank you for being here with us also, because it takes a very big effort to be able to come here and leave all your work and your families behind."

("El presidente diputado Gerardo Buganza Salmerón: Muy bien. Entonces nuevamente le dejamos a Luz Robles que nos haga una exposición y motivación de este encuentro, de la razones que…. Ah, nos faltó aquí —perdón.

El ciudadano Héctor Noriega: Yo soy Héctor Noriega, tengo el servicio exterior mexicano, funcionario del IME, actualmente subdirector para atención a consejeros.

El presidente diputado Gerardo Buganza Salmerón: Muy bien don Héctor; bienvenido.

El ciudadano Héctor Noriega: Gracias.

La diputada :                        Como mencionaban los compañeros, estamos muy contentos de poder estar aquí, todos como se podrán dar cuenta, señoras y señores diputados son personalidades que trabajan por el migrante en los Estados Unidos y les agradezco que estén aquí con nosotros también, porque se hace un esfuerzo bien grande para poder venir acá y dejar todo el trabajo y las familias atrás.

The last statement, even though it begins with "La diputada" can only be the words of Luz Robles.  She was given the floor by the deputy president, she is the coordinator of her CCIME commission, and the content clearly flows from the sequence of what just transpired.  The transcriber, from that point on, frequently misses listing the name of who is speaking in the document.  But the words of the section of the document that begins at the end of this exchange are clearly the words of Luz Robles. 

Ms. Robles then proceeds to give an overview of issues that will be discussed by herself and other members of the group during the meeting.  The issues are:

1.  The vote of Mexicans in the exterior.

2.  Immigration reform.

3.  Protection for immigrants, e.g., immigration raids in the U.S.

4.  The rights of Mexican truckers.

5.  Social security benefits for Mexican widows of immigrants.

As part of her lead-in, Luz Robles makes this comment about immigration reform:

"The other point that, I will ask my colleague Reyna to expand upon, is the question of immigration reform. As Mexicans in the United States it is our number one priority. We live not only as Mexicans, but we live the grief of the Mexicans there, that of not being able to have a reform that is comprehensive, that is worthy of humane treatment to anyone."

("El otro punto que, le voy a pedir a la compañera Reyna que amplie, es en la cuestión de la reforma migratoria. Como mexicanos en los Estados Unidos es nuestra prioridad número uno. Nosotros vivimos no nada más como mexicanos, pero vivimos el pesar de los mexicanos allá, el de no poder contar con una reforma que sea integral, que sea digna del trato humano a cualquiera.")

When Luz Robles talks about immigration reform, does she speak as a Mexican who is serving Mexico or as an American citizen who is seeking what is in the best interests of the United States?

As an official of the State of Utah, appointed by Governor Huntsman, did she ever have occasion in her work to address issues that touched upon her relationship with Mexico?  If so, did Luz Robles speak as a Mexican who was serving Mexico or as an American who was seeking what was in the best interests of the United States?

Was it even appropriate for an appointed official of the Utah state government to be meeting with legislators of the Mexican Congress to discuss these issues?

Ms. Robles also briefly mentions the vote for Mexicans in the exterior:

"We believe that logistically it was very difficult to get those votes and many members of our communities felt frustrated by the process. Then one of the things we want to work on is extending that vote, work with the government of Mexico to ensure that that right of Mexicans in the exterior is recognized."

("Creemos que logísticamente era muy difícil conseguir esos votos y muchos miembros de nuestras comunidades se sintieron frustrados de ese proceso. Entonces una de las cosas que queremos trabajar es ampliar ese voto, trabajar con el gobierno de México para asegurarnos que se pueda reconocer ese derecho a los mexicanos en el exterior.")

While serving the State of Utah, as the Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs, Luz Robles was working to strengthen the ties between Mexicans in the United States and Mexico?

Was that in her job description when Governor Jon Huntsman appointed her to her position?

The issue of protection for Mexican immigrants in the U.S. seems to be that the Mexican government, to a large extent through its extensive consular network, should work to protect Mexican immigrants from circumstances of various types that are detrimental to the immigrants.  Luz Robles had this to say on that issue:

"The other is, yes we would like to share with you from the standpoint of protection. We know that the things you can become involved in with United States government are limited, but we fortunately have consulates that have a protection section, but we know they are very limited with the resources that they currently have."

("La otra es, sí nos gustaría compartir con ustedes desde el punto de vista de protección. Sabemos que son limitadas las cosas en las que ustedes pueden involucrarse en el gobierno de Estados Unidos, pero tenemos afortunadamente consulados que tienen una sección de protección, pero sabemos que están muy limitados con los recursos que actualmente tienen.")

She then goes on to mention the December 12, 2006 raids against the Swift Company in 6 states that resulted in 149 Mexicans being detained. 

She then makes this appeal to the deputies:

"We also want to express our concern about the budget in the area of protection and how we can see if that can change, because members of the Consulate do an excellent job, but it is limited; when one begins to think that there are two people to deal with the situation of protection and cover more than 450 thousand Mexicans in an area of half of the country, in the case of the consular jurisdiction of Iota [Iowa], it is almost impossible; then that is another point."

("Queremos también expresar nuestra preocupación en cuanto al presupuesto en el área de protección y cómo podemos ver si eso puede cambiar, porque los miembros del Consulado hacen un trabajo excelente, pero es limitado; cuando uno se pone a pensar que hay dos personas para lidiar con la situación de protección y cubren a más de 450 mil mexicanos en un área de la mitad del país, en el caso de la jurisdicción consultar de Iota [Iowa], es casi imposible; entonces ése es otro punto.")

Luz Robles, as the Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs, is in a meeting with legislators from the Chamber of Deputies of the Mexican government and is asking them to increase the consular budget for protection of Mexicans in the United States?


Moving from this topic Ms. Robles mentions her fellow advisor, Federico [Castelan], who will bring up the topics of truckers' rights and social security for Mexican widows living in Mexico (who lost their husbands while the husbands were working in the U.S.).  It is quite clear that Ms. Robles is describing the U.S. social security system at this point.  The issue will be discussed by Mr. Castelan extensively with the legislators a bit later in the meeting.

Reyna Polanco picks up after Luz Robles in the sequence of presentations and discusses the issue of immigration reform.

Ms. Polanco discusses the "anti-immigrant" climate in the U.S. and the fact that states are creating their own "anti-immigrant" laws.  She also talks of the suffering of the immigrants in the U.S. 

Ms. Polanco then tells the deputies about how the Mexican communities are organizing:

"I think what we are doing now, [the] different organizations, is a very important point:  organizing ourselves to be able to strengthen this comprehensive and fair immigration reform."

("Creo que lo que estamos haciendo ahorita diferentes organizaciones es un punto muy importante: el de organizarnos para poder reforzar esa reforma migratoria comprensiva y justa.")

She ends her presentation with an appeal to the deputies:

"But what we ask is your support, as deputies, as legislators, that you support us and understand the issue that we have as migrants. Thank you very much."

("Pero lo que pedimos nosotros es el apoyo de ustedes, como diputados, como legisladores, para que nos apoyen y comprendan la temática que tenemos como migrantes. Muchas gracias.")

And so it went, presentations were given that covered the five topics outlined by Luz Robles at the beginning of the meeting. 

Some additional issues were raised as well. 

For example, needing a passport for travel was raised by one advisor.  Apparently, the new U.S. laws requiring a passport to re-enter the U.S. created a need for many Mexicans to seek such passports at consulates which are having a tough time keeping up with the demand.  They could travel to Mexico by plane, but could not return by plane without a passport. 

The one individual present with the group who was not apparently connected with the CCIME or the IME was Javier Rodriguez.

Why was he part of the group and who is he?

He helps to solve this little mystery himself when he introduces himself in the meeting:

"Citizen Javier Rodriguez:  My name is Javier Rodríguez, I come from Los Angeles, from the birthplace of the immigrant rights movement in the United States. I come representing the March 25 Coalition, we are the organization that mobilized one million 700 thousand people on March 25 [2006], counted digitally. And we also galvanized the country, mobilized the country for the first national strike for immigration reform and against the criminalization of our immigrant peoples and we are now on the eve, I come here to promote on behalf of the National May 1st Movement the next national strike will be not only on the rights of migrants and immigration reform, but also an effort to stop the war in Iraq; and other demands of the peoples and communities in the United States. Thank you very much."

("El ciudadano Javier Rodríguez: Mi nombre es Javier Rodríguez, vengo de Los Ángeles, de la cuna del movimiento de los derechos de los inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos. Vengo representando a la Colación 25 de Marzo, somos la organización que movilizó un millón 700 mil personas el 25 de marzo, contadas digitalmente. Y nosotros también galvanizamos el país, movilizamos el país hacia el primer paro nacional por la reforma migratoria y en contra de la criminalización de nuestros pueblos migrantes y estamos ahora en vísperas, vengo aquí a promover a nombre del Movimiento Nacional 1º. de Mayo el siguiente paro nacional que va a ser no solamente sobre los derechos de los migrantes y la reforma migratoria, sino también un esfuerzo para parar la guerra en Iraq; y otras demandas de los pueblos y las comunidades en los Estados Unidos. Muchas gracias.")

What an interesting fellow to have at the meeting.

The March 25 Coalition? 

What's that all about?

The March 25 Coalition was the umbrella organization that coordinated efforts to promote the mass pro-immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006 and the follow-up May 1, 2006 Latino walk-outs in Los Angeles.  They also worked to bring about follow-up actions in the following years.  The following description appears to be from a "Media Advisory" from the organization and was posted by the National May 1st Movement organization on the website:
"The March 25 Coalition is the LA based umbrella organization which organized the March 25, 2006 1.7 million Mega March in LA, galvanized the country for the May 1 Great American Boycott and it is a founding member of the May 1 National Movement for Workers and Immigrant Rights, which is a national coalition composed of over 100 organizations which convened the May 1 Great American Boycott II 2007 after a national conference held in Feb 2007 at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.”

Isn't it interesting that Mr. Javier Rodriquez, a representative of the March 25 Coalition, was at this meeting in Mexico?

It would also be very interesting to have Luz Robles give us more information about how he came to be at this meeting and what other discussions may have taken place between Mr. Javier Rodriguez, of the March 25 Coalition, and members of Luz Robles' CCIME commission.

Given that Luz Robles was in Mexico four days prior to the Utah legislative hearing described at the beginning of this section, and given the fact that she was working on the issues outlined above, would it not be reasonable to ask whether or not Luz Robles was acting out of a personally held set of views that seek the best interests of Mexico and Mexicans over the interests of the United States?

**For More Information about the CCIME:

The CCIME is an advisory board to the Mexican government.  Ms. Robles was part officially part of this board from 2006 -2008.  For more information about the board and Ms. Robles' role within it, please visit the following two sites:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Luz Robles' Mexico Speech Before the CCIME, the President of Mexico, and Other Dignitaries on November 14, 2007 (Part Two):

(Part One is available at:

(For more information about the CCIME, please see the links at the end of this post)

This post, along with Part One, represent an extensive revision of the section that covers the speech in the "Luz Robles Report" available at at:

On November 14, 2007, Luz Robles gave a speech in Mexico before the assembled CCIME, various dignitaries, and the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon. 

In her speech, Luz Robles, quite clearly conveys a sense of urgency on two fronts. 

First, she expresses support for the victims of the recent flooding in Tabasco.  However, since this is not the focal point of her speech, it only occupies a brief portion of it at the beginning.

Second, she focuses on the Mexicans who are returning to Mexico.  She specifically mentions deportation.  However, the larger context of returning Mexicans would include those returning because of worsening economic condition in the U.S. as well as those choosing to return due to laws being enacted in Arizona and elsewhere designed to make it tougher for illegal aliens to gain employment.

In this part of her speech, which considers the issue of returning Mexicans and which occupies the greater portion of the speech, she outlines for the President of Mexico, through directly addressing him at times, needed measures that will assist those coming back to Mexico as well as those family members who have never even been to Mexico. 

In these appeals, we see the compassion, empathy, and action-oriented aspects of Ms. Robles. 

Her sense of urgency occurs along with another element implicitly expressed throughout the speech - an identification with Mexico and being Mexican.

For example, in speaking about the victims of the recent flooding in Tabasco, she says:

"It is for me a great honor that I have been given the opportunity to say a few words to you, foremost I join with my other colleagues and co-nationals in giving unconditional support to our brothers and sisters in Tabasco."

("Es para mí un gran honor el que se me haya brindado la oportunidad de dirigirles unas palabras, antes que nada me uno a mis demás compañeros y connacionales para brindarle un apoyo incondicional a nuestros hermanos y hermanas de Tabasco.")

Note her use of the term "co-nationals" in her statement as well as her referring to the Mexicans in Tabasco as "our brothers and sisters."

Indeed, she continues: 

"Thousands of Mexicans in the exterior (we) have united (ourselves) to support them as they face a real tragedy."

("Miles de mexicanos en el exterior nos hemos unido para apoyarlos mientras se enfrentan a una verdadera tragedia.")

She appears here to place herself within in the community of Mexicans in the exterior - an identification which we can all perhaps understand - as she grew up in Mexico and clearly would have an interest in the well-being of her former homeland.

But why add "in the exterior" to the term "Mexicans"? 

"Mexicans in the exterior" implies an identification with Mexico that is primary to other identifications.  It implies that "Mexico" is what unifies Mexicans wherever they may be and that that sense of identity should persist among those who live exterior Mexico. 

Recall that she is giving this speech in Mexico - in front of the President of Mexico and a group of fellow advisors to the CCIME who represent Mexicans living in the United States to the Mexican government. 

The phrasing has a ring of "Mexican first" and "American second" to it and that being exterior to Mexico is not the ideal, but a less-than-ideal situation due to unfortunate conditions that have forced Mexicans to leave the land where they should be and would prefer to be. 

She does not say, for instance:  "As someone who has family and friends in Mexico, I unite with my fellow Americans of Mexican descent and Mexicans who reside in the United States who share connections with Mexico in supporting them as they face a real tragedy." 

The question we must ask, therefore, is whether or not an implicit self-identification with Mexico does not reflect a stronger sense of relationship to her nation of origin rather than to her new nation of citizenship, the United States.  

Such questions are not pleasant ones to ask for Americans. 

We generally assume that immigrants will come to see themselves as Americans first and subordinate their sense of connection to their land of origin to their new American identity.

But if we are to use analysis and reason in place of naivete in our approach to the large influx of immigrants in recent years, we must ask such questions.

Another clue as to how Luz Robles feels about the relation of her nation of adopted citizenship to her former homeland of Mexico can be found in her very next statement in the speech:

"We know that the Mexicans who emigrate to the United States face a wave of discrimination, abuse, and terrible rejection."

("Sabemos que los mexicanos y mexicanas que emigran a los Estados Unidos se enfrentan a una ola de discriminación, abuso y rechazo terrible.")

Luz Robles chose to add the word "abuso" to the text that was actually given (it does not appear on the earlier version) - thus choosing to reinforce the idea of the inflicted torment.

It is presented as a given fact that Mexicans face this horrible scenario when they emigrate to the United States. 

But who is doing all of this?

They are not named.

In the text of candidate Robles' speech, the Mexicans exist in a horrible circumstance within a place where their enemies and tormentors are just assumed to exist, but not named.

Mexico and Mexicans seem very personal.  They are real.  They are concrete. 

The United States, in the speech, is primarily a place, an economy, or perhaps a government. 

Americans, as actual people, on par with Mexicans, are not present in the speech.

It would not be fair to Ms. Robles to read too much into her speech on any one point, given that it was only a speech of a few minutes. 

But, an ethnocentric impulse within the speech is certainly present.

It is, perhaps, this ethnocentric view that permits her to be insulting to the United States. 

There are certainly words that can be found to petition for aid for those in need without insulting one's adopted nation.

One insult, however, was not enough.  Later in the speech, candidate Robles says:

"For the millions of Mexicans who (we) continue in the United States and who (we) currently face an anti-immigrant wave that is reflected in public policies, social and laws that make the life of the Mexican migrant increasingly more difficult, it is imperative that the Mexicans have access to an efficient and fair process to process their identity cards at consulates."

("Para los millones de mexicanos que seguimos en los Estados Unidos y que enfrentamos actualmente una ola anti inmigrante que se ve reflejada en políticas públicas, sociales y leyes que hacen la vida del mexicano migrante cada vez más difícil, es imperativo que los mexicanos tengan acceso a un proceso eficiente y justo al tramitar sus documentos de identidad en los consulados.")

This grammatical construction, where Ms. Robles, uses "seguimos" (we continue) instead of "siguen" (they continue) and "enfrentamos" (we face) instead of "enfrentan" (they face) is very telling here.

Her draft text used different verb forms than the speech as given:

"For the millions of Mexicans who continue in the U.S. and who currently face an anti-immigrant wave..."

("Para los millones de mexicanos que siguen en los EUA, y que enfrentan actualmente una ola anti inmigrante...")

Ms. Robles changed her speech to a grammatical usage which seems to place her among those suffering in the U.S. and reinforces her identification with Mexicans, in this case, with those Mexicans who remain in the U.S. and face this horrible wave of discrimination, etc.

Throwing in a couple of insults directed toward her adopted nation is rather strange behavior for an American citizen speaking to the most important public official in Mexico.  

Indeed, she is doing so while a candidate herself for elected office in the United States.

Another oddity about the speech is the fact that nowhere is there an acknowledgment that the Mexicans who are being deported were actually in the United States illegally. 

They are simply Mexicans. 

We can certainly empathize with those who are being deported.  We can hope for adequate systems in their home country to help address their conditions and so forth. 

But, something is missing from the discussion when the totality of the situation is reduced to a simple formula that seems to be something like this: 

When Mexicans have the need to enter the U.S. to work, the U.S. should simply accommodate them.  To the degree that the U.S. does not, it is an unjust society riddled with racism, which is the only logical explanation for not accepting the Mexicans.  Therefore, deporting Mexicans is seen as a horrible act and those that remain are suffering within such a terrible environment.

Again, if this brief hypothetical formula is part of the reality of the worldview of Ms. Robles, and it appears that that is a possibility given the content of her speech, then it is certainly an ethnocentric view. 

Again, it would be unfair to draw all of this out from a short speech by Ms. Robles and to claim that that is how she sees the relationship of the U.S. and Mexico. 

But, something similar does seem to be the background framework of ideas upon which the speech is built. 

Shifting gears, we also find the following in the speech - continuing from the above quote and adding to it:

"For the millions of Mexicans who (we) continue in the United States and who (we) currently face an anti-immigrant wave that is reflected in public policies, social and laws that make the life of the Mexican migrant increasingly more difficult, it is imperative that the Mexicans have access to an efficient and fair process to process their identity cards at consulates.

"We know that the new requirements for international travel in the United States have dramatically increased the number of people seeking these documents, but the reality is that we totally depend on the consular services to obtain them, so we request of you, that the consulates be ready and have the infrastructure to adequately serve the needs of our co-nationals in the exterior"

"Having to wait five to six months to be able to obtain a passport is, it is really frustrating and inefficient, especially when in many states of the American Union the ability to acquire driving privileges or other benefits that permit the migrant to be able to integrate himself into American society, depend on having these identity documents." [emphasis added]

("Para los millones de mexicanos que seguimos en los Estados Unidos y que enfrentamos actualmente una ola anti inmigrante que se ve reflejada en políticas públicas, sociales y leyes que hacen la vida del mexicano migrante cada vez más difícil, es imperativo que los mexicanos tengan acceso a un proceso eficiente y justo al tramitar sus documentos de identidad en los consulados.

Sabemos que los nuevos requisitos de viajes internacionales en los Estados Unidos han incrementado dramáticamente el número de personas buscando estos documentos, pero la realidad es que dependemos totalmente de los servicios consulares para obtenerlos, por lo que le pedimos, que los consulados estén listos y cuenten con la infraestructura para servir adecuadamente a las necesidades de los connacionales en el exterior.

El tener que esperar de cinco a seis meses para poder obtener un pasaporte es, es realmente frustrante y poco eficiente, sobre todo cuando en muchos estados de la Unión Americana el poder adquirir privilegios de conducir u otros beneficios que permitan al migrante poderse integrar a la sociedad estadounidense, dependan de contar con estos documentos de identidad.") [emphasis added]

A question to think about is: when an immigrant enters the U.S. legally, do they not already have the documents that are needed to integrate themselves into American society?

It would be unfair, perhaps, to try to give an interpretation for this passage with certainty.   

Ms. Robles is clearly addressing the issue of consulates issuing documents to facilitate Mexicans who are returning to Mexico.  Even though she does not give much context beyond deportation for a large number of Mexicans returning, it is reasonable to think that she had more factors in mind than deportations. 

Along with those Mexicans leaving the U.S., she added to the earlier draft of her speech the words, "...or other benefits that permit the migrant to be able to integrate himself into American society..."

Why would candidate Robles add these words?

Ms. Robles' additional words seem directed toward those who are not leaving the U.S., but who have chosen to remain.

Certainly, there are legal experts who can better interpret this passage and understand the legal context of what Ms. Robles is saying and help us to understand it. 

It could be a simple misstatement.  Candidate Robles may also have had some specific situation in mind and the phrasing came out a bit confused and, therefore, misleading.  She could simply misunderstand the situation as well - as this area of law and activity is rather complex.

However, if it is indeed the case, that she was saying what she appears to be saying through implication (that the Mexican consulates should expedite documents to those who did not enter the U.S. legally so that they can integrate themselves into American society), then it would be a highly unethical statement to make and one which should be severely criticized. 

Again, this is a difficult passage to interpret and we should not jump to conclusions. 

Shifting gears again, towards the end of the speech, we find this interesting observation by Ms. Robles:

"Here, in front of you, is found the best example, a group of Mexican leaders that not only help the Mexican community, but are actively involved in the politics of these two countries."

("Aquí, frente a usted, se encuentra el mejor ejemplo, un grupo de líderes mexicanos que no sólo ayudan a la comunidad mexicana, pero activamente participan en la política de estos dos países.")

The "you" in this sentence is referring to the President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, who is sitting on the stand as she speaks.

This is another difficult passage to interpret.  When she says, "but are actively involved in the politics of these two countries," does she mean that there are diverse leaders who are involved in one country or the other?

Or is she saying that the leaders (e.g., the CCIME advisors) are involved in the politics of both countries at the same time?

For example, Ms. Robles, at the time of her speech, had recently left her position as Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs, was a candidate for State Senate, and was active in the CCIME.  Was her own situation an example of what she had in mind?

A clue can be found in her following sentence:

"Here we have selected officials, appointed officials, leaders of different organizations and candidates for political office; they are the future of North America and of the world."

("Aquí tenemos oficiales selectos, oficiales de nombramiento, líderes de diferentes organizaciones y candidatos para puestos políticos; ellos son el futuro de América del Norte y del mundo.")

This statement is just a tad bit grandiose. 

What does she mean by it?

Leaders, who participate in both countries, are the future of North America and of the world?

What does it mean?

By North America, does she mean the United States or all of North America?

These are interesting questions to ponder.

Candidate Robles ends the speech with:

"We reiterate our commitment to you to continue striving to improve the lives of our families and other compatriots in the exterior.  But it is important to have the unconditional support of your government, which we do not doubt we receive.  We want to thank you for your commitment to helping Mexicans all over the world.  Thank you."

("Le reiteramos nuestro compromiso de seguir luchando por mejorar la vida de nuestras familias y demás compatriotas en el exterior.  Pero es importante contar con el apoyo incondicional de su Gobierno, el cual no dudamos en recibir.  Queremos darle las gracias por su compromiso de ayuda a los mexicanos en todas partes del mundo.  Muchas gracias.")

The "you" and "your" in the above statement refer to President Calderon, the President of Mexico, who was sitting on the stand just a few feet from candidate Robles as she spoke these words.

Again, Ms. Robles is displaying a strong identification with being Mexican. 

The odd thing about this passage is, indeed, her appeal for support from President Calderon and her commitment to him to continue to strive to help Mexicans.

Again, it would be unfair to read too much into one speech and to pull out and assign a worldview to Senator Robles based on such limited evidence.

However, the context of the speech itself certainly would call for a very careful choice of words.

Therefore, we should look critically at her speech.

There is much in this short speech to be concerning to citizens of the United States, especially those residing in Utah.

On the one hand, Senator Robles is a very fine person who has a strong drive to serve others based on her humanitarian impulses. 

On the other hand, she seems to create a hierarchy in her discourse of those who are deserving (i.e., Mexicans) and to be immersed in a strong ethnocentric worldview that drives her politics in the direction of implicitly identifying with Mexico and seeing the United States, perhaps, as something that exists to be guided into helping "her" people. 

This is not the view of someone who should be party to immigration policy for Utah. 

For More Information about the CCIME:

The CCIME is an advisory board to the Mexican government.  Ms. Robles was part officially part of this board from 2006 -2008.  For more information about the board and Ms. Robles' role within it, please visit the following two sites: