Stephen R. Kelly, a former U.S. diplomat who served in Mexico from 2004 to 2006, teaches at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

In a scene that would have given Donald Trump heart palpitations, 200 flag-waving Mexican troops breached the U.S. border outside Laredo, Tex., 10 years ago and advanced unopposed up Interstate 35 to San Antonio.

It was the first time a Mexican army had marched on San Antonio since 1836 when Gen. Santa Ana massacred besieged Texas independence fighters at the Alamo.

This time, however, the Mexican soldiers were on a relief mission to feed tens of thousands of homeless and hungry Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Setting up camp at a former Air Force base outside San Antonio, they distributed potable water, medical supplies and 7,000 hot meals a day for the next three weeks.

If this doesn’t sound like the Mexico you’ve been hearing about lately — the one that has been ripping America off, the one that sends rapists and criminals across the border — you might want to consider this little-known gesture of humanity from our abused southern neighbor as you think about Katrina 10 years later.

Perhaps Donald Trump wants to include this act of human kindness in his diatribe against Mexicans.

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5 Thoughts to “Mexico army crosses the border–ten years ago”

  1. Kelly_3406

    This article reminds me of a dog chasing squirrels–the squirrel completely distracts the dog from whatever he was doing.

    It is well and good that the Mexican Army served food and provided assistance to needy US citizens 10 years ago after Katrina, but the unexpected competence of the Mexican Army shows that it probably has the capability to patrol its border and prevent illegal crossings. Despite having this capability, the Mexican government has done very little to contribute to policing its common border with the U.S.

    So in terms of illegal immigration, this act of kindness by the Mexicans is appreciated, but completely irrelevant. It does nothing to counter the argument that the Mexican government is turning a blind eye to criminals and rapists crossing the border illegally into the U.S.

    1. The article was not intended to address illegal immigration. It was a little known story about Katrina on the 10th anniversary of that horrible human tragedy. So often we come to the rescue of other countries in need of humanitarian relief. In this case, Mexico came to ours.

      The only countries I can think of off the top of my head that put military on the border to keep the population from leaving are East Germany and Cuba.

  2. Pat.Herve

    Kelly – can you show me any proposal from Congress to either Bush or Obama to address this issue?

    The only country where I know the local authorities prevented the ones who want to leave from leaving are in North Korea and previously in East Berlin.

    1. I forgot about North Korea! Are the Cubans still shooting people in the water or have they lightened up some now people are speaking to them?

  3. Kelly_3406

    I am not necessarily proposing that anyone be detained. But the border is a no-man’s land largely controlled by the drug cartels. The Mexicans should try to identify known felons and perhaps render aid to crime victims and notify the US when people are detected to be crossing.

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