With Little Movement at State Dept., Chairman Appeals Directly to Mexico to Release Marine
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently called on Secretary of State John Kerry to prioritize the case and put pressure on Mexico to release the Marine.
"We’ve raised these issues. We’re raising them constantly. I raised them with Mexican officials when I was in Mexico," Kerry told CNN on May 28. "We are working on determining whether or not certain evidence that has been presented is meeting the standard that’s necessary to be able to hold that young Marine, and we’re trying to find out exactly what the fact pattern is, but we are working on that."
"We hope to be able to inform the family soon about where we stand with respect to the state of the evidence and what his status will be," he added.
Harf told reporters yesterday that there were no updates. "We’ve remained in touch with the Mexican officials on this," she said.
When asked if the State Department is expediting the effort to bring Tahmooressi home, Harf replied, "We are working very hard to discuss with the Mexican authorities the path forward here."
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) argued last week that the case shows the need for some sort of DMZ along the Mexican border.
"We are not talking about Pakistan or Nigeria or some other third-world country. These are our southern neighbors in Mexico. These are supposed to be people friendly to us. We send billions of jobs -- dollars down there, millions of jobs to Mexico. And we get absolutely nothing in return. In fact, beyond that they jail Marines for no reason and keep them there. So you know, this fully reflects on Mexico, period," Hunter told Fox. "We have done nothing wrong in this country. Andrew has done nothing wrong. This is purely a Mexican problem and it needs to be resolved by Secretary Kerry and the president."
Interstate 5 south takes you directly into the border checkpoint lanes unless you take the last exit in the U.S. to Camino de la Plaza, an area with duty-free shops and parking lots where visitors to Tijuana often park and walk across the border. Signs along I-5 warn that guns are illegal in Mexico, and yellow signage warns of the last exit to remain in the U.S.
"Obviously, now, what we need between Mexico and the United States is some kind of demilitarized zone to where, when you first hit the Mexican federals, you are not in Mexican territory. So you can say, wait a minute, I didn't mean to be here. I have guns, I'm not trying to take them into Mexico. I missed the last exit, please let me go. And they then have to let you go," Hunter said.
"That's what we need on the border, obviously. If Mexico is going to be a bad neighbor, then we need to have some kind of neutral zone where accidents like this don't happen and the Mexican government can't take advantage of young Americans."