- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2013

Who loves the idea of opening U.S. borders and relaxing immigration policy? Foreign governments do — and embassy officials with several nations are throwing their two cents into Washington, D.C., policy discussions, hoping to influence and shape reform while maintaining diplomatic boundaries.

The Hill reports that Mexico, Ireland and various Central American countries, especially, have been lobbying hard in recent weeks as Congress and the White House hash out immigration reform.

Rep. Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat who favors a more relaxed border policy, said in The Hill report he’s had “conversations over time with a number” of diplomatic officials and welcomed “good ideas.”

He went on, “It’s no hidden secret that it’s important for a lot of these ambassadors and their governments to see comprehensive immigration reform pass,” The Hill reported.

Mexico’s new ambassador to the United States, Eduardo Medina-Mora, said he’s had “a number of meetings with the administration” over immigration and will continue to meet with congressional members in the coming weeks, The Hill reported. And the Salvadoran Embassy has sought information from U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services about the numbers of Central Americans who receive Temporary Protected Status, The Hill reported.

Money is a big driver of the diplomatic interest in shaping U.S. immigration policy. Total remittances to El Salvador in 2010, The Hill reported, was $3.6 billion. For Mexico, it was even higher — at $22.7 billion for 2010, according to The Hill.