From a statement by John Bailey, professor of government at Georgetown University, to a House Post Office and Civil Service subcommittee on June 18:

While dialogue in the United States about the Mexican situation is both necessary and appropriate, comments made here resonate with special intensity within Mexico. Difficulties in that country lead political elites, who are often skeptical about U.S. motives and intentions, to scrutinize public discussions here even more intently in search of hints about future policies. Their searches are often complicated by our noisy and complex political system, and -- as recent events suggest -- by the impression that some figures in the U.S. government are aggressively attacking Mexico and that a coherent U.S. policy toward that country is lacking.

My point is that public commentary about Mexico itself has consequences for the political situation in that country. My hope is that as U.S. policy makers educate themselves about Mexico they will become aware about how external opinions may influence events.

My basic argument today is that Mexico is going through a difficult political and economic adjustment. . . . That adjustment can be achieved, assuming some degree of skillful leadership and good fortune. The United States can adopt policies that either facilitate or that complicate the adjustment. But this should be kept in mind: The situation is qualitatively different from the past, and external pressures on Mexico may produce results quite different from those intended.