Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 25, 2006

Vicente Fox speaks out against a border fence

Filed under: Border Security — by Christian Beckner on January 25, 2006

Mexican President Vicente Fox spoke out on Tuesday against a fence on the US-Mexico border, and indicated that he will try to rally all of Latin America against it:

“What is not resolved by intelligent policies and by leaders is resolved by citizens. That is how the Berlin Wall fell and that is how this wall will fall,” Fox told Reuters. “I hope it isn’t even built because, if it is, it will fall….”

Fox said he was still confident the Senate would knock down the fence proposal and that a guest worker program would be agreed upon this year, but he took another swipe at the “hard liners from the other side” who want tighter border security and no immigration reform.

“It is truly shameful,” said Fox, who has made close ties with Washington and the search for an immigration deal the centrepiece of his foreign policy.

I wrote at the beginning of the month in this post about my mixed feelings on the border fence idea, stating that while I viscerally disliked the idea, I recognized the real benefits of it from a security perspective. I came to the conclusion that I was willing to support a border fence with two conditions: (a) if it was packaged together with a guest worker program and (b) fiscal discipline could be ensured for its construction.

Statements like this one today by Fox (and the quotes in this article) tip me even further into the “build a fence” camp. I feel that way for two key reasons:

First, Fox’s statement reveals the extent to which he doesn’t understand or doesn’t care about the difference between legal and illegal immigration. If the United States puts a fence on the US-Mexican border, it will have no impact on legal immigration. It will only affect illegal immigration, which is the sovereign right of the United States to try to prevent.

Second, comparing a putative US-Mexico wall to the Berlin Wall is an insulting historical analogy to Americans, given the starkly repressive history of the latter wall. If a wall was built on the US-Mexico border, there would still be hundreds of thousands of Mexicans legally crossing into the United States every day. Did hundreds of thousands of East Germans take daytrips into West Berlin and Hanover every day? I didn’t think so.

If Fox really doesn’t want to see a fence built, he should stop blaming the United States. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if his statements in this story really hurt his cause, and get a strong negative reaction in the US media in the next few days. Instead, Fox should focus on getting his own house in order, cracking down on the endemic corruption in parts of the Mexican government and making it easier for honest, hard-working Mexicans to earn a decent living in their own country.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

January 25, 2006 @ 7:26 am

A complete review of U.S. policy towards Mexico and Central America is long overdue. Underestimation of the problems caused by governments in South America, some democratically elected, foreshadow the same in Mexico and Central America. The former INS was charged with developing a plan to deal with MASS IMMIGRATION EMERGENCIES by statute after the MARIEL BOATLIFT EMERGENCY in 1980. The plan was never completed. The U.S. could face the sudden influx of up to 30 million people in the west and southwest when either revolutions or even natural events destroy the ability of governments in Mexico and/or Central America to provide for their citizens. The situation could also just gradually get worse.
Do we really want our policy ending up with drowning Haitian’s and Cubans and machine gunning land border crossers? It seems time to recognize that demographics may dictate a completely new look at this issue with politicians dealing with reality not fiction. The ending of allowing dual citizenship might be a start. The U.S. has adopted economic policies of deindustrializing the economy, what impact does that have on this issue? Ross Perot’s giant sucking sound did not comptemplate CHINA and Mexico and Central America are equally affected. That effect also must be factored in particularly when dealing with countries with geniuine revolutionary traditions such as Mexico. Many estimate that the wealth of Mexico and Central America even now is parked in the U.S.


Comment by Brian

January 26, 2006 @ 11:52 am

I agree with your finally comments. The single biggest problem in Central and South America is corruption. Any free market changes that have been made in these countries are staled or stopped due a predominance of corruption. I have been of the opinion for sometime that Mister Fox poses a greater threat to our country than Kim Il Jong of North Korea. The Hispanic people are very accepting of the rule of law, but those in the oligarchies are uniformly in defiance. It’s time the US brought Mexico’s lack of “house cleaning” into the light of the world stage.


Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Blog Archive » Border madness

January 27, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

[…] And finally, Mexican President Vicente Fox described the proposed border fence as a new “Berlin Wall” in comments to the media in the middle of the week. […]

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