“MEXICO CITY Dec 20, 2005 â€” The Mexican government, angered by a U.S. proposal to extend a wall along the border to keep out migrants, pledged Tuesday to block the plan and organize an international campaign against it.
Facing a growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment north of the border, the Mexican government has taken out ads urging Mexican workers to denounce rights violations in the United States. It also is hiring an American public relations firm to improve its image and counter growing U.S. concerns about immigration.
Mexican President Vicente Fox denounced the U.S. measures, passed by the House of Representatives on Friday, as “shameful” and his foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez, echoed his complaints on Tuesday.
“Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall,” Derbez said.
“What has to be done is to raise a storm of criticism, as is already happening, against this,” he said, promising to turn the international community against the plan.
Some stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border are already marked by fences, but in some heavily-trafficked sections walls have already been erected by the United States, often using 10-foot-high sections of military surplus steel. Those sections, which typically run several miles, can be found in southern Arizona and California.
It’s hard to underestimate the ill-feeling the proposal has generated in Mexico, where editorial pages are dominated by cartoons of Uncle Sam putting up walls bearing anti-Mexican messages.
Many Mexicans, especially those who have spent time working in the U.S., feel the proposal is a slap in the face to those who work hard and contribute to the U.S. economy.”
Is it just me or is there something very very wrong with Vincente Fox. Maybe I am crazy, maybe he is not the president of of Mexico. Oy.
I have mixed feelings about the border issue and immigration but given the current situation I think that we need to establish more security so that we know who is going in and out of here.
I was rather disturbed by some of the following comments, specifically the final quote.
“Many Mexicans, especially those who have spent time working in the U.S., feel the proposal is a slap in the face to those who work hard and contribute to the U.S. economy.
Fernando Robledo, 42, of the western state of Zacatecas, says the proposals could stem migration and disrupt families by breaking cross-border ties.
“When people heard this, it worried everybody, because this will affect everybody in some way, and their families,” Robledo said. “They were incredulous. How could they do this, propose something like this?”
Robledo, whose son and mother are U.S. citizens, predicted the measure “would unleash conflict within the United States” as small businesses fail for lack of workers.
He said many Mexicans felt betrayed by the anti-immigrant sentiment.
“We learned to believe in the United States. We have a binational life,” he said of Zacatecas, a state that has been sending migrants north for more than a century. “It isn’t just a feeling of rejection. It’s against what we see as part of our life, our culture, our territory.”
Ultimately I think that a pluralistic multicultural society is a good thing. There are many hard working immigrants who have helped to make this country what it is, but I am not going to agree with a sentiment in which the US is referred to as Mexican territory as it was by Robledo.
This is just the height of chutzpah.