Mexico’s Contradictions Playing U.S. for Fools

Conor Friedersdorf, San Bernadino County Sun (San Bernadino), Jan. 9, 2006

Since the 1910 Mexican Revolution, our neighbor to the south has chosen exactly one leader in a fair election, current President Vicente Fox.

He presides over a nation where disparities of wealth between the working poor and the politically connected corrupt are as disheartening as the 40 percent of citizens living below the poverty line a figure that excludes those millions of poor Mexicans who immigrated to the United States seeking a better life.

The U.S. dollars earned by expatriate Mexicans and sent home as remittances keep hungry families from starving and a dysfunctional country from collapse. It is thus no surprise that President Fox fears a crackdown on illegal immigration. If the United States succeeds in keeping out illegal immigrants, Mexico won’t benefit from a portion of their toil.

It is surprising, however, that Mexican government and media elites demonstrate their nation’s dependence on illegal immigrant-sent remittances not with appeals to good will, but with righteous indignation.

“Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall,” Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez warned.

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What I cannot abide is Mexico’s official pose open borders are a basic human right that only hardhearted, racist Americans would deny notwithstanding their own official policy of ruthlessly patrolling their southern border while maintaining an array of restrictions, and a dearth of free government benefits, for those foreigners who enter Mexico from the north or the south.

The contradiction between word and deed signifies a disingenuousness insult because it means they’re playing us for fools.

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