Ian Smith, The Hill, September 1, 2016
Donald Trump’s impromptu jaunt to Mexico City yesterday was perhaps more timely than people appreciate. Coming up soon is the 10th year anniversary of the Secure Fence Act, the border partition bill voted into law by Congress (only to then be defunded by Congress). Trump’s own plan to erect a fence along the world’s only First and Third-World land border isn’t popular with Mexico’s leadership as seen by former President Vicente Fox’s recent profanity-laden outburst when he was asked about it on U.S. television. Although uncivil, Fox’s eruption wasn’t at all surprising.
More “civil” lines of attack from Mexico against our attempts to regulate immigration are manifold. The country famously distributes manuals to its poor on how to circumvent our borders, praises Obama for his unilateral amnesty programs, and has attacked in court Arizona’s “show me your papers” law (despite the country having one of its own). According to Fox’s former advisor-turned-social commentator, Fredo Arias-King, the reason for the official hostility’s crystal clear: keeping our southern border unregulated allows Mexico’s kleptocratic rulers to get rid of the country’s “surplus” population, relieving them of having to make much-needed domestic reforms. In other words, a continuous outflow maintains the status quo. This “safety valve” effect should give the more conscientious open-borders-pushers pause. What they are advocating for, i.e. an end to immigration enforcement, amnesty and its concomitant “pulling effects”, etc., quite literally works to remove potential protesters off Mexico’s streets and strangles the country’s long-deferred and much needed revolution. Open-borders with Mexico equals social justice postponed.
And, of course, there’s the remittances. When the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize two years ago for its series on foreign governments channelling funds into D.C. think-tanks, it wasn’t surprising that Mexico was caught giving money to a group that specializes in remittance-analysis (it also wasn’t surprising that the NYT failed to mention this in its actual piece; only on a linked-to graph). Rather amazingly, the flow of U.S. dollars into oil-rich Mexico is now the single largest contributor to the country’s GDP. When Fox spoke to a joint session of Congress in 2001, he called these dollar-remitting legal and illegal aliens “national heroes.” But, writes Mexico-based U.S. journalist Robert Joe Stout, “the remittances received by Mexican communities enable the government to curtail expenditures for social and education programs [and these] emigrants cost the government nothing, use none of the country’s public assets and yet contribute 30 percent of their earnings to families in Mexico.” This is what Fox really means by “heroes.”