Scott Tibbs
blog post
December 19th, 2005

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Is Vicente Fox trying to anger Americans?

The Mexican government blasted proposed restrictions on immigration, saying that the proposal to build a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico is "part of a tendency to criminalize migration with a wall that calls to mind the Berlin Wall."

Vicente Fox and his government might want to study history, because that statement displays an astounding ignorance of it. The Berlin Wall was not designed to keep people out of East Germany, but to keep people in the Communist state. The Iron Curtain existed to trap people behind it, not to keep people out of the Soviet Bloc.

No one is trying to "criminalize migration", and the Mexican government knows it. The United States is and always has been a place for immigrants from all over the world. We take in a tremendous number of people not just from Mexico, but from east Asia, South America, and the Middle East. While I will not deny there is a lot of racism and bigotry out there against immigrants, the official stance of the U.S. government is traditionally to accept immigrants. We are a nation of immigrants.

Securing the Mexican border is not an attempt to stop immigration, but to make sure it is controlled. The fact is that when scores of illegal immigrants flow across our border daily, it indicates that we have a major problem with border security. This is not just an issue of people trying to leave a third world country so they can work hard and make a better life for themselves. There are many people like that and we need more of them. They are an asset to America.

The problem is that our borders are so open that there are innumerable daily opportunities for terrorists to slip across the border. Why should al-Qaeda face the scrutiny that comes with immigrating directly when they can easily slip across the border illegally? The lack of border security could easily enable terrorists, from al-Qaeda to the Earth Liberation Front, to get out of the country.

While I understand Mexico benefits from immigration because of the money immigrants earn here and send back home, but Vicente Fox and his government would be smart to stay silent on the matter. All he is doing is making Americans angry and hurting his cause. The Mexican government is producing a backlash that could very well make restrictions on immigration tighter than they are now.

Border security is primed to be the issue in the 2008 Presidential election, if not the 2006 mid-term elections. The American people are getting more concerned about border security. A look around the Internet reveals just how unhappy many conservatives are with our border policies. The fact that a Republican Congress is working on tighter immigration restrictions when the Republican President has been much more liberal on immigration shows the power this issue has.