(Previous articles the same reader
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OpinionJournal unFathers America)
Unlike the Americans, Mexican president Vicente Fox Quesada has a plan for the US/Mexican border. He means to eliminate it. In the absence of any rational American response, Mexico may succeed in imposing an open border on a paralyzed U.S. More than most Americans realize, Mexico already has.
Vicente Fox's grand ambitions are published in a five year plan, the Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2001-2006, recently presented to Mexico's Congress.
The Fox Plan is written in a Spanish that combines the turgidity of United Nations and European Union proclamations with Wall Street corporatist buzz-words. Most of it is the usual soft-socialist stuff governments everywhere peddle, real democracy, universal prosperity, no corruption, a clean environment, a greater role in society for women and minorities. (In Mexico that means full-blooded Indians; the racial status gap between the Spanish oligarchy and the mass of mestizos who are the majority of Mexicans being, as always, unmentioned). In the year 2025, Mexico is to be a proud, first-world nation, respected and listened to on the world scene, with her population stabilized at between 130 and 150 million (today it is about 100 million). Until the blessed day arrives, however, Mexico wants her gringo safety valve to the north.
Where the Fox Plan is unusual, and where Americans should take heed, is in its discussion of emigration and the role of the Mexican government in the lives of Mexicans abroad. That proposed role is interventionist in a way that can only be achieved by encroaching on the sovereignty of any country that plays host to very many Mexicans.
There is, of course, only one such country.
The Plan asserts Mexico's determination to act aggressively on behalf of Mexicans abroad, no matter what their legal status in their host countries. Fox's predecessor, Ernesto Zedillo, spoke of a Greater Mexico [VDARE: Some American academics seem to actually like the idea] consisting of all Mexicans, within Mexico's current (temporary?) borders and without. Vicente Fox wants to make that claim reality.
The Mexican government "has accepted the challenge of serving the 100 million Mexicans who now live in Mexico and the more than 18 million who live abroad", proclaims the Plan. (Section 3.2., page 19). Noting that the number of Mexicans who live in the United States has increased more than 10-fold since 1970 (Section 4.2., page 43) the Plan states that the intention to modernize the registration of Mexico's residents and her citizens abroad. (Section 4.7., page 59) Mexico has never before attempted systematically to keep track of expatriates.
One of five strategic objectives of Mexico's foreign policy is stated to be to "strengthen our ability to protect and defend the rights of all Mexicans abroad." (Section 4.8., page 60)
The Plan is not talking about tourists in Paris.
Fox commits Mexico to a far larger consular presence in the United States, as well as to greater participation in multilateral organizations to promote "common positions on issues of national interest, such as the subject of migration".
We can expect the United States to be pilloried in international organizations by Mexico and other third-world countries for the "human rights violation" of not allowing their populations freely to swamp our country.
In the subsection entitled "Defense of Mexicans Abroad" the Plan gets specific about what Mexico demands of us with respect to the millions of Mexicans now living, illegally as well as legally, in the United States:
It is important to note that even if Mexico has achieved a number of agreements and mechanisms to ensure better treatment of our countrymen abroad, the issue of migration, especially in the United States, needs a new focus over the long term to permit the movement and residence of Mexican nationals to be safe, comfortable, legal and orderly, and the attitude of police persecution of this phenomenon must be abandoned and it must be perceived as a labor and social phenomenon. This requires a complete negotiation that strikes at the structural roots of [migration], its manifestations and consequences, and that considers migration a shared responsibility. (Section 4.8., page 61 [emphasis added])In a subsequent chapter, portentously entitled "Order and Respect", the Plan discusses (not very) specific actions that the government will take to improve Mexicans' lives. The northern border is mentioned as a potential breeding ground of crime; it should be clear, however, that smuggling Mexicans across it is not a real crime in Mexican eyes. (Section 7.3.1, page 130) The Plan even acknowledges that foreign migrants, legal and illegal, are often mistreated in Mexico. Illegal aliens in Mexico are now to be accorded greater solicitude than before (Section 7.3.1, page 131).
However, in contrast to what the Plan demands for Mexicans illegally in the United States, those illegally in Mexico should have no expectation of being allowed to remain. (The fact that most illegal aliens in Mexico are Central Americans in transit to the United States is left unsaid. In reality, Mexico's major incentive to control illegal entry across its southern border is to reduce job competition for Mexicans crossing the northern border.)
Among the specific strategies listed in Order and Respect, under the rubric "Defense of National Independence, Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity", one finds the following:
Make Mexican sovereign decisions with respect to migratory flow and movement count, and offer and demand decent treatment for our countrymen who travel or reside abroad.So what does the Fox Plan mean for the United States? The Mexican government is now on record, in an executive plan submitted by its President to Congress, about the duties owed to Mexicans, not only by the Mexican government but by the United States.
Encourage a long-term international migration policy …, with other nations and international organizations, that defends the rights of Mexicans abroad and strengthens their sense of belonging [to Mexico, that is]. Play an active role in ensuring the labor rights of our countrymen [abroad], in the context of international competition.
Devise and implement government programs to recognize and value the contributions that migrants make, as much in the societies that receive them as in their societies of origin, insisting on full respect for their rights during their transit to and from Mexico. At the same time, raise the quality and efficiency of migration services. (Section 7.3.1(g), page 132) [emphases added]
We are to accept Mexicans without restriction, treat them with deference, and be grateful for their contributions to America (whatever they may be).
We are to consider ourselves at least as responsible for the health, education and welfare of itinerant Mexicans among us, legally or not, as is the Mexican government.
We are to embrace as many Mexicans as want to come, and accept that their government will be increasingly active in our country reinforcing their Mexicanismo and speeding the path to Mexico of any dollars they acquire here.
We are to welcome, in a way unprecedented in our history, a huge population of dual nationals, with absolutely no reason to believe that their primary loyalty is to the United States.
Democrats, who want to abolish the historic United States and replace it with a multicultural gumbo of squabbling ethnic groups that their party can dominate, welcome the increasing Mexicanization of America. Republicans, paralyzed by the fear of being called racist and their misguided belief that they may somehow attract a majority of Hispanic votes, are unlikely to resist the Plan's challenge - if they understand it in the first place, which is doubtful.
Indeed, President Fox and his advisers are already reaping the fruits envisaged by the Plan. They have appointed as special liaison to Mexicans abroad a man who is a case study of the hazards to America of tolerating dual citizenship.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas to an American mother and a father from Guanajuato, light-haired, blue-eyed Juan Hernández traded his job running the Mexican-American studies program at the University of Texas-Dallas for a more exciting post in the Mexican cabinet selling Americans the idea that all Mexicans are good, and the more Mexicans the better.
Interviewed in Mexico City, Hernandez said recently:
I think these Mexicans who are crossing the border to the United States, legally or illegally, are the new American pioneers. These are wonderful people. They would not be risking their lives for better jobs if they were not. (The Boston Globe, MEXICO OFFICIAL PUSHES POSITIVE IMAGE OF MIGRATION June 13, 2001[Pay archive])Since taking his new job, Hernandez has been lobbying hard for full amnesty for all Mexicans already in the United States illegally and for guest-worker programs to export still more Mexicans to the United States. He spins Fox's proposals as a "win-win" for both countries, claiming that they are not simply a safety valve for Mexico and that American acquiescence would alleviate most problems at the border.
Hernández claims that his real task is to create opportunities in Mexico so that Mexicans will not have to emigrate for work. But in the here and now, his focus is firmly on getting a good deal from the gringos for as many Mexicans as can get over the border. He has already cut deals with banks to make it easier for illegal aliens to send dollars to Mexico, politicked with U.S. states to get them to issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens (with depressing success), defended the Mexican government's proposal to issue desert survival kits to prospective illegal entrants, and urged Mexican-Americans to involve themselves in Mexican local politics and invest their dollars in the destitute villages they abandoned.
Recently, through Hernández, the Mexican government signed an agreement with LULAC to work together on issues of interest to Mexicans in the United States. High on the list, of course, is the continued wrecking of American immigration laws and their enforcement.
This formal political pact between a sovereign foreign government and a domestic American special interest group has drawn not a peep from any U.S. official.
The Fox Plan contains many good ideas for Mexican reform. Americans should wish Vicente Fox success in implementing domestic reforms. But they should vigorously question the ultimate benefit to Mexico of allowing her heartland to be bled dry by emigration to the United States:
It is clearly in our interest for our most populous neighbor to become wealthier (and less corrupt.)But what we are not obliged to do, and cannot permit any foreign government to demand, is absorb unlimited numbers of any country's excess population. Americans alone must determine what the United States should be—and, yes, that includes our country's ethnic and linguistic makeup.
Meanwhile, Juan Hernández is supremely confident, even cocky, in recent U.S. op-eds and television appearances. On June 7th, in USA Today, he said what is all too obvious to anyone who will pay attention:
"Mexico knows where it wants to go even more clearly than the United States knows where it wants to go."That evening, on Nightline, he made it even clearer for us:
"We are betting that the Mexican-American population in the United States ... will think Mexico first."July 13, 2001