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US-MEXICAN RELATIONS: Mexican President riding for a big fall

I should have made clear that the posting simply quoted Phyllis Schafly, using he title of her article, which referred to the predicament of Fox in Mexico, not to the issue of La Raza. The text of her article may be found at Dwight Peterson forwarded it to me, with a strong expression of approval. Elias Castillo from Mexico goes further:

You might add that Fox failed to explain to his audiences that he has absolutely no power to change U.S. regulations that would grant Mexican illegal aliens legal status in this country. That audience, composed tragically (because of past PRI inattention to education) of persons with less than a third grade education (if that much) is going to be disillusioned with Fox because of their mistaken belief that he holds the power to change their status and is doing (again mistakenly) little to help them. It is a population group (the Mexican immigrants), that can, unfortunately, be easily duped because of their lack of education and understanding of how democracy works.

With his vehement demands to the U.S., Fox is certainly skating on thin ice here and is in danger of loosing his U.S. following as the darling of positive change in Mexico. Obviously, he's already done that by his comments that justifiably angered many. Imagine what Mexico's reaction would be if Bush went to Mexico and spoke to U.S. citizens demanding that Mexico provide laws that would benefit them".

Tim Brown agrees: "Mexico denies to non-Mexican citizens in Mexico, both legal and illegal, virtually every one of the rights Fox is demanding the US give to illegal aliens here. [Unlike Mexico, we already give them to legal resident aliens]. I wonder if Mexico is prepared to offer the same to Central Americans, Haitians, and other illegals, including American citizens who make it into Mexico? [Yes, there really are some American illegals in Mexico, who receive no/no Mexican benefits but must pay cash for everything]. Or is this to be purely one-sided?

As an aside. NAFTA is a free trade area and not common market principally because it does/did not encompass the mobility of labor. If it is now to be changed and admit full labor mobility, under the standard most favored nation clause in other such treaties, if we then negotiate similar agreements with the rest of the hemisphere, we are looking at the free movement of labor into the US market not just of a large portion of Mexico's 90 million people, but also of the 270 million other citizens of hemisphere countries.

I am a very strong supporter of free trade in goods and services, with a free flow of financial assets to balance them. But if tomorrow's "free trade" is to fast become no more than a rhetorical cover phrase for one-worldism, I will have to begin opposing the movement. Until this is clarified, I now believe we should hold off on fast track and on further free trade negotiations in the Americas because the external costs of this sort of "free trade" plus full mobility of labor are far higher than the direct benefits we may derive from such agreements".

A dissenting voice comes from Linda Nyquist, who dislikes Phyllis Schafly: "Her last sentence is offensive. "He [Fox] didn't offer to give us anything in return except poor, uneducated, unemployed Mexicans who can't find jobs in Mexico." These poor, uneducated, unemployed Mexicans are almost exclusively responsible for delivering agricultural products to our tables, cleaning our homes in many urban cities, and doing a significant portion of gardening and landscaping duties in many states. How can anyone make this kind of cruel and insensitive statement in the face of the work performed in this country by undocumented workers? And, incidentally, US business is doing quite well in Mexico, so it isn't true that Mexico offers nothing in return.

Is it not time for all of us to be honest about these Mexican workers? Agriculture, and many other endeavors in this country, cannot function without their labor. Everyone knows this, and yet we do not legalize them. They are forced to work without legal protection and in a kind of "hated" and disrespected position. Yet, if they pulled their forces from the fields, we would find ourselves without any fruits, vegetables, or salads almost immediately. Agribusiness would fold, I am convinced. This is terribly hypocritical of the US. I believe that they should either be granted legal status, or that the government should ensure their return to Mexico (and other countries) and levy severe penalties against employers. Often, these employers are politically conservative. Just look at the politics of Eastern Washington. A very Republican area. Let's see them try to exist minus their undocumented work force".

Ronald Hilton - 8/22/01