Presidente Fox's Vision for America

By Denos Marvin
Volume 11, Number 1 (Fall 2000)
Issue theme: "America's porous borders"

On Monday, August l5th, the Washington Post published a report about Mexico's president elect, Vicente Fox, titled 'Fox Seeks New Cooperative Era for N. America.' The report cites Fox, who met with Clinton in August, as being in favor of a European Union (EU) style partnership in North America. (More about this later.) He also put forth in his '90 minute conversation' with the Post reporters several generalizations about our America which I believe are essentially untrue.

President Fox asserts that a new breed of technical engineers is emerging from Mexico's universities and he hopes these engineers could help solve America's severe shortage of engineers and take their place alongside immigrants from India and Bangladesh. Here I find the admirable Mr. Fox, former president of Mexico's Coca-Cola Corporation, to be mouthing typical multi-national corporate propaganda. Reason There is no shortage of born-in-America engineers. During the past eight years the major corporations have sent them packing out the front door by the thousands only to replace them through the backdoor with docile low-wage immigrants who are only too happy to work for half the salary that the fired Americans were receiving. In fact some executives cynically refer to this as the 'two for one policy' - fire one American and get two from Bangladesh for the same price. Of course, all of this takes place with hand wringing and crocodile tears and mournful platitudes about the shortage of American engineers. Shame!

Fox went on to state that the U.S. economy cannot grow at rates of 5 percent or more per year without Mexican labor. For this writer it is hard to understand how the mostly illiterate and totally admirable hard-working Mexican migrants have had anything measurable to do with the past eight years' supply of cheap oil and low interest rates or with the risk capital or the entrepreneurship and hi-tech skills that have presumably brought about this boom.

Fox also said that America is a country built by immigrants. Not so! To expand on the 'built' metaphor one must bear in mind that our America stands upon a foundation built by the settlers of the thirteen British colonies, most of whom were white colonists, spoke English, arrived here with a bundle of rights, and were in no way immigrants in the sense of 'foreigner' as many of us have been led to believe. Contrary to what President Fox apparently believes the most important 'building' in this country was done early on by the Colonials People like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, Daniel Boone et. al., and subsequently by native-born sons and daughters, all of them Americans and all of them of all manner of ancestry, including, of course, many of Hispanic descent. It is the American way of life that attracts immigrants. It is not something they bring with them and 'build' as President Fox and so many Americans have been led to believe.

Now back to what is surely the most far-reaching among Fox's visions for future relations with the U.S. and Canada he proposes that we create a European Union-style partnership in North America in which the U.S. and Canada would help create jobs and raise income levels in Mexico. Its implementation might be great for Mexico and eventually for all the nations of South America and the Caribbean, but would probably cause grave civil and economic problems for the United States. Reason a mainstay of the EU concept is to do away with internal borders and custom posts. That means we would have to surrender control over our borders to allow into our country millions of Mexicans, followed in the ensuing years by millions of other Hispanics, most of whom would be poor and illiterate. This massive migration would take place regardless of the effect it would have upon our health, education and welfare systems, our native labor force and, too, to our increasingly fragile environment. There would be serious changes, also, to our way of life due to the political coalitions that these immigrants will form with the American Left and other political entities.

This writer regards Mr. Fox's recent election to the presidency of Mexico as the best thing that has happened to that country since the early years of the Porfirio Diaz regime. However, what's good for Mexico may not be good for America, though he thinks it would be. Free trade, guest workers, student and other cultural exchanges, a limited amount of screened immigrants - that is indeed good for Mexico and good for America, but do we give up control of our borders in the manner of the EU, there will come upon us a rising tide that will, contrary to the cliché, flood and sink America as we now know and cherish it. Furthermore, one might wonder what Fox meant when on August 5, in Sacramento, CA,. he said 'My obligation is to all Mexicans regardless of where they live' (emphasis mine).

About the author

Denos P. Marvin received his B.A. from Mexico's University of the Americas and his M.A. from Columbia. For 25 years he taught Spanish at Foothill College, California. He does regular op-ed pieces for the Jefferson Post of North Carolina and other writings.