It what should come as no surprise, President Vicente Fox of Mexico complained bitterly about new U.S. immigration laws yesterday.
Said Fox: "We will present a firm and formal complaint against this policy. We will always defend our countrymen and their human rights." Since when does denying an illegal immigrant a drivers license constitute a violation of their human rights? And does anyone else see the irony in calling illegal immigrants "countrymen"? Wake up Vicente, these people are leaving Mexico like bats out of hell - I don't think the word "countrymen" applies.
Said Mexican Interior Minister Santiago Creel, "Building barriers is not the sign of a good neighbor." Excuse me? We educate your "countrymen", we provide them free healthcare, their children automatically jump to the head of the class for college admissions. On the other hand, our children go to Mexico to play soccer and are greeted with chants of "Osama" and flag burnings. And this guy has the gall to claim we're not good neighbors? Who would he prefer - Syria? Sudan? Russia?
The fundamental problem is that the Fox government is unable to provide basic economic opportunities to their "countrymen". After all, who in their right mind would leave their family, illegally enter another country, cross a desert, only to take a job making minimum wage? Clearly, the general Mexican population is desperate for economic opportunities, and the nation as a whole is desperate for foreign sources of income. In fact, cash receipts from Mexicans working in the United States are Mexico's second greatest source of foreign income, after oil exports. Mexico's immigration rhetoric is a desperate attempt to mask the ineptitude of the government, and ensure Mexican workers in the U.S. keep sending $16 billion annually back to Mexico.