The hypocrisy of el presidenteAs the descendant of Italian immigrants, I certainly have no intention of siding with the nativists on the immigration scuffle. That said, Mexico's president is hardly helping things. On one hand, Vicente Fox visited the US and urged 'decent treatment' for his countrymen in the States.
Of course, it might be better if the former Coca-Cola executive focused more on ways to improve the Mexican economy so his countrymen wouldn't have to migrate in the first place. After all, most Mexicans who leave the country do so for economic reasons not because they want sponge off Texas' generous (snicker) social safety net.
But Fox's comments there are fair enough.
Yet a look at Mexico shows that non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.
The debate in the US focuses on non-citizens who entered the country illegally.
The Associated Press notes Foreign-born Mexicans can't hold seats in either house of the congress. They're also banned from state legislatures, the Supreme Court and all governorships. Many states ban foreign-born Mexicans from spots on town councils. And Mexico's Constitution reserves almost all federal posts, and any position in the military and merchant marine, for "native-born Mexicans."
Pres. Fox's government wants this to go even further.
Since at least 2003, it has encouraged cities to ban non-natives from such local jobs as firefighters, police and judges. Mexico's Interior Department — which recommended the bans as part of "model" city statutes it distributed to local officials — could cite no basis for extending the bans to local posts.
And foreigners make up only a neglible percentage of people living in Mexico (0.5 percent vs 13 percent in the US).
In the US, foreign-born citizens can even serve as soldiers, governors (Arnold Schwarzenegger), senators (Mel Martinez) and even high-ranking federal cabinet officials (Henry Kissinger, Madeline Albright). But a president who wants to ban foreigners from even being firefighters is lecturing Americans on fair treatment of non-natives?
I've stated my position on immigration. I'm about as far away from nativism as you can get. But Sr Fox's double standards are hardly helping.