Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2021 SL770
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 544 Post(s)
Mexico's Fox toughens talk on U.S. immigration law
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Vicente Fox called recent U.S. measures to stem illegal immigration a step back for bilateral relations on Friday and said Mexican migrants do jobs "that not even blacks want to do."
In comments likely to raise the temperature of the immigration debate, Fox defended the role of undocumented Mexican workers in the United States to a group of Texas business people meeting in Mexico.
"There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness and ability to work are doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States," he said in a speech broadcast in part on local radio and reported on newspaper web sites.
Fox said recent, tougher measures against immigrants do not represent "the road we should be building between friends and partners."
Mexico has been seeking an accord with Washington for years to make it easier for millions of illegal Mexican immigrants to live and work in the United States. The country expects to repatriate this year more than 250,000 foreigners, mostly Central Americans headed for the U.S. border.
Mexican hopes were raised early last year when President Bush proposed a temporary worker program but it has become bogged down in Congress.
A key partner in U.S. border security, Mexico is upset at new U.S. controls on foreign-born people, including tougher rules to obtain drivers' licenses.
Congressional Republicans attached the immigration changes to legislation providing $82 billion in emergency funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush is expected to sign the legislation into law soon.
The law, approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday, waives environmental rules to allow the extension of a fence on the border between California and Mexico to stop illegal immigrants. Mexico calls the measure "overly extreme."
But Fox said he was encouraged by a bill put forward on Thursday by Sens. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, and Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, to allow some of the estimated 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States to get legal jobs and eventual citizenship.
"I hope President Bush will support and push the initiative, as he has publicly agreed. I have to take his word and hope he delivers," Fox said.
"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon