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Vicente Fox Needs a Lesson in Civility

Mexico’s president shows contempt for our laws
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Earlier this week, President Bush urged that the debate on illegal immigration be conducted in a “civil and dignified” manner. I agree. And perhaps no one needs to hear that admonition more than Mexican President Vicente Fox, with whom President Bush is now meeting. President Fox has made it clear that he has nothing but contempt for our laws and our people. And his remarks have been anything but civil or dignified.

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President Fox has called U.S. border control efforts in San Diego and Texas “discriminatory.” He said those of us opposed to illegal immigration are part of “minority, xenophobic, discriminatory groups.” And President Fox astounded us all when he declared that illegal aliens in the U.S. “take work that not even blacks want to do.”

President Fox called the Minutemen “migrant hunters,” yet calls Mexican illegal aliens “heroes.” He called the House passage of a provision authorizing the construction of a border fence, “disgraceful and shameful.” He refuses to even recognize that those who cross our border without permission are illegals, infamously telling Sean Hannity, “They are not illegals. They are people that come there to work, to look for a better opportunity.”

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez has been equally intemperate and contemptuous of our sovereignty. Derbez called the House-passed immigration reform bill, “stupid and underhanded.” He recently speculated that one cross-border incident in Texas might not have involved Mexicans at all, but American troops masquerading as Mexican soldiers to help drug runners. He once even referred to Hispanic voters in Arizona as “our own Mexican-Americans.”

And we’re supposed to be the arrogant ones in the relationship?

Americans are tired of being told that they are bigots by the likes of President Fox and Foreign Minister Derbez, and President Bush should publicly make it clear to both of them that their clumsy, over-the-top rhetoric is unwarranted and unacceptable.

This is how absurd the situation has become. In 2002, Mexico petulantly expelled on charges of domestic interference a dozen American college students that were legally in country. Why? Because they participated in a protest against a planned airport.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of illegal Mexicans protest on our streets, disrupt our cities, and intimidate our citizens—and are celebrated by the mainstream media and cheered on by the Mexican government.

If America ever interfered in Mexican internal affairs the way Mexico interferes in ours, our diplomats would be expelled. So I say any Mexican diplomat found to have helped plan, organize, or participate in the recent protests should be expelled forthwith.

One columnist, Ernesto Portillo, went so far as to compare these outrageous protests to the Boston Tea Party, calling them “part of our rich tradition.” He wrote of the protestors, “their hope is to be part of the American fabric,” although the only fabric I saw on display in Phoenix and Los Angeles were the flags of Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, et al. And Portillo wants us to believe these people truly want to be Americans?

These recent protests also illustrate the sense of entitlement permeating the illegal alien mindset. Many of the marchers think they are special because the American southwest once was part of AztlĂ?¡n, the mythical place of origin of the Aztec peoples, although to many it refers only to those parts of Mexico taken over by the U.S. in 1846. As Samuel Huntington pointed out, “No other immigrant group in American history has asserted or has been able to assert a historical claim to American territory. Mexicans can and do make that claim.”

Indeed, a 2002 Zogby poll found that 58% of Mexicans believe the American Southwest rightfully belongs to them, while 57% don’t think they need permission to enter our country. So it is not surprising that last week we saw protest signs like this: “I’m not illegal because this is my homeland.”

But the Mexicans aren’t the only ones who demand special treatment. In Washington a few weeks ago, Irish illegal immigrants protested for amnesty at the Capitol. One of the participants, lobbyist Niall O’Dowd, argued that Irish illegals were “a special case” because of “how much Ireland has contributed to America in the past,” a claim that could be made by almost every ethnic group in the world. O’Dowd’s goal is to ensure that “the Irish as a nation never have to deal with this issue of illegality in the U.S. again.”

Got that? A special open borders policy just for Ireland. As a columnist in the Irish Daily Mail put it, “[Irish illegals] express a kind of indignation that the Irish should have to get in the queue with the Mexicans and the rest.”

It is easy to understand why someone would want to flee Mexico, with its corrupt and backward economy. But Ireland has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Irish illegal aliens have no excuse for breaking our laws other than, apparently, they think they’re “special.”

But the only truly “special” people are the American citizens our government is supposed to protect and defend. It has often been said that America cannot be the policeman of the world, but neither can we be its economic overflow tank. It is time for President Bush to start paying less attention to Vicente Fox and friends, and more attention to our own people.

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Written By

Mr. Hayworth, a Republican, represented Arizona's 5th Congressional District for 12 years, spending a decade on the House Ways and Means Committee, the first Arizonan to serve in that capacity. With his former chief of staff Joe Eule, he co-authored the book "Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security and the War on Terror" (Regnery 2006). Citizens United has named Hayworth as its first Ronald Reagan Fellow.

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