Immigration — “Fox With You”
Alberto Aguirre M., mexidata.com, Feb. 11
(EDITED TRANSLATION OF A FEBRUARY 8, 2004, FEATURE FROM REFORMA, MEXICO CITY)
Since October 18, 2003, President Vicente Fox has been addressing the Mexican community in the U.S. This is done through radio spots that are broadcast every Saturday morning on Radio Unica. Radio Unica, through its own stations and affiliates, controls the Hispanic markets in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, McAllen, Sacramento, Fresno, Phoenix and Tucson.
In January 2004, Fox recorded four spots, three about the immigration proposal of George W. Bush.
“The defense of immigrants is the most important part of my foreign policy with the U.S.,” the president said on January 10.
“Greetings dear friends. As you all know from the media, President Bush has made a proposal on immigration for undocumented workers, the majority being Mexicans, to the U.S. Senate. This project, without doubt, is a result of the efforts of the Mexican government, a response to the work that we initiated at my San Cristóbal Ranch, in Guanajuato, in 2001, and that we have carried on in order to defend the human, labor and civil rights of our beloved countrymen and compatriots who live and work in the U.S.,” Fox said.
“The same Wednesday of Bush’s announcement, we had a long and cordial early morning telephone conversation on a subject: the creation of better working conditions for you. The president acknowledged the work done by Mexican immigrants in the development of the U.S. economy, the work of all of you. This is part of our pursuit of an integral immigration accord, an endeavor from which we will not be diverted. The changes that we have proposed are coming about one by one.”
On Saturday, January 17, the radio message focused on Fox’s forthcoming meeting with Bush.
“Last Monday, January 12, I met with President George Bush in Mexico (at the Special Summit of the Americas, in Monterrey). We reaffirmed our friendship and we reactivated the immigration plan. He extended a cordial invitation for us to meet at his Texas ranch on March 5 and 6, in order to itemize the proposals we are working on.
“We met (in Monterrey), like the old friends we are and have been. So now we will have to give this idea time to mature, to be integral, and we expect it to be approved.
“Be assured that we will follow the designed route in this task. For the time being, the doubts that surface with every plan are being addressed in newspaper surveys here, in Mexico, with very favorable results: 72 percent of Mexicans believe that the proposal of President Bush is good, and that it will benefit the millions of Mexicans who work in the U.S. without documents; that with the approval of this proposal they will gain legal status; they will have their documents; and total respect of their labor and human rights.”
Fox sent the Mexican community in the U.S. another message on the immigration proposals on January 27.
“Greetings dear countrymen and countrywomen. Good news. Last Wednesday, in his Fourth State of the Union Address, President Bush embarked on reform of the immigration laws ‘in order to place the wishes of foreign workers on a par with the desires of employers.’ The U.S. president thus put legalization of the immigration plan into motion, something that as you know we two presidents have been working on together. But that was not all. This Wednesday senators Tom Daschle and Chuck Hagel introduced a bill that opens a means for undocumented residents in the U.S., who meet all requirements, to legalize their status permanently.
“We are speaking then of an immigration plan that we must think of as a step, and upon this we must build more and more things for our cherished compatriots there in the U.S., above all those who are undocumented.
“Daschle, a Democrat from South Dakota and the leader of the minority in the senate, said that ‘we want to enhance national security so that immigrants can emerge from obscurity; we want to make it safe for those who cross the border; for immigrant workers and their families to be treated in a just manner. It is about giving an opportunity to those workers and their families to remain here.’
“Chuck Hagel, a Republican representing Nebraska, said that if the plan is approved national security, the economy and the reintegration of separated families living in an irregular manner would be strengthened.
“The senators also told the press that ‘we cannot continue to postpone this difficult subject,’ although the proposal ‘is not a complete or perfect plan.’ More work will have to be done.
“Furthermore, the governors of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Oaxaca and Michoacán who recently visited several cities in the U.S., accompanied by representatives of the secretariats of Government and Foreign Relations, extend their congratulations to the Mexican senators who are also negotiating for the immigration plan to be approved.
“You know that this is the most important challenge in relations between Mexico and the U.S. We need legal, safe and orderly migration, and above all respect for human and labor rights.
“Our commitment to you, since the campaign and as President, has been to give the highest priority to achieving an immigration plan and agreement that benefits all migrant Mexicans and their families. In this we are persevering, advancing step by step, little by little.”