“Bush to seek legal status for immigrants” with the goal of easing U.S.-Mexican tensions, USA Today reports. The policy and political arguments for President Bush’s new proposal are convincingly refuted in NR Digital and on NRO by Mark Krikorian, who knows far more about the immigration issue than I do. But we non-experts know plenty about being neighborly. Presumably “easing tensions” is in both countries’ interests, yet it seems to me that we are meeting our neighbors to the south about 100 percent of the way in the quest to be better amigos.
In exchange for the huge gift President Bush has wrapped up for his trip to Monterrey, what is Vicente Fox–who allied himself with Chirac on Iraq–expected to do in return? Nada. Fox is not even being asked to knock off a neighbor’s most hostile behavior.
Imagine having the guy next door harboring the killer of a local cop in his basement. California prosecutors alone estimate that 360 violent felons have fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution. Most have headed there since 2001 when Mexico began refusing to extradite criminals who face life sentences for crimes committed in the U.S., in addition to those who face capital punishment. Those being shielded by Vicente Fox include a Mexican national wanted for the murder of a Los Angeles sheriff in April 2002.
The United States shouldn’t begin talking about amnesty for Mexicans who have violated our immigration laws until Vicente Fox pledges to end the amnesty he provides for Mexicans who commit violent crimes.