Mexican President Vicente Fox criticized the U.S. immigration policy
and outlined his plan for a North American Union on Friday in Detroit.
He addressed a crowd of 1,500 during the kickoff of the second season
Wayne State University's Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society
(FOCIS). The speech was followed by a book-signing session.
you United States citizens know you have the capacity, the talent
to keep leading this world," said Vicente Fox at the FOCIS
forum. "You know that not only opening markets and trading
is good for everybody. Building bridges of understanding is much
better than building walls."
Mexican president spoke about the bad economy and jobs that are
people question NAFTA today," he said. "This part of the
region is a lot of question going on. A lot of worries. Whether
it's NAFTA, which has made people and families to lose their jobs.
Or if its NAFTA which has been responsible for the reduction of
income from some people in this region.
is the most competitive sector of the economy. We in Mexico have
the same problem. We're facing the same challenge. Our garment,
textile industry is close to going broke. It's closing doors most
of the companies. Today are migrating to Guatemala, Belize or El
Salvador or they going to China, or Vietnam or Indonesia."
the unemployment rate in Mexico is only 4.5 percent. Along the border,
there is no unemployment according to Fox. He said the country is
the 7th largest trading partner in the world. Over $250 million
worth of U.S. products are imported to Mexico each year.
am not in favor of open borders," he stressed. "I am in
favor of an orderly flow of people, regulated and controlled only
as much as needed.
for a North American Union between the U.S., Canada and Mexico similar
to the group of countries that make up the European Union.
would be better for this nation then having a successful neighbor?"
he questioned. "Why don't we work together to make that dream
happen? That dream happened in Europe. Today, Europe is what it
is because of that Marshall Plan. They decided to work together.
On a destroyed Europe right after second World War, the leaders
came and had a vision to build up the union. The European Union.
They started working step-by-step. It's been a 60-year process.
not saying we copy the European model, would not be accepted here.
The mechanism that worked for the union in Europe is very simple.
Ever nation provides 2 percent of their gross product. That cohesive
fund goes invested on the underdeveloped regions of Europe. In Europe,
you don't have to pay to go to public universities, not one cent.
we would decide, Mexico, United States and Canada to build that
kind of future. So that instead of building walls and investing
money of the U.S. taxpayer in that wall, we would invest in productivity,
in education, in protecting the environment. Through those cohesive
funds. There are answers to our problems."
spoke about international relations and the history of Mexico.
many people ask why Latin America is lagging behind," said
the former president. "The very sad story is we spend the whole
20th century most every one nation in Latin America in hands of
dictators. Many regimes. Totally authoritarian. We did not enjoy
freedom or democracy during the 20th century."
to America, he said: "Look at this great nation. This leading
nation in the world. Has enjoyed democracy for 200 years. With people
and talent coming from all over the world. This is a nation of immigrants.
Most everyone here in this nation sooner or later has a background
we Latin Americans, we Mexicans decided to get rid of dictators,"
Fox said. "Late, but we did it at the end of the century. In
the '90s, in the '80s. We got rid of all of them. In the case of
Mexico, those 72 years of nationalism of barriers and walls of not
considering globalization and we paid the price for those 72 years.
leader of this nation would tell us, would teach us. Open your markets,
compete in open markets, open your economies so that foreign investment
comes into your nation. We accepted the challenge. We made economic
reforms, very big. Especially for the poor. They pay the price of
economic reforms. Number one lesson that democracy works and freedom
works. People develop all its capacities on that kind of environment."
from Detroit's Cesar Chavez High School asked Mr. Fox if Mexico
should become the 51st U.S. state. He replied: "I admire this
great nation. I feel part of it. But I love my Mexico. It would
not put it in the hands of anybody or any foreign nation."
asked the former Mexican president if he has an implanted microchip
in his arm. A 2004 MSNBC story indicated that 160 Mexican officials
have received chip implants in their arms to gain access to restricted
areas inside the attorney general's headquarters. Security grabbed
the microphone from the man who flashed a copy of the article as
the media took pictures.
have to response to this question. However, he agreed to answer
it anyway."There is a lot of saying in Mexico that some people
because of kidnapping, has been using chips to protect themselves.
Right now, the situation in Mexico is very violent. We're undergoing
a war. A war of Presidente Calderon's government against cartels,
against organized crime, drug traffickers. A lot of people is being
killed everyday. The violation of human rights has to end."
released a book, Revolution of Hope: The Life, Faith and Dreams
of a Mexican President, co-written with political consultant
Rob Allyn in 2007. The book was only released in English and in
the United States. It was a way for the former Mexican president
to address his views. He signed autographs after his speech for
those who purchased his book at the forum.
Fox was the president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. Previously, he
was the governor of his native Guanajuato state in 1995. Fox received
a degree in business administration from Ibero-American University
in Mexico City. In 1964, he worked for Coca Cola Mexico and later
became its president.
few minutes into the speech by the former president, his cell phone
rang. Mr. Fox took out his phone, opened it and said, "Is that
mine? Yeah, it's Mexican music." He chuckled, handed his phone
to his wife and the speech went on.