By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press Writer
Mexico's foreign secretary Monday leveled his country's sharpest
criticism yet at U.S. proposal for a fence along parts of its southern
border, condemning it as "stupid" and "underhanded."
In a radio interview, Luis Ernesto Derbez said U.S. legislators who
approved the bill were turning a blind eye to the contributions
millions of migrants from Mexico and elsewhere make to America's
economy and culture.
"It's a law that looks underhanded to everybody ... stupid," Derbez
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 239-182 in favor of
an immigration enforcement bill, which includes a proposal to build
700 miles of border fencing along parts of California, Arizona, New
Mexico and Texas.
Under the measure, soldiers and police would help stop people sneaking
across, and employers would have to check the legal status of their
Derbez said he was confident the bill would not make it past the U.S.
Senate, which he said was not as easily swayed as the House.
Reacting Sunday to the bill's approval, Mexican President Vicente Fox
said "this wall is shameful," and called the plan hypocritical for a
country made up of immigrants.
Fox has for years called for an immigration agreement with Washington
granting some form of legal status to Mexicans who sneak into
U.S. territory in search of work.
President Bush proposed a new guest worker program with three-year
work visas, but lawmakers refused to include the initiative in the
immigration bill passed Friday.
Authorities estimate there are about 11 million undocumented migrants
in the United States, about half of them Mexican. There have also been
suggestions to build a similar fence across the several thousand miles
of Canadian border.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.
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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This reminds me of the feeble efforts
by folks in the village of Evanston, IL (the immediate north suburb of
Chicago) to try and discourage criminals and others from Chicago
driving drunkenly, like bats out of hell coming from Chicago into the
north suburb (where crime _was_ virtually zilch for many years.) The
only part of Evanston in those day (late 1980's) and even today is the
strip of (common street) 1400 to 2400 West Howard Street in
Chicago. For many years, that three or four block area where city of
Chicago dips north of Howard Street along Bosworth Street and Paulina
Street past Juneway Terrace and Jonquil Terrace has been the 'wild
west'. They don't call it 'Jonquil Jungle' for no reason. Village of
Evanston usually is a straight east/west line north of Howard Street
but in that little section behind the elevated tracks the boundary
line gets irregular for a few blocks and runs east and in the alley
behind Calvary Cemetery (Evanston) over to the lakefront. What the
Village of Evanston did was turn _every one_ of the streets which
intersect with Howard Street _one way_ southbound into Chicago. Although
they left Sheridan Road alone the next two through streets (Clark
Street in Chicago becomes 'Chicago Avenue' when it hits Evanston and
Western Avenue in Chicago turns into some other street when it reaches
Evanston. The only way to get into Evanston from Chicago along there
in that crime-ridden area was a little two lane thing behind the
elevated tracks where Paulina Street connects into Juneway Terrace.
"Those snots!" proclaimed Mayor Daley the Second; "they don't want us
in their village!" Either cross into Evanston on Sheridan Road (a
nice neighborhood) or drive down Howard Street a number of blocks
through the black area until they get to the white area of town again.
Then Evanston decided to build a concrete barrier -- a little island
-- on _their_ side of Howard Street a few blocks further west, and
the Chicago alderman in that neighborhood (Bernie Stone) went to
battle with Evanston officials about that. PAT]