Mexican President Vicente Fox, the first state visitor of the Bush presidency, challenged the United States on Wednesday to strike an agreement on immigration by year's end. President Bush said "there is no more important relationship" than with Mexico but did not embrace Fox's ambitious deadline. The public challenge shocked U.S. officials who have been trying to lower expectations for a deal on the complex and politically risky issue. Even some Mexican officials said they had no notice that Fox would push for quick action. …
On the eve of their meetings, Bush said the complexity of the issue bars a quick deal and acknowledged that he has "a lot more selling to do" in Congress. Fox said Sunday it would take four to six years to complete a comprehensive U.S.-Mexican immigration overhaul.
Flanked by Bush in front of the Truman Balcony, Fox seemed to set a more aggressive timetable. "We must and we can reach an agreement on migration before the end of this very year which will allow us, before the end of our respective terms, to make sure that there are no Mexicans who have not entered this country legally in the United States and that those Mexicans who have come into the country do so with the proper documents," said Fox. His term ends in 2006.
Several administration officials said afterward they would have preferred to avoid the added pressure of a public deadline. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it is impossible to predict whether a comprehensive agreement can be reached this year, given the unease in Congress and fluidity of the talks.
Bush, asked whether he thought Fox's timetable was too ambitious, pretended not to understand the question and joked in Spanish, "I can't hear." …
What a fiasco! President Bush, already abandoned on amnesty by Congressional Republicans who can count better than he can, is now left twisting slowly, slowly in the wind by his purported best buddy in the whole world, Vincente Fox.
We at VDARE hate to say this …
No, we don't. Let's be frank. We love to say this:
We said over a year ago that Fox was going to turn out to be George W. Bush's Yeltsin.
You know, gloating has a bad reputation. But we could kind of get used to it.
September 05, 2001