Former Mexican President Vicente Fox hosted a mock debate with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, harshly criticizing the billionaire for wanting to restrict immigration from Mexico into the U.S.
“Today, we are here to debate immigration,” Fox says in heavily accented English. Immigration is a “strategic issue,” he said. “We’re both nations and a land of migrants. We have grown and been successful throughout this great resource of immigrant population coming to share it. The sweat, the hard work, the effort and sacrifice to share the efforts of prosperity and pursue happiness.”
“By listening to Mr. Trump again today, I really want to thank him. I want to thank him for his statements made in June of last year, when he started the race for the presidency of the United-ed States. Do you remember what you said?” asks Fox, turning to a freeze frame of Trump. The video cuts to a clip of Trump’s June 16 announcement:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
“As a Mexican, these comments are disgraceful! And highly offensive. Today, in spite of that, I want to thank Trump for those comments,” Fox says.
“Thanks to that, Mexico is in the global spotlight. U.S. citizens are more aware than ever of the solid contribution and loyalty of Mexican migrants. Thanks to you, Mr. Trump, and your racist and ignorant statements, I can tell the world with a special pride: I am Mexican,” the visibly aggrieved Fox declares.
The former president cuts to another clip of Trump teasing critics who said building a border wall would be impossible.
“You have called us to be a problem. And have stated you will raise a wall between Mexico and United States. Good for you, but for American tax-payers, you have already accomplish what you want,” Fox replies. “A huge wall that doesn’t allow you to see the greatness of our country and our people.” He goes on to list a number of Mexican talents who made celebrated accomplishments in Hollywood.
“And so, on and on. I can talk about our artists, our intellectuals: Octavio Paz, Angeles Mastreta, Carlos Fuentes. Our painters: Frida Kahlo, Orozco. Our muralists. Our musicians. Our athletes! I could talk about the great quality work of millions and millions of Mexicans in the United States and all over the world,” he says.
“I have one more very special to speak about. In Ohio, U.S.A. is that land where my grandfather, Senor Jose Fox, was born. One day, he decided to emigrate to Mexico, looking after his American dream, which he found in Guanajuato, Mexico,” he continues. “Where he settled, married a Mexican lady, and created a family that is still there five generations after. He died proudly a Mexican, part of its great nation and its people. We learn from him hard work, loving each other, loving Mexico, and the great nation of United States.”
“But you will see none of that, because your wall is much larger and inaccessible than any concrete wall,” Fox continues.
“It is a mental wall,” he says, both hands pointing at his head. “That doesn’t allow you to see beyond the activities of our countries. You do not see us as friends, as neighbors, and as partners. Today, you are saying that Mexicans are criminals and rapists. What will you say about the rest of the world tomorrow?”
Fox then pivots to claim Americans do not understand Mexico and the unwanted migrants it sends by the millions into the country.
“If we start building walls in front of everything that is unknown to us, we’re forced to live under the veil of ignorance. And without the human experience of sharing. That’s why I ask every Mexican, every American citizen, and the rest of the world to stand together against intolerance and racism. Let us build bridges, and not walls.”
Mexico has, over the years, unabashedly called for unlimited immigration into the United States, a view held by both its elites and lower classes. A 2005 Zogby poll found 58 percent of Mexicans think the American Southwest belongs to Mexico — while highly-paid and esteemed journalists such as Jorge Ramos declare “the immigration issue is the most pressing symbolically and emotionally, and the stance a politician takes on this defines whether he is with us or against us.”
Vicente did not mention the frequent crimes illegal Mexican migrants commit against Americans, including kidnapping, rape, and murder, nor did he cite Americans’ opposition to having such criminals allowed into their neighborhoods.