SANTA MONICA, California — Former Mexican President Vicente Fox spoke exclusively with Breitbart News on Wednesday inside the J.W. Marriott about migration, saying Mexicans have a right to come to the United States to live and work, but that he is not for “open borders.”
“Of course they have the right and United States has the right to see who they invite and who they don’t,” Fox told Breitbart News. “I’m not for open borders and I’m not just for people flowing in and out.”
My grandfather was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, so I am half America and I am half Mexican. My grandfather migrated from Cincinnati, Ohio down to Mexico looking for the American dream. He didn’t have a penny in his pocket and he had the human right to look for income, to look for a job. That’s what migrants do, but of course I’m not just for just open the border.”
Fox said he believes the issue to many immigration issues facing the United States and Mexico would have been resolved by the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, a bill co-sponsored by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in 2005.
“We discussed it in Mexico. One full week, Senator Kennedy and Senator McCain were in Mexico in my office discussing what would be the best option. The solution is right there in Congress. Unfortunately, Congress has been lazy,” Fox jabbed. He added that the bill has a solution for the 11 million undocumented people who are working in the United States.
It also brings [a] solution, that bill that’s in Congress, for the half a million workers that this economy needs and that U.S. citizens don’t want to take. They don’t want to go and harvest the berries in California, they don’t want to work in the construction industry, they don’t want to go to Washington state and pick up the apples. If they don’t want to do those jobs, it’s a very good solution, lets import that labor.
The McCain-Kennedy immigration bill failed — partly due to the efforts of then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). As former McCain staffer Mark Salter later recalled:
As an aide to McCain, I was in the room for every one of those meetings. It was my first opportunity to observe Obama closely. During those meetings, I never saw him engage in any discussion concerned with building a majority vote in favor of the legislation. In the meetings he attended, he would draw from his shirt pocket a 3×5 index card, on which he had written changes he insisted be made to the bill before he would support it. They were invariably the same demands made by the AFL-CIO, which was intent on watering down or killing the guest-worker provisions. Republicans and Democrats alike were irritated by his transparently self-interested behavior, but tried to negotiate with him. He remained adamant in his positions and unwilling to compromise.
The act would have required the U.S. to take in a minimum of 400,000 foreign workers every year. The visas would have lasted for three years.
“Illegal aliens already in the U.S.A., and they number more than 10 million, would have to register, pay a $2,000 fine, clear a criminal background check, and pass an English language exam. If they did that and had a job, they could stay in this country and apply for citizenship in six years,” noted Fox News at the time the bill was being discussed.
The legislation would have also increased border security and fines on people who hire and employ illegals.