Cultural Revolutions

Guest-Worker Amnesty

The Bush administration’s guest-worker amnesty proposal for “solving” the problem of illegal immigration is all about failure in two countries.  In the case of Mexico, the failure is causal; in that of the United States, symbolic.  Vicente Fox’s political weakness at home is largely the result of his failed attempt at browbeating George W. Bush into declaring what would amount, de facto, to an open-borders policy; Bush’s inability to devise a sensible immigration policy serving American interests symbolizes a failed administration recklessly and wantonly squandered on what promises to become all-consuming warfare in the Middle East.  Granted, Mexican and American political failure are as culturally specific as the countries and their institutions that they represent.  And cynicism, of course, knows no borders.  Is it sufficiently recognized, however, that the more idealistic, humanitarian, and patriotic the rhetoric of America’s leadership, the more cynical its motives and actions?  President Bush’s concern for his own legislative proposal is not one whit more humane or “democratic” than Vicente Fox’s—not the conclusion Americans have been taught to expect from a comparison between an American president and his Mexican counterpart.  Indeed, Señor Fox’s interest in “regularizing” the status of the 8 to 12 million...

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