NAFTA Redux?
After Vicente Fox was elected Mexico's president in July 1999, he proposed a long-term plan for opening North American borders. Is a North American economic union inevitable sometime this century? 


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Background of the Issue

Mexican President Vincente Fox has introduced a radical idea to the governments of the United States and Canada -- an economically united North America with open borders that views Mexico as an asset rather than a threat.

If capital can flow freely between nations, Fox asks, why not people? So far, Fox has received a lukewarm response from his northern neighbors, but this is certainly a question that needs to be asked and cannot be ignored.

Each year, an estimated 340,000 Mexicans head to America -- some legally, many illegally. More than 7 million migrants are now living in the U.S., or a number that's equal to around seven percent of Mexico's population.

It's easy to see why so many people are leaving. In Mexico, if they have jobs, they earn $5 a day. They can easily earn ten times that at a minimum wage job in the U.S. With a booming economy and a tight labor market in the U.S., there are plenty of opportunities for poor migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and the rest of Latin America.


Channel References

General Reference Sites


Interview: Vicente Fox and Ray Suarez 

Discussion of Fox' open borders idea (PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 3-21-2000)

Interview: Vicente Fox and Margaret Warner 

Discussion of Fox' open borders idea (PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 8-24-2000)

What to Expect From Vicente Fox 

By David A. Shirk (borderlines 69, volume 8, number 7, August 2000)

Immigration Debate: Labastida And Fox Both Drop The Ball

By Anne Seymour, Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network (borderlines Updater 12 June 2000)

Vicente Fox Is Getting Bad Economic Advice

By Roberto Salinas-Leon (CATO Today’s Commentary - October 19, 2000)

A Vote of Confidence for Vicente Fox

By James E. Garcia (POLITICO - The Magazine For Latino Politics And Culture)

C-Span: Public Affairs on the Web

Vicente Fox' main web site

Spanish language site

NAFTA Customs web site

The Case for Free Trade and Open Borders

Edited by Richard M. Ebeling and Jacob G. Hornberger.

On Native Ground: 'Open Borders' Is an Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Randolph T. Holhut, American Reporter Correspondent, Dummerston, Vt. (Vol. 6, No. 1447 - The American Reporter - October 24, 2000)

Fox touts open borders with southern neighbors

By Greg Flakus (hispanicvista)

Why 'Open Borders' Is Bad Policy

By James O. Goldsborough (The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 10, 2000)

Answer to Mexico's Offer of Open Borders is 'No Thanks' 

By Georgie Anne Geyer

Free Markets and Open Borders

By Matt Zwolinski










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