The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Fox addresses immigration, drug trade

Former president of Mexico Vicente Fox spoke to students Tuesday at the Tate Lecture student forum.
Sarah Acosta
Former president of Mexico Vicente Fox spoke to students Tuesday at the Tate Lecture student forum.

Former president of Mexico Vicente Fox spoke to students Tuesday at the Tate Lecture student forum. (Sarah Acosta)

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox stopped at SMU Tuesday as part of his whirlwind tour of the United States to raise money for his presidential library and speak to various groups about his presidency.

An overflowing crowd greeted Fox in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom for the Turner Construction Student Forum, and his responses drew frequent applause.

The former president addressed questions about issues ranging from immigration to foreign policy.

“I don’t understand policies of building walls and separating people,” Fox said. He said he is surprised that the United States has decided to construct a border fence. Fox said fences and walls have not worked for Germany or China in the past, and he does not believe it will be effective for the U.S.

Fox said the U.S. would be better off investing the fence money in a fund to generate jobs in Mexico and Latin America. He said North American companies are becoming NAFTA corporations and if the U.S., Mexico and Canada work together, then the immigration issue would solve itself.

Fox said the Mexican government has been working on legislation and reforms to have its citizens stay in the country. He cited recent bills that allowed for $1 million worth of scholarships to be handed out to deserving students. Even though Mexican universities are free, the money allows students’ families to survive financially while they are at school studying. Fox said the initiative would keep Mexico’s brightest in the country.

Fox also suggested that it would be in the United States’ best interest to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible. He thinks the Iraqis should be responsible for themselves.

“There comes a point where you can’t intervene or educate anymore,” he said of the current situation.

Fox cited Mexico’s increased international profile as one of the biggest changes during his term. He said he moved the country from a policy of non-intervention to one that actively defends human rights. He said Mexico has become more involved diplomatically through the United Nations and various U.N. committees.

Several audience members queried Fox about the increased amount of drug-related violence along the border states during his term. Fox said that his administration was slow to react because he had a hard time getting his legislation and actions passed through the Mexican Congress.

“I will be the first to admit we did not achieve our objectives,” Fox said. He cites Mexico’s location between the largest drug producers and the largest drug consumer as the biggest problem, along with the fact the cartels have promoted consumption by Mexicans.

He said progress has been made in the past year and emphasized new President Felipe Calderon’s No. 1 priority is the drug trade.

While in Dallas, Fox also spent time raising money for his presidential library. While such libraries are common in the U.S., it would be the first one ever for a Mexican president. It would be located on Fox’s ranch in San Cristobal. Fox has said the library would hold nearly 4.5 million presidential documents and 15,000 hours of video from his time in office.

More to Discover