Politics: Mexican elites have taken potshots against Donald Trump over his illegal immigration stance. One ex-president actually demanded Trump apologize to the Mexican people. Actually, it’s Mexico’s elites who owe Mexicans an apology.
Sitting in the lap of luxury, former Mexican President Vicente Fox opened fire at Trump, hurling barnyard epithets toward the New York real estate magnate, who, along with the other top two presidential contenders, proposes building a wall to protect the U.S.’ unguarded southern border. Trump also wants Mexico pay for it through taxes on remittances and other fees.
“I have to say that we are not, I am not going to pay for that f***ing wall,” Fox told Jorge Ramos in an interview with Univision and cable network Fusion. Shortly after that, his tag-team party ally, former President Felipe Calderon, jumped in from a cushy Cairo business conference, echoing Fox with “We are not going to pay a single cent for such a stupid wall!” adding that Trump was “completely crazy” for good measure.
Vice President Joe Biden offered an apology for Trump on a trip to Mexico City, but the Mexican elites weren’t finished. Mexico Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu then called Trump “ignorant and racist” and said his wall proposal was “not a proposition we would even consider.” Both Fox and Calderon piled on to compare Trump to Hitler. Via Twitter, Trump called Fox out on his salty language and demanded an apology, prompting Fox to fire back with: “And his apology to all Mexicans?”
Oh, really? That was one sorry demand from Mexico’s elites, whose leadership failures are precisely the reason so many millions of Mexicans can’t stand the idea of living in their own country and seek better luck north. Fact is, the elites are the ones who owe an apology to all Mexicans.
Sure, Ruiz Massieu protests she’s not going to pay for a wall, and we have no doubt she isn’t. But we’d be curious if she’d decline to accept Trump-taxed remittances from illegals, which are pretty much the fuel her government runs on.
If she did, it would virtually cancel out the development model the Mexican elites have made the most of in the past half century: Chase your poorest, least-educated and least-productive citizens north, as a cynical means of ending social pressures for change, and force the U.S. to pay for their housing, education, health care and welfare instead. Maintain tight immigration controls over your own borders but demand open borders with the U.S. to ensure an escape from your nation. This is why Mexico’s elites are so shameless about championing illegal immigration despite the embarrassment it would bring on any other decent government watching its citizens flee.
Remittances to Mexico totaled $24 billion last year, topping the country’s oil earnings. According to the 2013 International Monetary Fund report “Beyond the Household,” that cash not only benefits individuals, it also benefits the government. Sales taxes on money spent fills government coffers, and enables government to spend more and carry higher debt. That often doesn’t contribute to economic development, the IMF warned. It goes to cronies, with the high cash infusions making “corruption less costly,”  the IMF paper said. In short, Mexico’s reliance on remittances tends to keep the country underdeveloped — a real disservice to Mexico’s citizens.
Maybe that’s why Fox also expressed a Marie-Antoinette-like befuddlement at the reality that 44% of Latino, mostly Mexican-descent voters in Nevada cast their votes for Trump. It could well be that they see the game being played by Mexico’s elites in foisting illegal immigration on the U.S. is their own — and the jig is up.
In any case, the apology should be coming from Mexico City.