US Self-Isolation

October 26, 2006

The US President has signed a law to instate a fence at the US-Mexico border to prevent illegal migration into the US.

It’s still unclear where the funding for the fence will come from, although over a billion USD will be taken from a homeland security bill.

Could the signing of the bill be a way to divert attention from the growing opposition to the war in Iraq? The law will find some supporters, but it’s not without controversy. It certainly seems insulting to the US border to the south. And the policy is not far off from Russia’s handling of its diplomatic differences with Georgia — except that the US is economically dependent on Mexico and will is simply not in a position to stop trade.

The US is economically tied to Mexico (and Canada) through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Because of its proximity, Mexico has become a market for cheap labor for the US, and many products are produced there.

The US has also been pushing for tighter border regulations with Canada, not as radical as with Mexico. The argument for Canada goes that it’s a through-way for terrorists: too easy to come into (Canada) and too easy to pass on (to the US).

It will be interesting to see what kind of opposition the new law will receive in the US and if the international community will comment on it — Mexico is set to make a complaint with the UN regarding the matter.

Not only has the US been isolating itself slowly, in terms of Foreign Policy, it’s now doing so continentally.