CFR's solution to illegal immigration
World Net Daily | July 13 2006
Editor's note: With scarcely a mention of the horrendous illegal immigration problem plaguing America, the Council on Foreign Relations – which some call America's "shadow government" – has laid out a comprehensive plan to essentially merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada into one entity with an outer security perimeter. Following are selected excerpts of the 59-page document, titled "Building a North American Community."
Building a North American Community: Report of an Independent Task Force, Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales – May 2005
NOTE: WND editors' explanatory comments are in italics below.
The security and well-being of its citizens are at the pinnacle of any government’s responsibilities. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the futures of Canada, Mexico, and the United States are shared as never before. As a result, all three countries face a historic challenge: Do they continue on the path of cooperation in promoting more secure and more prosperous North American societies, or do they pursue divergent and ultimately less secure and less prosperous courses?
To ask the question is to answer it; and yet, if important decisions are not pursued and implemented, the three countries may well find themselves on divergent paths. Such a development would be a tragic mistake, one that can be readily avoided if they stay the course and pursue a series of deliberate and cooperative steps that will enhance both the security and prosperity of their citizens. …
In March 2005, the leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States adopted a Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), establishing ministerial-level working groups to address key security and economic issues facing North America and setting a short deadline for reporting progress back to their governments. President Bush described the significance of the SPP as putting forward a common commitment "to markets and democracy, freedom and trade, and mutual prosperity and security."
The policy framework articulated by the three leaders is a significant commitment that will benefit from broad discussion and advice. The Task Force is pleased to provide specific advice on how the partnership can be pursued and realized. To that end, the Task Force proposes the creation by 2010 of a North American community to enhance security, prosperity, and opportunity. We propose a community based on the principle affirmed in the March 2005 Joint Statement of the three leaders that "our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary." Its boundaries will be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter within which the movement of people, products, and capital will be legal, orderly, and safe. Its goal will be to guarantee a free, secure, just, and prosperous North America.
The CFR report identifies several "common challenges" facing the three North American countries, including "Shared challenge of uneven economic development," which it explains this way:
A fast lane to development is crucial for Mexico to contribute to the security of the entire region. Mexico’s development has failed to prevent deep disparities between different regions of the country, and particularly between remote regions and those better connected to international markets. Northern states have grown ten times faster than those in the center and south of the country. Lack of economic opportunity encourages unauthorized migration and has been found to be associated with corruption, drug trafficking, violence, and human suffering.
Improvements in human capital and physical infrastructure in Mexico, particularly in the center and south of the country, would knit these regions more firmly into the North American economy and are in the economic and security interest of all three countries.
Translated, that means the U.S. needs to send money to Mexico.
One of the CFR report's key focal points is security. Under the heading, "Making North America Safer," it says:
The threat of international terrorism originates for the most part outside North America. Our external borders are a critical line of defense against this threat. Any weakness in controlling access to North America from abroad reduces the security of the continent as a whole and exacerbates the pressure to intensify controls on intra-continental movement and traffic, which increases the transaction costs associated with trade and travel within North America. …
Among the report's security recommendations:
Establish a common security perimeter by 2010. The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States should articulate as their long-term goal a common security perimeter for North America. In particular, the three governments should strive toward a situation in which a terrorist trying to penetrate our borders will have an equally hard time doing so, no matter which country he elects to enter first. We believe that these measures should be extended to include a commitment to common approaches toward international negotiations on the global movement of people, cargo, and vessels. Like free trade a decade ago, a common security perimeter for North America is an ambitious but achievable goal that will require specific policy, statutory, and procedural changes in all three nations.
Develop a North American Border Pass. The three countries should develop a secure North American Border Pass with biometric identifiers. This document would allow its bearers expedited passage through customs, immigration, and airport security throughout the region. The program would be modeled on the U.S.-Canadian "NEXUS" and the U.S.-Mexican "SENTRI" programs, which provide "smart cards" to allow swifter passage to those who pose no risk. Only those who voluntarily seek, receive, and pay the costs for a security clearance would obtain a Border Pass. The pass would be accepted at all border points within North America as a complement to, but not a replacement for, national identity documents or passports.
While polls show a majority of Americans favor a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the CFR report is advocating exactly the opposite:
Lay the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America. The three governments should commit themselves to the long-term goal of dramatically diminishing the need for the current intensity of the governments’ physical control of cross-border traffic, travel, and trade within North America. A long-term goal for a North American border action plan should be joint screening of travelers from third countries at their first point of entry into North America and the elimination of most controls over the temporary movement of these travelers within North America.
Law Enforcement and Military Cooperation
Security cooperation among the three countries should also extend to cooperation on counterterrorism and law enforcement, which would include the establishment of a trinational threat intelligence center, the development of trinational ballistics and explosives registration, and joint training for law enforcement officials.
As founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Canada and the United States are close military allies. When Canadian troops hunt terrorists and support democracy in Afghanistan, or when Canadian ships lead patrols in the Persian Gulf, they engage in the "forward defense" of North America by attacking the bases of support for international terrorism around the world. Although Mexico is not a NATO member and does not share the same history of military cooperation, it has recently begun to consider closer collaboration on disaster relief and information-sharing about external threats. Defense cooperation, therefore, must proceed at two speeds toward a common goal. We propose that Mexico begin with confidence-building dialogue and information exchanges, moving gradually to further North American cooperation on issues such as joint threat assessment, peacekeeping operations, and eventually, a broader defense structure for the continent. …
Under the heading "Creating a North American Economic Space," the report advocates, among other innovations, the creation of a new North American tribunal to settle disputes.
To create a North American economic space that provides new opportunities for individuals in all three countries, the Task Force makes the following recommendations aimed at establishing a seamless North American market, adopting a North American approach to regulation, increasing labor mobility, and enhancing support for North American education programs.
Establish a permanent tribunal for North American dispute resolution. The current NAFTA dispute-resolution process is founded on ad hoc panels that are not capable of building institutional memory or establishing precedent, may be subject to conflicts of interest, and are appointed by authorities who may have an incentive to delay a given proceeding. As demonstrated by the efficiency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) appeal process, a permanent tribunal would likely encourage faster, more consistent, and more predictable resolution of disputes. In addition, there is a need to review the workings of NAFTA’s dispute-settlement mechanism to make it more efficient, transparent, and effective. …
While America is being transformed demographically, and in particular the U.S. Southwest targeted for takeover by militant illegal immigrant groups, the CFR recommends "increased labor mobility" between Mexico and the U.S.
Increase Labor Mobility within North America
People are North America’s greatest asset. Goods and services cross borders easily; ensuring the legal transit of North American workers has been more difficult. Experience with the NAFTA visa system suggests that its procedures need to be simplified, and such visas should be made available to a wider range of occupations and to additional categories of individuals such as students, professors, bona fide frequent visitors, and retirees.
To make the most of the impressive pool of skill and talent within North America, the three countries should look beyond the NAFTA visa system. The large volume of undocumented migrants from Mexico within the United States is an urgent matter for those two countries to address. A long-term goal should be to create a "North American Preference" – new rules that would make it much easier for employees to move and for employers to recruit across national boundaries within the continent. This would enhance North American competitiveness, increase productivity, contribute to Mexico’s development, and address one of the main outstanding issues on the Mexican-U.S. bilateral agenda.
Canada and the United States should consider eliminating restrictions on labor mobility altogether and work toward solutions that, in the long run, could enable the extension of full labor mobility to Mexico as well. …
There is even a plan to open up Social Security to Mexicans:
Implement the Social Security Totalization Agreement negotiated between the United States and Mexico. This agreement would recognize payroll contributions to each other’s systems, thus preventing double taxation. …
The global challenges faced by North America cannot be met solely through unilateral or bilateral efforts or existing patterns of cooperation. They require deepened cooperation based on the principle, affirmed in the March 2005 joint statement by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, that "our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary."
Establishment by 2010 of a security and economic community for North America is an ambitious but achievable goal that is consistent with this principle and, more important, buttresses the goals and values of the citizens of North America, who share a desire for safe and secure societies, economic opportunity and prosperity, and strong democratic institutions.
The entire CFR report, "Building a North American Community," can be read online here.
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