Argument: A border fence would be harmful to US-Latin American Diplomacy
- Council on Foreign Relations.org - "How is the issue viewed in Latin America? U.S. immigration policy is viewed negatively in Latin America, Sweig says. "The wall [proposed in the current legislation] is a symbol of the souring of U.S.-Latin American relations over the last few years," Sweig says. Eleven Latin American foreign ministers met in Cartagena, Colombia, February 13 to discuss ways to protest U.S. plans to build the border wall and lobby Congress to defeat HR 4437."
- Michael Shifter, vice president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank said to the Christian Science Monitor 3/7/06, - "At a moment when relations between the US and Latin America are at their lowest point since the end of the cold war, this fence proposal is viewed as a terrible affront. It is hard to imagine any other symbol that more strongly reinforces the image of the "ugly American" and is more sharply at odds with the "good neighbor" concept."
- Conference of US Bishops 10/10 Letter "We also feel strongly that the erection of a 700-mile border fence would send a signal to Mexico and other countries in the hemisphere that the United States is not willing to work cooperatively to address the problem of illegal immigration. It could harm our relations with these countries and inhibit bilateral progress on mutual interests."
- Mexico's Foreign Ministry is urging Bush to veto the fence bill, saying that physical barriers on the border would hurt U.S.-Mexico relations saying, "Just the idea of a wall, a fence ... is an insult to good neighbors." He has added that it would create a "climate of tension in the border communities."
- Vincent Fox- "No country that is proud of itself should build walls"
- President Vicente Fox's spokesman Ruben Aguilar told reporters in late September, 2006 that "This decision [to construct a 700-mile fence] hurts bilateral relations, goes against the spirit of cooperation needed to guarantee security on the common, creates a climate of tension in border communities."
- Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein in 2006 called wall proposals "an affront to Latin America by a government that claims to be our partner, but which apparently only wants our money and our merchandise, and that sees our people as an epidemic."