Mexico May Go to U.N. over U.S. Border Fence

Mexico is considering asking the U.N. to stop the U.S. from building a fence along its southern border.

Mexico’s foreign secretary said Monday the country may take a dispute over U.S. plans to build a fence on the Mexican border to the United Nations. Luis Ernesto Derbez told reporters in Paris, his first stop on a European tour, that a legal investigation was under way to determine whether Mexico has a case.

The Mexican government last week sent a diplomatic note to Washington criticizing the plan for 700 miles of new fencing along the border. President-elect Felipe Calderon also denounced the plan, but said it was a bilateral issue that should not be put before the international community.

While I’m more than a bit dubious about building a fence on the Mexican border, I have no idea what sort of “case” there would be against it. Aside from the multilateral NAFTA treaty, which would not be impacted with a fence, I know of no obligation the United States would be under to leave its border unsecure to a continued flood of illegal immigrants.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    Well, didn’t the Palestinians go to the World Court over the Israeli fence?

    And I think they even won an advisory, nonbinding opinion, which will get you a latte at Starbucks, if you add $3.

  2. ranman says:

    Why is Mexico so upset about a fence? Try crossing into Mexico illegally from Central America and see what happens to you. The government of Mexico is happy to let their people cross into the United States because some of them send American dollars home to their family’s.I would like to have a better relationship with Mexico,but that is not likely,so lets put up a fence with a guard-post every mile.
    BTW,is it possible that some in the Mexican government are involved with the illegal drugs that cross the border daily? “money talks,fences walk”

  3. James Joyner says:


    True that. Of course, that was a fence designed to preclude legal residents of one part of the country to move back and forth to another part of the country and had a major impact on their legal livelihood. I’m not sure how a fence along an international border to keep out illegal migrants and drug traffickers would constitute a human rights violation.

    Political grandstanding, futility, and silliness, sure.

  4. Soa says:

    Saudi fence is going up too. Canada fence is next; before Canada leaves NATO after complaining other countries will not live up to NATO obligations, which was a game Canada always played. Old helicopters, subs, planes, and equipment bought with the intention of suing the seller and having an excuse not to be up to NATO.

    Canada is gradually ‘going Iraq'(insurgency). It will disintegrate and consider itself not responsible for the terrorists going over the border. The terrorists are here and your next door neighbor and the the ones convicted are out on bail. They are already using the excuse that they have criminal records not to go over the border and commit terror. This leads to organizations, such as Hezbollah, farming out work in the US to other groups like the Tigers. The arrangement for the purchases in New Jersey could have been done by my next door neighbor and he just laughs and poison every ones’ food. So, he’s worried he has to com mitt terror in Canada. He advises the guy on the phone just fine.

    Delaying the fence was a mistake and already worried that it will cost the US. So, why would Americans be this stupid? Because it’s another democrat like Bill Clinton who will allow them to go over the border again and kill Americans.

    Canada now has poisonings from the US now that it’s a FBI criminal investigation. Maybe they’ll sue?

  5. Anderson says:

    I’m not sure how a fence along an international border to keep out illegal migrants and drug traffickers would constitute a human rights violation.

    Oh, I can’t imagine how they’ve got a case … but I’d happily represent them, on an hourly-fee basis …

  6. lyssad says:

    Aside from that it won’t work and will maim the environment, I can’t think of a case against it either. Based on the 10 miles of fence already completed over the past 13 years, materials alone are $4 million per mile,labor and overhead raising it to at least $9,000,000. We can complete this project by the year 2916, at a cost of Five Trillion Six Hundred Billion Dollars.

    To prevent people doing the obvious by just going around it, we can fence the other two thirds of the border as well for sixteen trillion. ($16,000,000,000)
    Sure, let’s build that sucker!

  7. Does national sovereignty still mean anything at all?