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Biden: Blame immigration woes on Mexico

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061128/ap_on_el_pr/biden2008 Biden: Blame immigration woes on Mexico By JIM DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer 26 minutes ago
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 27, 2006
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061128/ap_on_el_pr/biden2008

      Biden: Blame immigration woes on Mexico

      By JIM DAVENPORT, Associated Press Writer 26 minutes
      ago

      COLUMBIA, S.C. - Sen. Joe Biden, the Senate Foreign
      Relations Committee's incoming chairman, wants to get
      tough with Mexico, calling it an "erstwhile democracy"
      with a "corrupt system" responsible for illegal
      immigration and drug problems in the U.S.

      Biden, D-Del., was in Columbia on Monday in his first
      postelection trip to this first-in-the-South
      presidential primary state as he continues to line up
      support for his presidential bid.

      During a question-and-answer session before more than
      230 Columbia Rotary Club members, Biden was asked
      about immigration problems.

      Biden, who favors tightening the U.S.-Mexico border
      with fences, said immigration is driven by money in
      low-wage Mexico.

      "Mexico is a country that is an erstwhile democracy
      where they have the greatest disparity of wealth,"
      Biden said. "It is one of the wealthiest countries in
      the hemisphere and because of a corrupt system that
      exists in Mexico, there is the 1 percent of the
      population at the top, a very small middle class and
      the rest is abject poverty."

      Unless the political dynamics change in Mexico and
      U.S. employers who hire illegal immigrants are
      punished, illegal immigration won't stop. "All the
      rest is window dressing," he said.

      An even bigger problem are illegal drugs "coming up
      through corrupt Mexico," he said. "People are driving
      across that border with tons, tons — hear me — tons of
      everything from byproducts for methamphetamines, to
      cocaine, to heroine."

      Covering a variety of topics, Biden kept most of the
      crowd in their seats for an hour — twice as long as
      scheduled.

      "I warn all of you, all of you making more than a
      million bucks — I hope you all are — I'm taking away
      your tax cut," Biden said. "I'm not joking."

      The extra revenue would generate $75 billion a year
      and pay for a backlog in national security and local
      law enforcement programs, Biden said.

      Biden's appeal for bipartisanship captured Bruce
      Rippeteau, a former Rotary president who says he's in
      the Genghis Khan wing of the Republican Party.

      He "was saying some important things in a nonpolitical
      way," Rippeteau said.

      "I want to compliment him about what he didn't say,"
      Wilson said. "He never one time mentioned weapons of
      mass destruction."

      Biden will lead the Foreign Relations panel because
      Republicans around the nation lost seats in the Nov. 7
      elections. That tide didn't reach Republican-dominated
      South Carolina, where the GOP maintained its four U.S.
      House seats and Democrats kept their two.
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