Where Was Mexico In Last Night's Debate?
October 23, 2012

In the third and final debate the two presidential candidates squared off on foreign policy. Of course, the spotlight was focused on the Middle East: the nuclear possibilities of Iran, the stability of Pakistan, the U.S. allegiance to Israel. The list of countries tackled last night continue to be buzzing in headlines: Libya, Syria, Egypt, China, Russia. Topics like (the popular) terrorist cells and drones, and (the not so relevant) education and “Obamacare” all got playing time. It seems they covered almost every major foreign country and topic except one: Mexico.

Photo by Susan Murphy
The number of times each country was mentioned during the final Presidential Debate on Foreign Policy, October 22, 2012.

Here are three topics we would have liked the candidates to tackle.

1) Border security: This month, a U.S. border patrol agent killed a teenager from Nogales. The teen was allegedly throwing rocks and matters escalated quickly. As we have covered, the Department of Homeland Security is now investigating the use-of-force polices of the border patrol. What is the role of a border patrol officer? When is it OK to use deadly force?

2) Immigration Policy: In the second debate, Gov. Romney was vague in what he was actually going to do with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In more or less words, he said he would dismantle it.

"I won't put in place magnets for people coming here illegally. So for instance, I would not give driver's licenses to those that have come here illegally as the president would."

And in its place he mentioned a pathway for citizenship through military service. Romney also said he would do something that no president has been able to do — have comprehensive immigration reform enacted — in his first year. What are his specific plans to make that happen?

3) Drug War: The drug war still exists and it's complex. This summer a major U.S. bank was blasted for helping launder billions of dollars from powerful Mexican drug cartels. And as we reported the biggest problem fueling the drug war may be our own drug habits at home. What is the U.S. role in Mexico’s ongoing drug war? What type of policies do we need to establish in the U.S. to help our allies to the south?