In an article by Michelle Malkin titled “How Mexico Treats Its Illegal Aliens”, I found a well laid out argument showing the contrast between Mexico’s immigration provisions and SB 1070 in Arizona.
The reality is that Mexico is making demands on the United States that it will not concede to its Southern neighbor, Central America. Just as immigrants cross the U.S./Mexico border, there are immigrants from Cuba and Central America crossing Mexico’s southern border. Does Mexico treat their illegal immigrants the same way that they demand Arizona and the United States treat their illegal immigrants?
Of course not. In fact, Mexico’s immigration laws and policies are far stricter than any imposed in the United States.
Malkin points out that “illegal entry into [Mexico] is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment… Document fraud and alien marriage fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country.”
If a person crosses the United States’ southern border into the state of Arizona the punishment that they can expect to receive is nowhere near what Mexico hands out. First, the immigrant has to have been “found out” and by law this will be when an officer of the law is suspicious of their citizenship status while executing his duties. If the officer becomes highly suspicious that a person is in the country illegally, he can request documents of proof from that person. At this point the new law requires the law enforcement officer to check with U.S. Immigrations or another federal agency to confirm and detain the person if they are in the country illegally.
Some type of civil offense has to have taken place before an officer even approaches an individual about their immigration status in Arizona. This is not the case in Mexico — the mere suspicion of a person’s lack of citizenship is all the Mexican authorities need to detain and question a person.
It is a national mandate that all law enforcement personnel, local, state, and federal, are required to enforce Mexico’s immigration laws. Not only is the military required to assist in this, but a civilian/citizen can also make an arrest. Nowhere in the United States is a citizen authorized to arrest someone that they think is here illegally.
Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks every tourist and foreign traveler at all times. They have a National Registry that tracks and verifies the identity of all Mexican citizens, who must carry identification card, just as Americans are required to do in the form of an identification card or driver’s license. If someone is unable to produce this documentation, they can be arrested as an illegal alien.
In Arizona the difference is that there is no registry listing every non-citizen within its borders. That is not a state responsibility, but falls on the United States government to maintain and enforce. At the state level the ability to verify one’s citizenship in support of the 14th Amendment by local and state law enforcement or even businesses is already permitted. Whenever you are approached by the police they will ask to see identification; if you are in a vehicle the officer will ask to see your driver’s license, and when you are being hired for a job you are given paperwork that specifically asks for proof of citizenry.
The provisions of Mexico’s Ley General de Población (General Law of the Population) lays out their rules and there’s been no public outcry for immigration reform, because it is illegal for any non-citizen to express such in public gatherings. Is this not what the Mexican government is doing here by registering a complaint with the President and joining in on the lawsuits against Arizona’s new immigration law?
They do not allow any non-citizens to participate in or be involved with the political affairs of their country. There are a lot of Mexican statutes that limit the participation of foreigners in everything from investment, education, mining, and civil aviation to energy and firearms. This is especially true when it comes to both private property and your rights at your place of employment.
Malkin points out that if an individual applies for citizenship with the Mexican Consulate they:
- must not upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics”
- must enhance the country’s “economic or national interests”
- must not be found to be “physically or mentally unhealthy”
- must show no “contempt against national sovereignty or security”
- must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories…
- must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.
If we applied this to the immigrants that enter this country illegally or apply to become an American citizen, would it ease the tensions that have been brewing ever since SB 1070 was introduced? Perhaps not, but presenting this argument just might make Mexico sit back and do as they say, and not as they please.