I’m going to deviate from the subject I normally cover on this blog and discuss current events.
As pretty much everyone knows by now, the governor of Arizona recently signed legislation relating to illegal immigration. There has been loud and, at times, violent opposition to the law. Some of the strongest voices against the law come from Mexico – in fact, the Mexican government has condemned the law and issued a travel advisory informing its citizens about it. Perhaps misinformed would be the proper term, but that’s another topic for another day.
The Arizona law allows state and local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they stop or detain for probable cause – not for probable cause of being brown, but, say, having a broken taillight or for speeding. You know, stuff that you’ll already get pulled over for. There are exceptions for victims of crime or those reporting crimes – that is, if a Hispanic woman tells a police officer that she’s been raped, immigration status is not relevant.
This has infuriated the Mexican government. Why, then, is the title of this blog post “The Hypocrisy of Mexico”? Well, Article 67 of Mexico’s Population Law states, “Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal … are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.”
In other words, if an American woman had illegally crossed into Mexico and was raped, Mexican authorities would be more concerned with her immigration status than the fact that she had been assaulted.
While the above situation is quite rare, it is common for people from Central America who are traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States to be harassed by Mexican law enforcement authorities, as this AP article describes.
So I ask you – which government treats illegal immigrants with more respect and dignity…Arizona or Mexico? When I hear of Arizona law enforcement officials stealing the belongings of illegal immigrants and leaving them to be assaulted by roving bands of human predators, I might change my mind. Until then, the answer is pretty clear to me.