So put the shoe on the other foot. There ARE USAers living illegally in Mexico. They are violating Mexican law to do it. Sometimes they are earning money illegally. They are benefitting by being in Mexico. So a law is passed saying local law enforcement can stop anyone who doesn't look Mexican and demand to see their papers. Then they can throw the person in jail if said person isn't carrying papers documenting their legal presence. A lot of us who live here on a permanent basis sure don't carry around papers saying we're here legally even when we are, and obviously people here illegally don't either. So you're on line at the checkout counter at Chedraui, the local supermarket or enjoying a pizza at Roma Pizzeria or picking out good avocadoes at the market or filling your gas tank or talking to your neighbor in the street or....whatever, and a local cop comes over and demands papers and then just takes you off to jail if you can't immediately provide them. No fun. But justified anger at the Arizona law is such that I wouldn't particularly blame local Mexican cops if they started to do just that in retaliation. I kind of doubt they would, or if they did, they'd probably be polite about it, but not in the USA.
Here's an article from today's La Jornada on the Arizona law, my translation:
Legislators from the PRI [political party] and the PRD [political party] Demand Calderon Adopt an Energetic Stance against Arizona's Anti-immigrant Law
Carlos Jiménes and Graco Ramírez fear that similar acts will spread across the US.
By Andrea Becerril andRoberto Garduño
Sunday, April 25th 2010
Senators and deputies of the PRI and the PRD asked that the Mexican government adopt a firm and energetic position towards the US government in order to protect Mexican migrants, facing treatment as criminals in Arizona, because of Law SM 1070.
The president of the Human Rights Commissiono of the Chamber of Debuties, Rubén Moreira, announced that he will travel to Arizona to show solidarity with Mexicans who live there, and demanded that President Calderón make clear Mexican objections.
Senators Carlos Jiménez Macias of the PRI and Graco Ramírez of the PRD think that the legislation may be stopped by the Supreme Court of the United States according to what President Barack Obama himself said, but this process might take as long as ten months, time in which Mexican workers can become victims of the xenophobic, racist, and antimmigrant climate that thrives in Arizona.
Both agreed that the motivation of this new law is electoral, since both the governor, Jan Brewer, and the Republican legislators, including Senator John McCain who promoted it, want to look good to the electorate and be re-elected.
The risk lies not only the contents of this law... but also in the fact that it could enable the intensification of action of groups like the Minute Man Project, dedicated to the persecution of Mexicans and Latinos in general who seek employment in US territory.
It is worrisome, stressed Senator Ramírez, that local and state police who have not had training in migratory issues can now stop migrant workers, and treat them like criminals.
In this regard, Deputy Moreira deplored the fact that "in a globalized world merchandise can travel freely from one side to another, but people who look for work in places with better opportunities are humiliated, detained, and now criminallized."
This law, SB1070, recently signed by Governor Brewer, [Moreira] stressed, "is the product of conservative minds which take as a pretext migrants in order to gain the favor of the elecorate."
In another article in La Jornada:
The unprecedented harshness of the migration law in Arizona is causing a furor in the US....
The defenders of civil rights warn: "It is open season on the hunt for Latinos." However, the conservaties argue that protection against crime is also a human right.
The civilian popuation has been converted into a guarantor of order: now they are empowered by law to spy on their co-citizens, if they consider it neccessary, and indeed, if they do consider it necessary, the police are obligated to examine the foreigner reported to them as suspicious.
'It can't be that for a policeman it's more important to stop a migrant without papers than a violent criminal ....' said Arturo Venegas, the ex-police chief of Sacramento California, who is a member of the civil rights group 'Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative.' The law, he concluded, is a 'catastrophe.'
Mexico, for its part...affirmed ...that 'criminaliation is not the path' for dealing with irregular migration.
'The existence of cross-border labor markets demands joint solutions for the long term. Mutuality, trust, and mutual respect should be the base for attending the goals shared with the US,' indicated the Secretary of External Relations, Patricia Espinoso.
Mexico, she added, recognizes the sovereign right of all countries to decide their public policies, but, she said, "when a measure like SB-1070 potentially affects the human rights of thousands of Mexicans, one can't remain indifferent.