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<P align=left>Mexico?s Immigration Law: Let?s Try it Here at Home 1<P align=left>Mexico?s Immigration Law: Let?s Try it Here at Home<P align=left>By J. Michael Waller<P align=left>Mexico has a radical idea for a rational immigration policy that most Americans would<P align=left>love. However, Mexican officials haven?t been sharing that idea with us as they press for<P align=left>our Congress to adopt the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill.<P align=left>That?s too bad, because Mexico, which annually deports more illegal aliens than the<P align=left>United States does, has much to teach us about how it handles the immigration issue.<P align=left>Under Mexican law, it is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico.<P align=left>At a time when the Supreme Court and many politicians seek to bring American law in<P align=left>line with foreign legal norms, it?s noteworthy that nobody has argued that the US look at<P align=left>how Mexico deals with immigration and what it might teach us about how best to solve<P align=left>our illegal immigration problem. Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that<P align=left>foreign visitors and immigrants are:<P align=left>? in the country legally;<P align=left>? have the means to sustain themselves economically;<P align=left>? not destined to be burdens on society;<P align=left>? of economic and social benefit to society;<P align=left>? of good character and have no criminal records; and<P align=left>? contributors to the general well-being of the nation.<P align=left>The law also ensures that:<P align=left>? immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor;<P align=left>? foreign visitors do not violate their visa status;<P align=left>? foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country?s internal politics;<P align=left>? foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported;<P align=left>? foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported;<P align=left>? those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.<P align=left>Who could disagree with such a law? It makes perfect sense. The Mexican constitution<P align=left>strictly defines the rights of citizens ? and the denial of many fundamental rights to noncitizens,<P align=left>illegal and legal. Under the constitution, the Ley General de Población, or<P align=left>General Law on Population, spells out specifically the country?s immigration policy.<P align=left>It is an interesting law ? and one that should cause us all to ask, Why is our great<P align=left>southern neighbor pushing us to water down our own immigration laws and policies,<P align=left>when its own immigration restrictions are the toughest on the continent? If a felony is a<P align=left>crime punishable by more than one year in prison, then Mexican law makes it a felony to<P align=left>be an illegal alien in Mexico.<P align=left>If the United States adopted such statutes, Mexico no doubt would denounce it as a<P align=left>manifestation of American racism and bigotry.<P align=left>Mexico?s Immigration Law: Let?s Try it Here at Home 2<P align=left>We looked at the immigration provisions of the Mexican constitution.[1] Now let?s look<P align=left>at Mexico?s main immigration law.<P align=left>Mexico welcomes only foreigners who will be useful to Mexican society:<P align=left>? Foreigners are admitted into Mexico ?according to their possibilities of<P align=left>contributing to national progress.? (Article 32)<P align=left>? Immigration officials must ?ensure? that ?immigrants will be useful elements for<P align=left>the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance? and for<P align=left>their dependents. (Article 34)<P align=left>? Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets ?the<P align=left>equilibrium of the national demographics,? when foreigners are deemed<P align=left>detrimental to ?economic or national interests,? when they do not behave like<P align=left>good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and<P align=left>when ?they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.? (Article 37)<P align=left>? The Secretary of Governance may ?suspend or prohibit the admission of<P align=left>foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest.? (Article 38)<P align=left>Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country:<P align=left>? Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration<P align=left>authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article<P align=left>73)<P align=left>? A National Population Registry keeps track of ?every single individual who<P align=left>comprises the population of the country,? and verifies each individual?s identity.<P align=left>(Articles 85 and 86)<P align=left>? A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article<P align=left>87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).<P align=left>Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be<P align=left>imprisoned:<P align=left>? Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article<P align=left>116)<P align=left>? Foreigners who sign government documents ?with a signature that is false or<P align=left>different from that which he normally uses? are subject to fine and imprisonment.<P align=left>(Article 116)<P align=left>Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as<P align=left>felons:<P align=left>? Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)<P align=left>? Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country<P align=left>without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)<P align=left>Mexico?s Immigration Law: Let?s Try it Here at Home 3<P align=left>? Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years<P align=left>in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121). Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of<P align=left>their visa while in Mexico ? such as working with out a permit ? can also be<P align=left>imprisoned.<P align=left>Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. The General Law on Population<P align=left>says,<P align=left>? ?A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five<P align=left>thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country<P align=left>illegally.? (Article 123)<P align=left>? Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico<P align=left>instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125)<P align=left>? Foreigners who ?attempt against national sovereignty or security? will be<P align=left>deported. (Article 126)<P align=left>Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered<P align=left>criminals under the law:<P align=left>? A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the<P align=left>foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)<P align=left>? Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico<P align=left>will be fined. (Article 132)<P align=left>All of the above runs contrary to what Mexican leaders are demanding of the United<P align=left>States. The stark contrast between Mexico?s immigration practices versus its American<P align=left>immigration preachings is telling. It gives a clear picture of the Mexican government?s<P align=left>agenda: to have a one-way immigration relationship with the United States.<P align=left>Let?s call Mexico?s bluff on its unwarranted interference in U.S. immigration policy.<P align=left>Let?s propose, just to make a point, that the North American Free Trade Agreement<P align=left>(NAFTA) member nations standardize their immigration laws by using Mexico?s own<P align=left>law as a model.
 
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