If the U.S. ever gets serious about immigration control, it has to improve cooperation between state and local police and immigration authorities – the way Mexico does.
As James Edwards showed on VDARE.COM recently, present policy is an inefficient - and dangerous - muddle. Many believe that local police officers are forbidden from enforcing U.S. immigration law. That, in fact, has been reported on the news - on Mexico's TV Azteca!
Why can't local police officers, in the normal course of their duties, detain illegal aliens? Contrary to TV Azteca, they can. But in far too many cases, they are impeded from doing so.
Sometimes it's the fault of immigration authorities, who frequently instruct the local police to release illegal aliens they have detained.
Sometimes it's a local police chief or city official. For example, the mayor of North Charleston, S.C., Keith Summey[Send him mail at Mayor@northcharleston.org], has reassured "Hispanics" (the new code word for illegal aliens) that the North Charleston police are not interested in enforcing immigration law: "We're not here to see if their green card is in order."
Another interesting impediment - federal regulations require higher standards for the imprisonment of illegal aliens than they do for U.S. citizen criminals!
The Mexican government, needless to say, is strongly opposed to U.S. police enforcing the immigration law. It could make Mexico's stealth amnesty program, its matricula consular campaign, irrelevant.
Thus on June 3rd (La Opinion – California, June 4th, 2002) five Latino state legislators (Marco Antonio Firebaugh, Simon Salinas, Manny Diaz, Nell Soto and Robert Pacheco) met in the state capitol in Sacramento with five Mexican consuls. Topics included the matricula consular and driver's licenses for illegals. Gustavo Mohr, a representative of the SRE – the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Relations – that is, a foreign government official addressing American legislators - described the proposal that local American police enforce U.S. immigration law as "worrying."
As in so many other cases, however, Mexico demands one policy from the United States and practices another policy itself.
The Mexican government may be horrified at the prospect of American police enforcing immigration law – but here in Mexico, it's a different story. Not only do Mexican police enforce immigration law, but they are specifically required to do so by Mexican law.
Check out Mexico's Ley General de Población ["General Law of Population" – the body of law governing Mexican immigration], Capitulo III, Articulo 73:
Ley General De Población
Capítulo III Inmigración
Las autoridades que por ley tengan a su mando fuerzas públicas federales, locales o municipales, prestarán su colaboración a las autoridades de migración cuando estas lo soliciten, para hacer cumplir las disposiciones de esta ley.For you non-Spanish speakers, that means:
"The authorities who, by virtue of law, exercise a mandate for public enforcement [the police] at federal, local or municipal level, shall provide cooperation to immigration authorities when said immigration authorities request it, to comply with the provisions of this law [the General Law of Population]."It's very clear. And not only does this policy exist in the law books: it is enforced.
Some recent examples:
It's amazing, isn't it?
Notice above, in example #2 that Mexican police can engage in joint operations with immigration authorities. Notice in #4 that the Mexican military also helps enforce immigration law.
Mexican poverty is always cited as a justification for illegal Mexican immigration to the United States (though in my opinion it fails to help Mexico anyway). But Central American poverty does not dissuade Mexican authorities from deporting Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans - whose countries are poorer than Mexico!
Mexico recognizes that immigration law enforcement is part of law enforcement in general.
It's logical, it's consistent, and it's just plain sound public policy.
I have written before that Mexico has a better voter registration system than we do.
Let the record also state that Mexico has a much better system of cooperation between the police and law enforcement authorities.
Our southern neighbors have provided us with a fine example, haven't they?
Let's emulate it.
Never let it be said that Americans are too proud to learn from Mexico!
American citizen Allan Wall lives and works legally in Mexico, where he holds an FM-2 residency and work permit, but serves six weeks a year with the Texas Army National Guard, in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here; his website is here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.