The Mexican Solution

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Washington Times, April 4, 2006

The Congress has received lots of free advice lately from Mexican government officials and illegal aliens waving Mexico’s flag in mass demonstrations coast-to-coast. Most of it takes the form of bitter complaints about our actual or prospective treatment of immigrants from that country who have gotten into this one illegally—or who aspire to do so.

If you think these critics are mad about U.S. immigration policy now, imagine how upset they would be if we adopted an approach far more radical than the bill they rail against that was adopted last year by the House of Representatives—namely, the way Mexico treats illegal aliens.

In fact, as a just-published paper by the Center for Security Policy’s J. Michael Waller points out, under a constitution first adopted in 1917 and subsequently amended, Mexico deals harshly not only with illegal immigrants. It treats even legal immigrants, naturalized citizens and foreign investors in ways that would, by the standards of those who carp about U.S. immigration policy, have to be called “racist” and “xenophobic.”

For example, according to an official translation published by the Organization of American States, the Mexican constitution includes the following restrictions:

•Pursuant to Article 33, “Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.” This ban applies, among other things, to participation in demonstrations and the expression of opinions in public about domestic politics like those much in evidence in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere in recent days.

•Equal employment rights are denied to immigrants, even legal ones. Article 32: “Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable.”

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•Foreigners, to say nothing of illegal immigrants, are denied fundamental property rights. For example, Article 27 states, “Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters.”

•Article 11 guarantees federal protection against “undesirable aliens resident in the country.” What is more, private individuals are authorized to make citizen’s arrests. Article 16 states, “In cases of flagrante delicto, any person may arrest the offender and his accomplices, turning them over without delay to the nearest authorities.” In other words, Mexico grants its citizens the right to arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution. Imagine the Minutemen exercising such a right.

•The Mexican constitution states that foreigners—not just illegal immigrants—may be expelled for any reason and without due process. According to Article 33, “the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action.”

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