It is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico
Immigration is the normal and lawful influx of foreign nationals into a country. Immigration is not the issue in America, and no attempt to paint people like Heaton as xenophobes can be successful. The issue is illegal immigration and how to deal with it in an enlightened and compassionate way.
At a recent rally in Chicago for immigration rights, a young person held up a sign reading, "A human being cannot be illegal." Compelling, but unfortunately incorrect, at least in the view of one nation's laws: Mexico.
Many Americans would dearly love to adopt Mexican law on immigration for our own, although that nation presses for Congress to adopt the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill.
According to CenterforSecurityPolicy.org., Mexican immigration law holds it is a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico. In fact, Mexico annually deports more illegal aliens than the United States does.
Mexico has a single, streamlined law that ensures that foreign visitors and immigrants are in the country legally; have the means to sustain themselves economically; are not destined to be burdens on society; of economic and social benefit to society; of good character, with no criminal record; and are contributors to the general well-being of the nation.
The law also ensures that immigration authorities have a record of each foreign visitor. Foreign visitors do not violate their visa status. Foreign visitors are banned from interfering in the country's internal politics. Foreign visitors who enter under false pretenses are imprisoned or deported. Foreign visitors violating the terms of their entry are imprisoned or deported. Those who aid in illegal immigration will be sent to prison.
The Mexican constitution strictly defines the rights of citizens and the denial of many fundamental rights to non-citizens. Under the constitution, the Ley General de PoblaciÃ³n, or General Law on Population, spells out specifically the country's immigration policy, one of the toughest on the continent.
Mexico's main immigration law says foreigners are admitted into Mexico "according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress" (Article 32). Immigration officials must "ensure" that "immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance" and for their dependents (Article 34). Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets "the equilibrium of the national demographics," when foreigners are deemed detrimental to "economic or national interests," when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when "they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy" (Article 37). The Secretary of Governance may "suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest" (Article 38). Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country. Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants (Article 73).
A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87) and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91). Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned (Article 116). Foreigners who sign government documents "with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses" are subject to fine and imprisonment (Article 116). Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years (Article 118).
The article quoting Mexican immigration law continues further than this column's ability to publish it. But the point is not to ridicule that nation's policy, but to applaud it as exceptionally enlightened and necessarily forceful.
Congress should scrap the current immigration reform initiatives and adopt the Mexican immigration policy as our own. They are far more realistic and rightfully concerned about the impact of illegal aliens than we are.
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