Isn't the internet great? I love it because it puts the world at my fingertips.
And it's a great tool for the patriotic immigration reform movement. It helps us make an end run around the MainStream Media [MSM] and the political Establishment. Just look how effective it's been in defeating amnesty during the past few years.
At the same time, you have to be careful. There is a lot of fraudulent and misleading information floating around the Internet. And so much of it is of unknown provenance. Many documents are of unknown authorship and provide no supporting documentation to confirm the information presented.
For several years now, a document has been circulating on the internet purporting to explain Mexican immigration law, presenting Mexican immigration laws and proposing them for the U.S. I keep seeing it pop up again and again. (Read it here).
Rush Limbaugh, who generally shows little interest in the topic of immigration or the National Question, got hold of these "proposals" and took credit for them. Rush quoted them on a broadcast, calling them the Limbaugh Laws, although he didn't even know where they'd come from.
Now the point of this Internet document is that the Mexican government is hypocritical about immigration, and has stricter laws than we do. That's certainly true. And, as I've pointed out before, we could stand to emulate some of Mexico's approach to immigration.
The problem with the proposals document is that it doesn't accurately summarize Mexican immigration. It mixes the true, the false, the misleading and the incomprehensible.
It doesn't really help the cause to use such information, especially when there is more reliable data available. We already have the deck stacked against us by the Mainstream Media and the political elite. Why make it worse by quoting dubious documents?
In the interests of setting the record straight, I hereby critique this document point by point.
"THE FOLLOWING IMMIGRATION LAWS ARE PROPOSED...
"1. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools..."
My comment: We need to be careful about absolute statements, and unclear statements. What kind of bilingual programs are being discussed here?
It's not correct to say that Mexico doesn't have bilingual programs. Many private schools have very strong Spanish/English bilingual programs—I've taught in them. And in some regions of Mexico, public schools offer bilingual education to Indian students, who study both Spanish and their indigenous language.
What Mexico doesn't do, though, is to provide "bilingual" i.e. foreign-language maintenance education to immigrants, as we do in the United States.
Immigrant children just have to learn Spanish.
One of my sons, for example, had a kindergarten classmate from China. When the school year started, he didn't speak Spanish. But he didn't have any instruction in Chinese. Yet the boy quickly picked up Spanish, and English (my son helped him with that language!). It's amazing what the kids can do.
"2. All ballots will be in this nation's language…"
My comment: Yes, Mexico has ballots only in Spanish, that's true.
"3. All government business will be conducted in our language…
My comment: Fair enough. Practically all government business in Mexico is conducted in Spanish, with some exceptions. Foreigners charged with a crime in Mexico are supposed to be provided with a translator. However, I have never had the opportunity to see if that law is practiced—nor do I plan to!
"4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here…"
My comment: This one just doesn't even make sense. Why would non-residents have the right to vote anyway? They don't have that right in the United States.
In Mexico, non-citizens are not allowed to vote. But if a non-citizen becomes a citizen, then he does have the right to vote.
It is true, however, that Mexico is better at keeping non-citizens from voting. And it has no plans to put illegal immigrants on any "Path to citizenship". In Mexico, illegal immigrants are deported—if they're lucky.
"5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office…"
My comment: This one doesn't make sense either. Non-citizens by their very status should not hold political office. That's obvious.
But it is true that in the United States, after an immigrant becomes a citizen, he can hold any office except the presidency (and some people even want to change that). In Mexico however, naturalized citizens are limited from many more positions. A naturalized Mexican citizen can never serve in the military during peacetime, can never be a policeman, and can never be a pilot, captain or crew member on any vessel or aircraft bearing a Mexican insignia. And a naturalized Mexican can never be in charge of a port or airport. A naturalized Mexican can never be president (Constitution Article 82), just as in the U.S. But he can also never be in the Mexican Congress (unlike ours) (Articles 55 and 58), can never be on the Supreme Court (article 95), and never be a governor of a Mexican state (Article 116) nor serve in the legislature or as mayor of Mexico City (Article 122).
The truth of the matter is, no matter how well-assimilated a naturalized Mexican is, he will always be a sort of second-class citizen.
"6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported…"
My comment: It's not exactly accurate to say that no foreigners will ever receive welfare in Mexico. Refugees, for example, are entitled to receive some welfare benefits. (And, technically, immigrants to the U.S. aren't supposed to be 'public charge' either. But the law has been subverted.)
But the main way Mexico prevents foreigners/immigrants from taking too much welfare is to carefully select the type of immigrant it allows in the country. (Mexico receives a lot fewer immigrants a year than the U.S. and has a negative net migration rate.) Basically, to be a legal resident here, you must either be employed, or have an independent income from abroad.
In other words, for the most part, Mexico doesn't take in paupers—so it doesn't have to worry about foreigners taking advantage of its already meager welfare benefits. That's very smart, isn't it?
"7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage..."
My comment: misstated, but there is a point here. Mexico used to be very restrictive to foreign investors, but in recent years it has greatly expanded opportunities for foreign investors—after all, they want the money!
The "40,000 times the minimum wage" rule applies to an "Investor Immigrant", and the amount "may consist of shares, social participation or certificates of participation, fixed assets or rights as beneficiary through economic activities". But there are various other ways in which a foreigner might invest money in Mexico, so anyone interested in that ought to investigate Mexican law to see which is the most convenient for him. (Doing Business in Mexico
Still, there are still sectors of the economy off limits to foreign investment, such as petroleum. The U.S. remains much more open than Mexico.
"8. If foreigners come here and buy land... options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country…."
My comment: It's true that foreigners can't buy land on the border or on the beach, unlike in the U.S. But, as I've explained elsewhere, lawyers figured out a loophole, a way they can own it with a sort of trust. However, it's not perfect—oowning land in Mexico can be tricky.
"9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation..."
My comment: Basically true. A foreigner can probably bad-mouth the president and do some of these other things as long as he's not too obvious about it. What's true is that according to Mexican law, any participation in politics will subject the foreigner to deportation. And it happens from time to time.
"10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you…"
My comment: Not necessarily. The Mexican government isn't actively hunting down illegal aliens all over the country. They have a more efficient way to do it.
In the first place, immigration authorities aren't the only ones who enforce immigration law. Local police, state police, and soldiers all enforce immigration.
But they don't have to walk all over the country turning over every stone looking for an illegal. What Mexicans do is set up checkpoints at strategic chokepoints. They check trains and buses and stations a lot, that sort of thing. In other words, they don't have to scour the country for illegals when they just man the strategic areas where illegal aliens would be found.
And after these illegals are apprehended, they are detained (in either a regular jail or special detention center for illegal aliens) until they are unceremoniously booted from Mexico. Not to mention the widespread reports of extra-curricular abuses suffered at the hands of some Mexican security personnel including robbery and rape.
The problem here is that these "proposals" contain quite a lot of truth, but are mixed with some incorrect and misleading characterizations, which could get you into trouble with somebody who knew something about the topic.
In other words, it's better than the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page—but not as good as VDARE.COM!
I also strongly recommend that you donate to VDARE.COM.
Why? Because unlike these fly-by-night undocumented documents floating about cyber-space, VDARE.COM has an address.
The articles on VDARE.COM contain lots of hyper-links, so you can look up the documentation for yourself. And, if you care to, you can write to our authors and dialogue with them and even argue with them. You can ask for clarification.
That's why VDARE.COM is much better than dubious documents such as the one dealt with above. So donate today, to keep us in business. You can donate here. It's a great investment for our nation's future.
Now, I'd like to close the article with a list of my articles that deal with Mexican immigration law and practice. (Some of them are already hyperlinked above.) These, unlike the document we discussed above, are documented. I invite you to read them and use them as sources.
Allan Wall's suggested articles:
(Basic Mexican Immigration Law and what we can learn from it.)
(What gringos shouldn't do in Mexico.)
(What about those American retirees in Mexico?)
(A little known detail our leaders ought to point out to Mexican officials.)
(Because they're used as emergency rooms!)
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here and his website is here.