Is Mexico our partner in securing our border? Republican presidential candidate John McCain thinks so. Campaigning in Iowa, McCain assured his audience that Mexico's President Calderon is going to help us secure the border. [McCain says Mexico's new president will help protect borders Associated Press, June 1, 2007]
It's funny McCain would say that, for several reasons.
For one thing, the candidate hasn't been too concerned in the past about illegal immigration.
And, if our own president doesn't want to secure our border, why would the president of Mexico want to secure it?
Ironically, Mexico could help us secure our border—and dry up illegal immigration—simply by enforcing Mexican law.
You won't hear this from Mexican officials. They will tell you that Mexicans are free to leave or enter the country and that, constitutionally, they can't stop them.
Ah, how beautiful. Every Mexican is free as a bird, can go where he desires, uninhibited by those pesky artificial borders.
Not according to Mexican law.
Let's examine first that famous Mexican "constitutional right" to emigrate. Article 11 of the Mexican Constitution [PDF] decrees that:
"Every person has a right to enter the [Mexican] Republic, to leave it, to travel through its territory and to change residence, without necessity of a security document, passport, safe-conduct or any other similar requirement.
Well, there you go. Free as a bird, right? But wait, that's not the end of Article 11! The second part says that…
"The exercise of this right will be subordinate to the powers of the judicial authority, in cases of criminal or civil responsibility, and of the administrative authority, regarding the limitations the laws impose upon emigration, immigration and the general health of the [Mexican] Republic, or over pernicious foreigners residing in the country." [Artículo 11. Todo hombre tiene derecho para entrar en la República , salir de ella, viajar por su territorio y mudar de residencia, sin necesidad de carta de seguridad, pasaporte, salvo-conducto u otros requisitos semejantes. El ejercicio de este derecho estará subordinado a las facultades de la autoridad judicial, en los casos de responsabilidad criminal o civil, y a las de la autoridad administrativa, por lo que toca a las limitaciones que impongan las leyes sobre emigración, inmigración y salubridad general de la República , o sobre extranjeros perniciosos residentes en el país.]
In other words, the Mexican government does have the power to halt emigration.
It just doesn't want to do it.
It's important to read the entire article. Mexican politicians like to quote the first part, when washing their hands of illegal emigration, but they don't mention the second part. (Except they might like to quote that " pernicious foreigners" part.)
Now, let's move on to the Ley General de Población (General Law of Population), which governs Mexican immigration law. In a previous article I shared what that law says about immigration to Mexico. Now let's see what it says about emigration from Mexico:
The Population law PDF very clearly limits the rights of Mexicans to emigrate, in various ways.
ARTICLE 7 of the Population Law delineates the authority of the Secretaría de Gobernación (The Department of the Interior) to manage Mexico's immigration system.
According to Article 7: II, part of that responsibility is:
"To guard the entrance and exit of nationals [Mexican] and foreigners, and to inspect the documentation of both." [II.- Vigilar la entrada y salida de los nacionales y extranjeros, y revisar la documentación de los mismo.]
Notice, the Interior Department has authority over the departure and entrance to Mexico of both foreigners (me, for example) and Mexicans. And it has the right to check the papers of both foreigners and Mexicans.
Then, things get more specific. Article 10 stipulates that
"It is the exclusive authority of the Department of the Interior to establish the places designated for the movement of persons and to regulate them….[Artículo 10.- Es facultad exclusiva de la Secretaría de Gobernación fijar los lugares destinados al tránsito de personas y regular el mismo, por puertos marítimos, aéreos y fronteras, previa opinión de las Secretarías de Hacienda y Crédito Público, Comunicaciones y Transportes, Salubridad y Asistencia, Relaciones Exteriores, Agricultura y Ganadería y en su caso la de Marina; asimismo consultará a las demás dependencias y organismos que juzgue conveniente.
Las dependencias y organismos que se mencionan, están obligados a proporcionar los elementos necesarios para prestar los servicios que sean de sus respectivas competencias.]
So the Department of the Interior has the right to set up border crossing stations, in consultation with a whole list of other government departments.
It's sounding less and less like "free as a bird," isn't it?
Article 11 states that:
"The international movement of persons through ports, airports and borders can only be carried out in the designated locations for them and on the established schedule, with the participation of the migratory authorities."
Artículo 11.- El tránsito internacional de personas por puertos, aeropuertos y fronteras, sólo podrá efectuarse por los lugares designados para ello y dentro del horario establecido, con la intervención de las autoridades migratorias.
To summarize thus far, Article 7 stipulates that these rules apply to foreigners and Mexicans. Article 10 sets up the official crossing points. Article 11 says both foreigners and Mexicans can only cross at those official points!
That means that Mexican officials and apologists who tell us Mexicans can cross our border anytime/anyway/anyhow they please, are WRONG—according to Mexican law.
Why doesn't some American official point this out to them?
Article 12 grants the Mexican Interior Department the right to temporarily close down an official crossing station, if necessary for the public interest.
And Article 13 says that
"[Mexican] nationals and foreigners who enter or depart from the country [Mexico] must complete the requirements demanded by the current Law, its regulations and other applicable provisions." [Artículo 13.- Los nacionales y extranjeros para entrar o salir del país, deberán llenar los requisitos exigidos por la presente Ley, sus reglamentos y otras disposiciones aplicables.].
So Mexican law stipulates that Mexicans leaving the country must cross at official Mexican government crossing stations, and fill out the necessary paperwork.
And it gets even more specific later on …
Article 76 of the Population Law grants the interior Department responsibility to "investigate the causes" of Mexican emigration and "dictate measures to regulate it."
Once again, legally, the Mexican government CAN regulate emigration—although they say they can't.
The second part of Article 76 stipulates that the Interior Department will work with the foreign ministry to protect Mexican emigrants. Well, that's the part they like, but they ignore the other parts.
Article 77 defines what an emigrant is: "Emigrants are Mexicans and foreigners who leave the country (Mexico) with the purpose of residing abroad."
Article 78 is another one that's ignored by Mexican authorities. It lists five requirements for emigrants (in addition to the routine requirements).
Requirement V is the catch-all "any applicable regulations." Requirement I is to submit all necessary personal and statistical information. And Requirement II is to be an adult or a minor accompanied by those who exercise parental authority.
Requirement IV stipulates that nobody who is a fugitive from justice or currently arraigned in court can emigrate. That's interesting. So according to Mexican law, a criminal or even an accused person cannot emigrate.
And, Requirement III is very interesting:
"If they are Mexicans, (they must present) proof that they can comply with the legal requirements of their country of destination, according to the status to which they aspire." [La comprobación, si se trata de mexicanos, de que pueden cumplir todos los requisitos que para entrar al país a donde se dirijan exijan las leyes del mismo, según el carácter con que pretendan hacerlo.]
So, according to Mexican law, Mexicans can't leave Mexico for another country (including the U.S.), unless they present proof that they can legally enter that country (including the U.S.).
That means all Mexican illegal aliens are violating Mexican law, and the Mexican government, rather than stopping it encourages it!
And there's more:
"Article 79: In regards to Mexican laborers, it will be necessary that they prove that they have been hired for an obligatory temporary period by the manager or the one who hired them, and with sufficient salaries for their necessities. Migration officials will demand the conditions of work in written form, approved by the Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje (Mexican labor court) within whose jurisdiction the agreement was made and granted a visa by the consul of the country where the work must be performed." [Artículo 79.- Cuando se trate de trabajadores mexicanos, será necesario que comprueben ir contratados por temporalidades obligatorias para el patrón o contratista y con salarios suficientes para satisfacer sus necesidades. El personal de Migración exigirá las condiciones de trabajo por escrito, aprobadas por la Junta de Conciliación y Arbitraje dentro de cuya jurisdicción se celebraron y visadas por el Cónsul del país donde deban prestarse los servicios.]
So, according to Mexican law, not only must Mexican emigrants prove they can legally enter the U.S., they must prove they already have a job lined up! The guest worker must present his written contract, approved by both the appropriate Mexican labor relations board and by the U.S. consulate!
Needless to say, this Mexican law, designed to protect Mexican workers, is being ignored by Mexican officials.
The next article (80) says that if Mexican workers travel collectively (in a group) to work abroad, they must be overseen by the Interior Department, to verify that they are complying with appropriate laws and regulations.
To summarize: when Mexican officials make light of illegal emigration by saying they can't stop it, they are pulling our leg.
And somebody ought to call them on it.
The next time a Mexican politician or ambassador says that, an American politician or journalist should demonstrate, using Mexican law, that it's not true.
Mexico could end illegal emigration by simply enforcing its own laws. Instead, Mexico encourages its people to break our laws while simultaneously breaking their own.
That's because the Mexican government has no intention of stopping emigration.
Obviously, the Bush Administration doesn't either.
Are Mexico and the U.S. "partners"?
Sure they are—not partners in securing the border, but partners in obliterating it!
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.