Mexico’s government expressed disappointment to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld a controversial part of Arizona’s immigration law. Despite striking down several provisions in SB-1070, the Supreme Court ruled that Arizona had the right to ask for proof that suspects detained were in the U.S. legally. The law has opened up a national debate in the U.S. with arguments reaching all the way to presidential politics. But Mexico has been very vocal since 2010 in its opposition to the law.
Mexico filed “friend of the court” brief
Mexico expressed its disdain for the law when it submitted an Amicus Curiae, also known as a friend of the court brief. The Phoenix New Times provided a copy of the brief found here. The somewhat rambling 27-page document provides more ethical arguments than actual legal ones. They contend that their citizens should be afforded all the protections provided to U.S. citizens by the U.S. Constitution.
The filing also stated that Arizona law SB-1070 would create an environment of violence and discrimination reminiscent of the struggles of pre-Civil Rights-era African-Americans. The brief expressed concern that even legal immigrants would face unfair treatment that could adversely affect U.S.-Mexico relations. The brief threw in everything but the kitchen sink by warning that the law would have negative consequences on everything from tourism to trade.
The brief also contained a veiled threat that the Mexican government would not work with the U.S. if the law was allowed to stand, as when it writes, “SB 1070 threatens the U.S.-Mexico efforts by straining and encumbering bilateral collaboration.”
Please don’t send them back
In a vacuum, Mexico’s filing and subsequent disappointment at the ruling could be seen as a governmental concern for its citizens around the world. On the contrary, Mexico has been very vocal about having their citizens returned to their borders. In 2010, a group of mayors from Mexican cities along the border asked that the U.S. lessen the number of criminal illegal immigrants it was deporting. They said that by returning these citizens of Mexico it put undue stress on their economy and created unsafe living conditions.
In June 2012, Mexican President Felipe Calderon expressed his gratitude to President Obama for finally limiting deportations. While Calderon speaks of “valor” in Obama’s new immigration initiative and decries Arizona’s SB-1070, Mexico’s leader is simply reaffirming their request to stop sending Mexicans to Mexico.