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Judicial Watch • Mexico Migrant Abuse A Human Rights Crisis

Mexico Migrant Abuse A Human Rights Crisis

Mexico Migrant Abuse A Human Rights Crisis

APRIL 29, 2010


While Mexico slams Arizona’s new immigration control law as hateful and discriminatory against Mexicans, illegal aliens are so rampantly abused there that an internationally recognized group has determined a Mexican human rights crisis.

The timing of a new Amnesty International report chastising Mexico for treating illegal immigrants—mostly from Central America—inhumanely could not have come at a worst time for a country that demands rights and respect for its nationals living illegally in the U.S.

The world-renowned human rights organization details atrocious violations committed by Mexican authorities against tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, including rape, murder, beatings and mass kidnappings that get resolved when U.S. relatives pay hefty ransoms.

Among the deplorable anecdotes detailed in the report is the case of a woman whose group of about 100 was forced off a train by Mexican federal police. The migrants were forced to walk for hours in the scorching desert, their belongings were stolen and the woman was subsequently raped by the officers.

“Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses,” said Rupert Knox, Mexico Researcher at Amnesty International. Ironically, the majority of the Central Americans are trying to make their way into the U.S., just like their Mexican counterparts.

They often get intercepted en route, however. Mexican law specifically requires authorities—whether federal, state or municipal—to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country. The new Arizona law that Mexican President Felipe Calderon claims “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement,” is no different than his country’s measure.

SB1070 allows local police to enforce immigration laws, makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documentation and punishes anyone seeking work from a road or sidewalk. Drivers who pick up illegal alien day laborers will also be charged and all residents must provide evidence of their legal status in the U.S. under the new law, which takes effect in a few months.

A travel alert issued by Mexico’s government a day after Arizona’s governor signed SB1070, warns that “every Mexican citizen may be harassed and questioned without further cause at any time.” It also says that Mexican nationals in the U.S. have “inalienable human rights” and can resort to “protection mechanisms” under international, U.S. and Arizona law regardless of immigration status.

President Obama is just as incensed about the measure as his Mexican counterpart and has ordered the Department of Justice to challenge the “misguided” law’s legality and examine its civil rights implications. Of interesting note is that the Arizona bill was carefully adopted from the existing federal statute.


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