Examiner Editorial: Criminalizing immigration? Ask Mexico 

Mexican President Felipe Calderón has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world because his country is being steadily taken over by drug cartels that think nothing of butchering anybody who gets in their way, often in a very gruesome manner. An estimated 22,000 people have been murdered by the cartels in recent years on the Mexican side of the border with the U.S. Calderón has rightly stood up to the drug cartels, often having to use the Mexican army because local police and politicians are paralyzed by fear or fatally compromised by bribes, blackmail and other forms of intimidation.

Judging by his remarks last week in Washington, D.C., however, one has to wonder if Calderón would be happy to have an open border so he could export the drug cartels to the U.S. He condemned our alleged “criminalization of immigration” and declared that he “strongly disagrees” with Arizona’s new immigration law because it “ignores reality.” No U.S. president would have the gall to use an official visit to Mexico to condemn the thousands of arrests of Central American immigrants crossing Mexico’s southern border into the state of Chiapas. And in the unlikely event that he did, does anyone think members of Mexico’s Congress of the Union would stand and cheer as Democratic members of our Congress did Thursday? What an outrage to see U.S. lawmakers and cabinet members applauding a foreign head of state for criticizing Arizona’s efforts to stop the flood of murderers, kidnappers, thieves, coyotes, and thugs unleashed on the state by Mexican drug lords.

Democrats should hold their applause and consider Mexico’s immigration policies, codified in that country’s General Law on Population, adopted in 2000. Under Mexican immigration law, illegal immigrants are sentenced to up to two years in prison for a first violation and up to 10 years for a second violation. Foreigners in Mexico who violate their visas can be jailed for six years. Mexican law also empowers the government to deport any foreigner whose presence authorities deem harmful to Mexico’s “economic or national interests, or who is not “physically or mentally healthy,” or who lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” for them and their dependents. We wonder if the sanctimonious Calderón would consider that “criminalizing

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Rich Bunnell

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