Why Mexico opposes the Arizona immigration law
Across the political, geographic, and ideological spectrum, Mexicans say they are against the new Arizona immigration law. Some will boycott Arizona. But others worry about loss of income from Mexicans sending home money from jobs in the US.
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico, like most countries, abounds in diversity that is often-celebrated but can also lead to stereotyping. Veracruzanos might look suspiciously at the “Chilangos” of the capital. Northerners proudly boast that they are the most upfront and honest Mexicans.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Mr. Jimenez was en route to his home in Guadalajara, after attending a banking convention in Mexico's capital. He was one of thousands of Mexicans at Mexico City´s international airport catching flights home or heading to business meetings or to visit family Thursday, nearly a week after the Arizona immigration bill was signed into law. The law allows local police to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.
Some Mexicans have more at stake on this issue than others. But almost to a person, they say that the move – which Arizona implemented to deal with an unabated tide of illegal immigration – is not just discriminatory but counterproductive because so much of the US economy depends on cheap Mexican labor.
Impact on Mexican pocket books
Janet Garcia, a soft-spoken woman on her way home to a tiny pueblo in the southern state of Oaxaca, says her farming community has not stopped talking about the law since it was first unveiled. This isn't just patriotism, it's personal: most of them get by on the remittances sent home from brothers, fathers, and husbands toiling in the US. Quite simply, US immigration politics affects their daily existence. “We depend on that income,” says Ms. Garcia, who has a brother in California.
The law has also unified Hispanic activists in the US, who are organizing mass protests for May 1 celebrations in more than 70 cities across the country that promise to be bigger than the 2006 protests that drew activists across the country calling for immigration reform.
In Mexico, politicians of all ideologies have unanimously condemned the law. So have newspapers, religious leaders, and governors from across the country. “We are all brothers, Mexicans and Latin Americans,” says Rafael Flores, a medical technician awaiting a flight, “in the face of something so unjust.”