Mexico sees silver lining in Arizona immigration law
The Arizona immigration law, and a similar one passed by a town in Nebraska, is supported by a majority of Americans. But Mexico sees broader American opposition to these immigration initiatives than in the past anti-immigrant efforts.
As if the Arizona immigration law intended to scare off illegal immigrants were not bad enough, Mexicans lament, now a town in Nebraska has voted to bar undocumented residents from renting homes or securing jobs.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
From the view south of the border, times could not be worse in terms of America´s disregard for Mexico.
But a curious thing is happening. Mexicans are also seeing a new level of American discontent percolating over US immigration initiatives, much of it coming from unexpected corners.
“I know that there are many Americans for the law, but there are many against it too,” says Angel Hernandez, a Mexico City resident washing his car on a recent day. “There are many Americans uniting to support us.”
That support, note Mexicans, seems to come from the very top. President Obama says he'll challenge the Arizona initiative in court. On a recent visit to Ecuador, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed that the administration intends a lawsuit.
And beyond the Washington beltway, cities from Baltimore to Seattle have opposed the Arizona law, passing resolutions and some even barring municipal employees from traveling to the state. The Arizona Diamondbacks, the Major League Baseball team, face protesters at their games around the United States.
This is not the first time Mexico has seen support in the face of tougher measures against immigrants.
Immigration and race
Mexicans felt solidarity during mass marches in 2006 that erupted across the US, calling for comprehensive immigration reform. But those marches, though attended widely by all sectors, were perceived as being organized largely by immigrants and immigrant rights groups. This chapter has drawn criticism from many sectors of American society. It's not just seen as an immigration issue but as a racial profiling concern.