How Mexicans are reacting to US Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona immigration law

The Mexican government says it's disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to let stand Arizona requirement that officers check immigration status of some individuals.

In the US, the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's controversial immigration law, known as SB 1070, was either a wild success or colossal failure, depending on who is asked. The law's architect, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, hailed the decision for allowing the “heart” of the law to go into effect – requiring officers to check the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally – while immigrant advocates say racial profiling has been given the OK by America's highest court.

There are many outlooks in-between, especially since the court struck down three-quarters of the law. (And even when it comes to what Gov. Brewer calls the "heart," asking for proof of citizenship, the ruling is not as simple as the media, or governor, have painted it, according to Mother Jones.)

But forget the nuances. In Mexico the feelings are unanimous:

“This is bad, very bad,” says Miguel Barajas, a gardener in Mexico City who spent 25 years working in a plastics factory in California. He just returned last year, after his father died, and is heading back in September. He has US residency, but he says his compatriots who do not are simply in the US to work, nothing more. “We support your country,” he says.

And, the Mexican government says, the US does not return this support. The ministry of foreign relations issued a statement expressing its disappointment over the Supreme Court decision. “The application of such state laws (as SB 1070) could result in violations of civil rights of Mexicans that reside in or visit states that have them in vigor,” it said. It added that the decision leads to misunderstandings between the US and Mexico and fails to recognize the contributions that Mexicans make to US society.  

The nation's opinion pages shared similar sentiments. Jorge A. Bustamante, in the daily Reforma, condemned the decision for leaving the door open to discrimination based on what a person looks like. “Obviously the decision of the highest court in the United States is terrible news for the close to 7 million undocumented Mexican immigrants in the country.”

Mr. Bustamante points out the discrepancies between the reaction of the “Latinos” vs. that of US Republicans. “The first are mad because the decision was not against the entirety of the law SB 1070. The second are annoyed that the decision was not a “carte blanche” for the states to legislate immigration without restriction,” he writes. “My conclusion is that the battle over immigration is far from over with this Supreme Court decision.”

Carlos Puig, in the daily Milenio, puts it more simply, and in doing so pretty much sums up the sentiments of Mr. Barajas and many of those south of the border: “The absurdity of Arizona, now validated by the Supreme Court.”

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