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.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.