Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Obama joins Mexican President Calderon in condemning Arizona immigration law

I am still seething from the news that our Assistant Secretary of State apologized to the murderous, repressive, sexist, Communist Chinese government for Arizona's new immigration law.  Now this:
Mexican President Felipe Caldern [sic]on Wednesday criticized Arizona's tough new immigration law as "discriminatory," a rebuke of a domestic policy rare for a foreign leader to deliver on U.S. soil.

Calderón's criticism was echoed by President Obama during a joint Rose Garden news conference held hours before Calderón was honored at a state dinner.

Arizona's law "has the potential of being applied in a discriminatory fashion," Obama said. "The judgments that are going to be made in applying this law are troublesome."

The law requires police to question people about immigration status if there is a "reasonable suspicion" they are in the country illegally. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, said the law was needed because the federal government has failed to address the "crisis caused by illegal immigration."

The law has sparked protests in Mexico and the U.S., and both presidents previously have expressed concern about it. But University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs called it "almost unheard of" for a foreign leader to criticize a state law while visiting the U.S. "The common practice and courtesy is not to interfere in another country's internal affairs," he said.

Obama didn't seem put off. He hailed Calderón as a "true partner" on issues from the war against drugs to creating jobs on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Calderón thanked Obama for his hospitality and conveyed the "respectful and affectionate greeting" of his people to the United States.
The president of Mexico has no standing to criticize the United States on its treatment of immigrants in Arizona or anywhere else.  Some tidbits from the State Department website on Mexico specific travel (all emphasis mine):
Tourist Travel: U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within "the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location. U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Mexico by air must pay a fee to obtain a tourist card, also known as an FM-T, available from Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points, Mexican tourism offices, airports within the border zone and most airlines serving Mexico. The fee for the tourist card is generally included in the price of a plane ticket for travelers arriving by air. Please note that travelers not in possession of their FM-T card at the point of exit from Mexico may face a fine from Mexican Immigration (INM).

Business Travel: Upon arrival in Mexico, business travelers must complete and submit a form (Form FM-N) authorizing the conduct of business, but not employment, for a 30-day period. Travelers entering Mexico for purposes other than tourism or business or for stays of longer than 180 days require a visa and must carry a valid U.S. passport. U.S. citizens planning to work or live in Mexico should apply for the appropriate Mexican visa at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, DC, or at the nearest Mexican consulate in the United States.

Vehicle Permits: Tourists wishing to travel beyond the border zone with their vehicle must obtain a temporary import permit or risk having their vehicle confiscated by Mexican customs officials. At present the only exceptions to the requirement are for travel in the Baja Peninsula and in the state of Sonora, and only for vehicles entering through the Nogales port of entry. To acquire a permit, one must submit evidence of citizenship, title for the vehicle, a vehicle registration certificate, a driver's license, and a processing fee to either a Banjercito (Mexican Army Bank) branch located at a Mexican Customs (Aduanas) office at the port of entry, or at one of the Mexican consulates located in the U.S. Mexican law also requires the posting of a bond at a Banjercito office to guarantee the export of the car from Mexico within a time period determined at the time of the application. For this purpose, American Express, Visa or MasterCard credit card holders will be asked to provide credit card information; others will need to make a cash deposit of between $200 and $400, depending on the make/model/year of the vehicle. In order to recover this bond or avoid credit card charges, travelers must go to any Mexican Customs office immediately prior to departing Mexico. Regardless of any official or unofficial advice to the contrary, vehicle permits cannot be obtained at checkpoints in the interior of Mexico.
Travelers should avoid individuals who wait outside vehicle permit offices and offer to obtain the permits without waiting in line, even if they appear to be government officials. There have been reports of fraudulent or counterfeit permits being issued adjacent to the vehicle import permit office in Nuevo Laredo and other border areas. If the proper permit is not obtained before entering Mexico and cannot be obtained at the Banjercito branch at the port of entry, do not proceed to the interior. Travelers without the proper permit may be incarcerated, fined and/or have their vehicle seized at immigration/customs checkpoints.
Harassment/Extortion: In some instances, Americans have become victims of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by Mexican law enforcement and other officials. Mexican authorities have cooperated in investigating such cases, but one must have the officer's name, badge number, and patrol car number to pursue a complaint effectively. Please note this information if you ever have a problem with police or other officials.
Mexico actually enforces its borders.  How outrageous!

The Obama administration continues to abase our country in his quest for social justice and world order.  I guess he'll be calling Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-il next week to make amends for the wayward Grand Canyon State.

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