Mexico Issues Travel Alert for Arizona

Don’t guess the next meeting between Carlos Slim and American businessmen will be held in Phoenix…

“Arizona signed the toughest illegal immigration law in the country, which would allow the police to demand identification papers from anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. I know there are some people in Arizona worried that Obama is acting like Hitler, but can we all agree that there’s nothing more Nazi than saying, `Show me your papers?’ There’s never been a WWII movie that didn’t include the line, `Show me your papers.’ It’s their catchphrase. Every time someone says `Show me your papers,’ Hitler’s family gets a residual check. So heads up Arizona, that’s fascism. I know, I know, it’s a dry fascism, but it’s still fascism.” –Seth Meyers, on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update”

I just can’t wait until some enterprising Navajos in Arizona start pulling over white people and start demanding their immigration papers…

Mexico issues travel warning over Arizona immigration law

President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon

One day after Mexican President Felipe Calderón condemned the new Arizona immigration law, Mexico issued a travel warning that ‘all Mexican citizens could be bothered or questioned without motive at any moment.’

Americans are accustomed to State Department advisories cautioning them to steer clear of dicey protests and political turmoil in developing countries, including their neighbor to the south.

Since drug violence erupted in Mexico, the US has warned its citizens of “large fire fights” in towns across Mexico, particularly along the US-Mexico border.

Mexico always grumbles about US travel alerts. But today Mexico got payback.

In big red letters on its “travel guide” on the exterior ministry website is a travel alert for “all Mexicans visiting, living, or studying in the state of Arizona.”

Since Arizona signed a law that requires people suspected of being illegal immigrants to show proof of legal residence when asked by law enforcement, the Mexican government is warning citizens of the “adverse political atmosphere for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors.”

When the law takes effect, foreigners without the proper identification can be detained, and even held in migration detention centers, it warns. Until details of how the law will be implemented are clear, it reads, “all Mexican citizens could be bothered or questioned without motive at any moment.”

It also warns of protests that have erupted because of the move.

On Monday, Mexican President Felipe Calderón condemned Arizona for a move that he says “opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination, and abuse in law enforcement,” he said.

He promised to help Mexican citizens – whether in the US illegally or not – deal with any violations of their rights.

The government’s travel warning lists contact information for all consulates in the state of Arizona and provides a free, 24-hour help line for all Mexicans residing in Arizona.

The last warning Mexico’s exterior ministry posted, according to the website, was in July 2009, alerting travelers that Canada began requiring Mexicans to obtain visas to visit.

In practical terms, today’s warning will probably not deter those Mexicans who travel frequently to the US to carry out business, visit relatives, and, for the most well-heeled, go on shopping trips. All Mexicans need visas to board a plane north, no matter where they are heading.

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