When in Mexico…

Federales badge“In Mexico, if you have a problem and turn to the police, then you have two problems.” — Mexican historian Lorenzo Meyer, as quoted in Mark Greany’s Ballistic.

Humorous, yes, but it’s no joke.

Be careful down there. I am from Latin America, am totally fluent in Spanish, live within 100 miles of the Mexican border — in other words, I am the type of person who should have no problems at all in Mexico and should be welcome there. But I never, ever go into Mexico — it’s just not worth the risks. There are so many other places one can go without running such risks of corruption (not to mention the drug cartels, street crime, etc.) that to me it just doesn’t make sense to go into Mexico.

And it’s a shame, too. The Mexican people themselves — of which there are many north of the border too — are, as a whole, some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known. But Mexico as a country  — let’s be blunt here —  really sucks.

In the meantime, if you want to do something positive to help free the unjustly jailed Sergearnt Tahmooressi (the story is amazing — a huge travesty of justice; read the other articles linked here) start by signing the White House petition to see if the American President will at least pick up the phone and talk with the President of Mexico about it. It’s the least he could do, but hasn’t yet.

Simple facts about a simple law from a simple …frog?

It seems many (most?) of the critics of the new Arizona immigration enforcement law  have chosen to criticize and condemn without even reading the law (which is a short, easy read — a few pages long). So for simple people, a simple message — from a talking frog.

Read the law. For a state law it’s short, simple, and not at all what its critics have claimed it to be. It’s essentially a mirror of Federal Immigration Law, and yes, it requires non-citizens to carry proof of legal immigration — just like Federal immigration law has for decades.

It’s fine to debate things like this, but let’s debate based on reality, not partisan spin. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Personal experience: I myself was a non-citizen living in the U.S. for 23 years and I dutifully, as required by Federal law, carried my “green card” (resident alien registration card) with me everywhere. Neither I nor anyone else I knew thought that was any kind of burden. A sovereign nation is, after all, entitled, indeed required, to police and control its borders. I thought that then, and I think so now.