President Obama recently invited Felipe Calderon, Mexico's president, to address a joint session of our Congress. During this speech he lambasted Arizona's recently enacted anti-illegal immigration law as being racist and unfair.
I don't know about you, but this is the first time in my memory that another country's leader had the temerity to trash one of our states in public, and the first time the majority Democrats in Congress gave somebody a standing "O" for doing so. Figuring that Señor Calderon wouldn't have the guts to complain about our immigration laws unless Mexico's were above reproach, I did a little research on the subject. Here's what I came up with:
If you enter Mexico illegally, you get two years' hard labor and are then deported. No passing "Go," no collecting 200 pesos. And if you try it again, it's 10 years.
Of course, if you try to come in from countries along Mexico's southern border, such as Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, you'll face its army and a bevy of machine guns pointed in your direction.
Assuming you come across legally, you'll then face a daunting list of conditions. You may not participate in any political action. You have no freedom of speech. You may not march, protest, wave signs and placards, or attempt to influence public opinion.
Mexican citizens are given preference in hiring over foreign nationals, even those with visas and proper documentation. Only citizens may serve in Mexico's police and armed forces, on airline crews, or at seaports and airports.
Members of both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court must all be natural-born Mexicans. Immigrants — even legal ones — may not serve in the clergy. Foreigners, legal or illegal, may not own land. Any Mexican citizen may arrest illegals and their accomplices and turn them over to the authorities. Foreigners may be expelled at any time, for any reason or for no reason.
According to their immigration laws, you will be barred from entry if your presence "…upsets the equilibrium of the national demographics."
You will not be granted legal residency unless you can prove that you and your dependents will be "…a useful element for the Country," that you will "…contribute to the national progress," and that you have "…the necessary funds for sustenance."
And once you finally get your visa, if you violate it, you're guilty of a felony, which gets you six years in the slammer. There's more, but hey, space is limited.
Well now. Calderon must believe Mexico's immigration laws are far superior to our own. Otherwise he wouldn't have shot off his mouth. It makes sense then for us to start the process by adopting his. Then, with our most excellent friend and neighbor to the south, we can work toward a mutually beneficial compromise.
Just a thought.