In response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” into law on April 23, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel alert warning its citizens about doing anything in Arizona. Whether Mexicans are traveling to Arizona or live or study there, the ministry says that even though the law won’t immediately take effect, “as was clear during the legislative process, there is a negative political environment for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors.”
The law … states that police must investigate if they have “reasonable suspicion” that someone is undocumented, according to Gabriel Chin, a professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Police officers may face lawsuits if they fail to do so, he added.
The vagueness of what defines a “reasonable suspicion” is particularly troubling to Mexico’s foreign ministry: “As long [as] no clear criteria are defined for when, where and who the authorities will inspect, it must be assumed that every Mexican citizen may be harassed and questioned without further cause at any time.”
The travel warning mentions protests in recent days and asks Mexicans to “act with prudence and respect local laws.” The warning also recommends “carrying the available documentation, even before the law comes into force, [which] will help avoid needless confrontations.” It also makes it clear that “Mexican nationals who are in the United States, regardless of their immigration status, have inalienable human rights” and that its five consulates in Arizona will provide legal assistance.
Elsewhere, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera called for a city boycott of Arizona and Arizona-based businesses, and immigration activists have called for a boycott of the Arizona Diamonbacks baseball club. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told congress that her agency has “deep concerns” about the law. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested Tuesday that the Justice Department may mount a legal challenge to the Arizona statute.
Governor Brewer is running for re-election and says the bill is necessary to keep drugs and violence at bay:
We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels. We cannot delay while the destruction happening south of our international border creeps its way north.