NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 11, 2006

Mexico's President Vicente Fox has criticized the United States for the recent House bill that proposes making illegal immigration a felony and adding a 700-mile wall along the border, says the Dallas Morning News.

However, Mexico's treatment of illegal immigrants -- mostly Central Americans -- was recently condemned by an agency of his own government. Mexico employs some of the same methods it has criticized the United States for, such as prison sentences for detainees, according to Mexico's Human Rights Commission.

  • According to Mexican law, anyone caught entering the country illegally can be punished with up to two years in prison and fined thousands of dollars.
  • Although prison sentences are rare, illegal immigrants in Mexico have to worry about corrupt authorities as well as the coyotes who smuggle them into the country.
  • The National Immigration Institute is the only agency authorized to detain foreigners, but Mexico often uses the police and military to enforce immigration laws.

Mexico's Human Rights Commission also found that illegal immigrants are crammed into overcrowded detention centers and holding facilities that lack working bathrooms, sleeping mats and blankets, food and medical care. Often, women and children are locked up with men, and detainees with infectious diseases are not housed separately.

Fox's pleas would better resonate if his country actually practiced what he preached, says the News.

Source: Editorial, "Throwing Stones: Fox has no room to criticize on immigration," Dallas Morning News, January 11, 2006.


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