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MEXICO'S GLASS HOUSE- How the Mexican constitution treats foreigners
Center for Security Policy ^ | April 3, 2006 | Michael Waller

Posted on 04/03/2006 8:06:35 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah

How the Mexican constitution treats foreign residents, workers and naturalized citizens




Every country has the right to restrict the quality and quantity of foreign immigrants entering or living within its borders. If American policymakers are looking for legal models on which to base new laws restricting immigration and expelling foreign lawbreakers, they have a handy guide: the Mexican constitution.[1]


Adopted in 1917, the constitution of the United Mexican States borrows heavily from American constitutional and legal principles. It combines those principles with a strong sense nationalism, cultural self-identity, paternalism, and state power. Mexico's constitution contains many provisions to protect the country from foreigners, including foreigners legally resident in the country and even foreign-born people who have become naturalized Mexican citizens. The Mexican constitution segregates immigrants and naturalized citizens from native-born citizens by denying immigrants basic human rights that Mexican immigrants enjoy in the United States.


By making increasing demands that the U.S. not enforce its immigration laws and, indeed, that it liberalize them, Mexico is throwing stones within its own glass house. This paper, the first of a short series on Mexican immigration double standards, examines the Mexican constitution's protections against immigrants, and concludes with some questions about U.S. policy.




In brief, the Mexican Constitution states that:


Immigrants and foreign visitors are banned from public political discourse.

Immigrants and foreigners are denied certain basic property rights.

Immigrants are denied equal employment rights.

Immigrants and naturalized citizens will never be treated as real Mexican citizens.

Immigrants and naturalized citizens are not to be trusted in public service.

Immigrants and naturalized citizens may never become members of the clergy.

- Private citizens may make citizens arrests of lawbreakers (i.e., illegal immigrants) and hand them to the authorities.

Immigrants may be expelled from Mexico for any reason and without due process.



The Mexican constitution: Unfriendly to immigrants


The Mexican constitution expressly forbids non-citizens to participate in the country's political life. Non-citizens are forbidden to participate in demonstrations or express opinions in public about domestic politics.  Article 9 states, "only citizens of the Republic may do so to take part in the political affairs of the country."  Article 33 is unambiguous: "Foreigners may not in any way participate in the political affairs of the country."


      The Mexican constitution denies fundamental property rights to foreigners. If foreigners wish to have certain property rights, they must renounce the protection of their own governments or risk confiscation. Foreigners are forbidden to own land in Mexico within 100 kilometers of land borders or within 50 kilometers of the coast. Article 27 states,


"Only Mexicans by birth or naturalization and Mexican companies have the right to acquire ownership of lands, waters, and their appurtenances, or to obtain concessions for the exploitation of mines or of waters. The State may grant the same right to foreigners, provided they agree before the Ministry of Foreign Relations to consider themselves as nationals in respect to such property, and bind themselves not to invoke the protection of their governments in matters relating thereunto; under penalty, in case of noncompliance with this agreement, of forfeiture of the property acquired to the Nation. Under no circumstances may foreigners acquire direct ownership of lands or waters within a zone of one hundred kilometers along the frontiers and of fifty kilometers along the shores of the country." (Emphasis added)


      The Mexican constitution denies equal employment rights to immigrants, even legal ones, in the public sector. Article 32: "Mexicans shall have priority over foreigners under equality of circumstances for all classes of concessions and for all employment, positions, or commissions of the Government in which the status of citizenship is not indispensable. In time of peace no foreigner can serve in the Army nor in the police or public security forces."


      The Mexican constitution guarantees that immigrants will never be treated as real Mexican citizens, even if they are legally naturalized. Article 32 bans foreigners, immigrants, and even naturalized citizens of Mexico from serving as military officers, Mexican-flagged ship and airline crew, and chiefs of seaports and airports: 


 "In order to belong to the National Navy or the Air Force, and to discharge any office or commission, it is required to be a Mexican by birth. This same status is indispensable for captains, pilots, masters, engineers, mechanics, and in general, for all personnel of the crew of any vessel or airship protected by the Mexican merchant flag or insignia. It is also necessary to be Mexican by birth to discharge the position of captain of the port and all services of practique and airport commandant, as well as all functions of customs agent in the Republic."


An immigrant who becomes a naturalized Mexican citizen can be stripped of his Mexican citizenship if he lives again in the country of his origin for more than five years, under Article 37. Mexican-born citizens risk no such loss.


      Foreign-born, naturalized Mexican citizens may not become federal lawmakers (Article 55), cabinet secretaries (Article 91) or supreme court justices (Article 95).


The president of Mexico, like the president of the United States, constitutionally must be a citizen by birth, but Article 82 of the Mexican constitution mandates that the president's parents also be

Mexican-born citizens, thus according secondary status to Mexican-born citizens born of immigrants.


      The Mexican constitution forbids immigrants and naturalized citizens to become members of the clergy. Article 130 says, "To practice the ministry of any denomination in the United Mexican States it is necessary to be a Mexican by birth."


      The Mexican constitution singles out "undesirable aliens." Article 11 guarantees federal protection against "undesirable aliens resident in the country."


      The Mexican constitution provides the right of private individuals to make citizen's arrests. Article 16 states, "in cases of flagrante delicto, any person may arrest the offender and his accomplices, turning them over without delay to the nearest authorities."  Therefore, the Mexican constitution appears to grant Mexican citizens the right to arrest illegal aliens and hand them over to police for prosecution.


The Mexican constitution states that foreigners may be expelled for any reason and without due process. According to Article 33, "the Federal Executive shall have the exclusive power to compel any foreigner whose remaining he may deem inexpedient to abandon the national territory immediately and without the necessity of previous legal action."


Notional policy options


Mexico and the United States have much to learn from one another's laws and practices on immigration and naturalization. A study of the immigration and citizenship portions of the Mexican constitution leads to a search for new policy options to find a fair and equitable solution to the immigration problem in the United States.


Two contrary options would require reciprocity, while doing the utmost to harmonize U.S.-Mexican relations:

1. Mexico should amend its constitution to guarantee immigrants to Mexico the same rights it demands the United States give to immigrants from Mexico; or


2. The United States should impose the same restrictions on Mexican immigrants that Mexico imposes on American immigrants.

These options are only notional, of course. They are intended only to help push the immigration debate in a more sensible direction. They simply illustrate the hypocrisy of the Mexican government's current immigration demands on the United States - as well as the emptiness of most Democrat and Republican proposals for immigration reform.


Mexico certainly has every right to control who enters its borders, and to expel foreigners who break its laws. The Mexican constitution is designed to give the strongest protections possible to the country's national security. Mexico's internal immigration policy is Mexico's business.


However, since Mexican political leaders from the ruling party and the opposition have been demanding that the United States ignore, alter or abolish its own immigration laws, they have opened their own internal affairs to American scrutiny.  The time has come to examine Mexico's own glass house.


- - - 

J. Michael Waller, Ph.D., is the Center for Security Policy's Vice President for Information Operations.


[1] The official text of the Constitution of Mexico appears on the Website of the Chamber of Deputies, or lower house of Congress, of the United Mexican States: An authoritative English translation of the Constitution of Mexico, published by the Organization of American States, appears on the Website of Illinois State University: Quotations in this document are from the OAS translation.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Mexico; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: a14; aliens; borderlist; garza; illegals; immigrantlist; immigration; latinamerica; mexico; outsourcethesenate
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To: dangus
That one on the clergy is the most significant, and should be a major focus of US attention... as well as the Vatican's. The Vatican cares nothing about the nationality rules on catholic priests. It only cares about loyalty of the ones there to Rome.
51 posted on 04/04/2006 8:14:49 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: All


52 posted on 04/04/2006 9:16:21 AM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: Borax Queen; neverdem
" is very strong on the patriotism and traditional American values language in a way which is potentially dangerous to our communities..."

ping to #27

53 posted on 04/04/2006 9:17:40 AM PDT by nicmarlo (Bush is the Best President Ever. Rah. Rah.)
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To: Ooh-Ah

Well gee, you didn't think tolerance was a two-way street did you?

54 posted on 04/04/2006 10:07:43 AM PDT by rfreedom4u (Native Texan)
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To: All


55 posted on 04/04/2006 5:26:52 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: MeneMeneTekelUpharsin

>> The Vatican cares nothing about the nationality rules on catholic priests. It only cares about loyalty of the ones there to Rome. <<

The point is that the nationality rules prevent sending priests to Mexico. There is fantastic shortage of priests in Mexico, a shortage which makes the US and Europe seem as if they are having a fire sale on priests. The most populous province in Mexico has TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND Catholics per priest!

And those priests that are there lack any authentic Catholic formation because the only ones who can develop their formation are the ones who survived the elimination of the authentic Catholic priests.

Mexico is a nation in which most of the population professes to be Catholic, very many sincerely, and yet there is essentially no Catholic Church.

And THAT should be a GRAVE problem to Rome.

56 posted on 04/04/2006 6:02:29 PM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

I think you misunderstood who the article is saying is rich. It is not the country as a whole it is its elite ruling class. The abundance of natural resources in Mexico combined with an abundance of labor give it a potential for wealth that is astronomical. But the rich sit on their wealth and the government, which is essentially controlled by them, is too corrupt and bassackwards to make use of those resources.

57 posted on 04/04/2006 7:23:44 PM PDT by TigersEye (Everywhere I look all I see are my own desires.)
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To: Ooh-Ah


58 posted on 04/04/2006 7:25:25 PM PDT by stevio (Red-Blooded Crunchy Con, American Male (NRA))
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To: Ooh-Ah

Bump again.

59 posted on 04/06/2006 6:56:39 PM PDT by stevio (Red-Blooded Crunchy Con, American Male (NRA))
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To: All

Waller is on (Cavuto) Fox now talking about this

60 posted on 04/07/2006 1:23:42 PM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: Ooh-Ah


61 posted on 04/11/2006 8:18:22 AM PDT by stevio (Red-Blooded Crunchy Con, American Male (NRA))
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To: Chgogal

Thanks for the ping. Here is an email I received recently...Quote...

I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me.

I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico, and I need to make a few arrangements. I know you can help with this.

I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here.

So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.

2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.

3. All government forms need to be printed in English.

4. I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking teachers.

5. Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.

6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole at their school with the Mexican flag flying lower down.

7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.

8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.

9. I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.

10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone, please be sure that all police officers speak English.

11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my house top, put flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.

12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws or tax laws.

13. Please tell all the people in the country to be extremely nice and never say a critical word about me, or about the strain I might place on the economy.

Thank you so much for your kind help.

62 posted on 04/11/2006 10:04:55 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: Ooh-Ah

I would wager that just about every country in Central and South America has far more stringent laws and policies about immigration than we do - yet it's only the Gringos who are terrible racists if we even talk about actually enforcing our existing laws or enacting some mild new ones to deal with the onslaught of ILLEGAL immigrants. Much of the support and organizing for this wave of demonstrations comes from scumbag far-left commie organizations like "International A.N.S.W.E.R." who are aiming at the eradication of our borders and the ultimate (they wish) revolution against capitalism. They are truly dangeous loonies and we have been humoring these sorts of clowns for far too long.

63 posted on 04/11/2006 10:23:25 PM PDT by Enchante (Democrats: "We are ALL broken and worn out, our party & ideas, what else is new?")
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To: HiJinx

For once I get to ping you to a thread . . .

64 posted on 04/11/2006 10:39:11 PM PDT by Petruchio ( ... .--. .- -.-- / .- -. -.. / -. . ..- - . .-. / .. .-.. .-.. . --. .- .-.. / .- .-.. .. . -. ...)
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To: Petruchio

That's not too hard anymore, I'm swamped with this issue! Wait one...

65 posted on 04/11/2006 10:42:18 PM PDT by HiJinx (Secure Our Borders ~ Now.)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

Mexican Immigration Law Ping!

66 posted on 04/11/2006 10:43:04 PM PDT by HiJinx (Secure Our Borders ~ Now.)
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To: george76

I often wonder what Mexico would do if a few million Americans started demonstrating for free everything in Mexico City? Wouldn't that demonstration be fun to watch?

Do you remember Mexico confiscating American dollar accounts in the early 1980s? I remember something about that. I was back packing through Mexico and met up with a bunch of retired US citizens and all their dollar accounts were confiscated and they were given pesos. Bummer.
67 posted on 04/11/2006 10:49:00 PM PDT by Chgogal (The US Military fights for Freedom of the Press while the NYT lies about the Military and cowers...)
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To: Ooh-Ah

"They simply illustrate the HYPOCRISY of the Mexican government's current immigration demands on the United States - as well as the emptiness of most Democrat and Republican proposals for immigration reform."

I remember when we used to call them 'WETBACKS'. To my knowledge, Mexicans having been coming to America illegally for over a half century!! And our elected representatives have been pooh-poohing the threat to our sovereignity for as many years.

It's time to clean house: Either the illegal aliens go, or whoever speaks for us must be VOTED OUT!

68 posted on 04/11/2006 11:35:56 PM PDT by Fruit of the Spirit
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To: Ooh-Ah

bump for later read

69 posted on 04/11/2006 11:43:40 PM PDT by MissouriConservative (People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid - Kierkegaard)
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To: Borax Queen

Looks like Mexico is enforcing laws that the U.S. Congress whimps can't.

70 posted on 04/12/2006 3:41:02 AM PDT by Squat (Deport the illegals now! Turn Home Depot's into the prisons to hold the illegals!.)
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To: Squat


71 posted on 04/12/2006 6:49:43 AM PDT by Borax Queen
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To: Ooh-Ah

Gee, I wonder why Vincente never brought this up during him many verbal spankings he was giving our President???

72 posted on 04/12/2006 10:14:47 AM PDT by SAMS (Nobody loves a soldier until the enemy is at the gate; Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: Ooh-Ah

Great thread!

73 posted on 04/12/2006 4:56:00 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: HiJinx; 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; ...
Also see:
Mexico’s Ideal Immigration Law--Let’s try it here at home
74 posted on 04/13/2006 8:39:46 AM PDT by Ooh-Ah
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To: Ooh-Ah

The more pressure we keep on Mexico, immigration-wise, the more reformers
inside of Mexico can be emboldened and empowered to scale back monopolists'
abuses down there which keep our own country flooded with economic refugees.
Here's an interesting new thread on new legal reform progress that finally
emerged in Mexico I think as a result of immigration reform's failure:

We can make a difference for our sake, and their's as well. Isn't it the
neighborly thing to do?

75 posted on 04/13/2006 3:44:24 PM PDT by Shuttle Shucker
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To: Ooh-Ah; All

I know it’s been a year and a half, but I think it’s worth resharing. Spread the love!

76 posted on 11/20/2007 9:10:26 PM PST by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (****************************Stop Continental Drift**)
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