Mexico Continues To Interfere With Immigration Enforcement Efforts
Jennifer G. Hickey
The Mexican government is showing no signs of stepping away from its aggressive diplomatic campaign to help its citizens living and working in the United States evade U.S. immigration law enforcement agents.This week, Mexico instructed its consulate in Miami to further increase efforts to protect the interests of its citizens who are in the United States illegally, according to the Sun-Sentinel.Officials told the paper they would do more to inform Mexicans “on what to do during run-ins with police.”In Texas, the Mexican Consulate in El Paso announced this week that it would extend through March a program that pays for illegal aliens to obtain legal representation. According to the El Paso Times, more than $120,000 has been spent since it started earlier this year.In Sacramento, Mexico spends $250,000 to defend illegal immigrants.The consular actions are part of a campaign launched in March by the Mexican government to establish “advocacy” departments in each of 50 consulates across the country. The $50 million earmarked is on top of Mexico’s considerable budget for its network of consulates north of the border.The so-called “ombudsman” centers have been advertised as an “exclusive space for Mexicans who require it to receive guidance and direct legal advice” and to assist those who are seeking dual citizenship. However, they also finance an “information campaign to prevent an eventual return” of illegal immigrants who have been arrested or detained.The decision by the Miami consulate to ramp up its involvement is partly a response to the recent success of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in arresting and deporting illegal aliens in south Florida.According to Department of Homeland Security agency figures released earlier this month, the number of arrests and deportations that took place in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands more than doubled from 3,524 last year to 6,192 in FY2017.Mexican officials concede the campaign is not a short-term reaction to the Trump administration, but a part of a longer-term plan to influence U.S. domestic policy.Gerardo Guerrero, the head of the consulate in St. Paul, Minnesota, explained the $50 million investment as part of a desire to have consulates take a more politically active role.“We are not trying to get involved in the politics of the United States,” he admitted in November, adding, “It’s the moral duty of the Mexican government to support its people.”FAIR has voiced concerns as the Mexican government grown more brazen in its attempts to protect the interests of its citizens – even at the expense of American citizens – and to further its own agenda within the United States. As the Trump administration continues to enforce the laws governing the United States, it is clear Mexico intends to do what it can to undermine those efforts wherever it can.
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