Mexico’s Sanctuary Gambit is Out of Order

In a remarkable display of bad lawyering and cross-border saber rattling, the Mexican government wants Texas’ anti-sanctuary law tossed.

Mexican officials argued in a U.S. court brief last month that Senate Bill 4 “requires” local authorities in Texas to inquire about immigration status.

The filing went on to assert that SB4 creates unnecessary tension in relations between Mexico and the United States, claiming the law forces Mexico to treat Texas differently than other states and interferes with diplomatic interests and ongoing negotiations on a range of issues from trade to security.

The U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals, where the Mexican government lodged its friend-of-the-court brief, clearly cannot address what Mexico City may or may not do in response to a duly enacted American law. Just as clearly, SB4 does not “require” Texas officials to do what Mexico claims.

Mexico’s court filing contends that SB4 “forces” Texas police officers and other state officials to “interrogate individuals who they arrest about their immigration status.” Wrong, senors.

The carefully worded Texas law doesn’t force anything. Rather, it overturns patently illegal sanctuary policies that handcuff police and undermine immigration enforcement. To quote SB4:

“A local entity or campus police department may not prohibit or materially limit a person who is a commissioned peace officer [from]inquiring into the immigration status of a person under a lawful detention or under arrest.”

Unmoved by the facts and by American court decisions upholding the essential portions of SB4, Mexican officials warn that their government “will pursue all possible actions within its reach, including legal action, to guarantee due process and to avoid violations of the rights of Mexican nationals, regardless of their immigration status.”

Good luck with that.

About Author


Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)’s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.


  1. avatar

    Maybe Mexico needs to worry more about the fact that the drug cartels run their country. And the few honest reporters and politicians who resist the cartels don’t live long.

  2. avatar

    This immigration mess is totally out of control. I don’t care who done hat in the past, this needs to be STOPPED now! I can’t even begin to list the problems the American People have with this on going fubar party by the Democrats.