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.