Mexico issues travel advisory in wake of immigration law
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Son. — Mexico is urging its citizens to use caution when traveling to or through Arizona, in the aftermath of the signing of a new state law that cracks down on illegal immigration.
The advisory from Mexico's Foreign Relations Ministry noted that the law will not take effect for several months, but added that "as was in evidence during the legislative process, there exists an adverse political environment for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors."
Even if public demonstrations and other forms of protest against the law taper off, Mexican citizens should "act with prudence and respect the local legal framework," the advisory added.
Senate Bill 1070, signed Friday by Gov. Jan Brewer, makes it a crime under state law to be in the United States illegally. It directs state and local law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if they have reason to suspect they are here illegally.
The Foreign Ministry's advisory, posted on its website, included a reminder that Mexican visitors are guaranteed "inalienable human rights" when in Arizona, irrespective of whether they are in the state legally or not.
The law will take effect 90 days after the end of the current state legislative session.
Mexicans should begin immediately to carry immigration documents with them at all times in Arizona "to avoid unnecessary confrontations," the advisory stated.
"While the criteria has not been defined for when, where and whom the authorities can question, it should be assumed that all Mexican citizens could be bothered and questioned without a major reason at any moment."
It added that Mexican consular offices in Yuma and other communities are ready to assist Mexican nationals with any issues relating to the law, and it included a 24-hour toll-free number they can call, 1-877-63266785 (1-877-63 CONSUL), along with the phone number for the Yuma consulate, 343-0066.
Miguel Escobar, Mexico's consul in Yuma, said he had no comment beyond what was stated in the advisory.
Julian Ventura, the Foreign Ministry's North American subsecretary, said in a news release said consulates will offer assistance to Mexican nationals in Arizona, as part of its "fundamental role" of ensuring their rights abroad.