Mexico votes to stop criminal penalties for illegals
Migrant rights activists applauded a vote by Mexico's Congress to remove long-standing criminal penalties for undocumented migrants found in the country.I think the last quoted paragraph probably explains the rationale for the move. They have looked like hypocrites in opposing US enforcement of its own immigration laws. Mexico has actually done a better job of enforcing its southern border in recently. Lets hope this won't change if this legislation becomes law.
The measure passed unanimously in the lower house on Tuesday, a day after Senate approval. President Felipe Calderon's office declined to say whether he would sign the popular measure into law.
Mexican lawmakers saw the harsh penalties as an anachronism, and some noted Mexico also owes migrants better treatment.
Immigrants here, mostly Central Americans trying to reach the U.S., are often robbed, mistreated and subject to extortion by bandits and even police.
Current law lays out punishments of 1 1/2 to 6 years, while the new measure makes undocumented immigration a minor offense punishable by fines equivalent to about $475 to $2,400.
Some Mexican officials acknowledged that the current harsh penalties weakened Mexico's position in arguing for better treatment of its own migrants in the United States.