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Morena party Deputy Muñoz. Morena party Deputy Muñoz.

Senior Morena lawmaker slams ‘unacceptable’ migrant policy

Congress president laments that humanitarian immigration policy has been abandoned

A senior lawmaker with the ruling Morena party has slammed the government’s strict enforcement of immigration policy, describing it as “unacceptable” and unconstitutional and declaring that the approach must change.

In an interview with the newspaper Milenio, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, president of the lower house of Congress, said the deployment of federal forces to both the southern and northern borders to contain the flow of migrants – “in obedience” to United States President Donald Trump’s requests – is a flagrant violation of the constitution.

“What’s happening in the country is unacceptable . . . you can’t hand over human flesh because of pressure from the great power [the United States] . . .” he said.

The lawmaker argued that the anti-migration operations of the National Guard and the army violate Article 11 of the constitution of Mexico, which states that “everyone has the right to enter and leave the republic, to travel through its territory and to change his residence without necessity of a letter of security, passport, safe-conduct or any other similar requirement.”

Article 11 continues: “The exercise of this right shall be subordinated to the powers of the judiciary, in cases of civil or criminal liability, and to those of the administrative authorities insofar as concerns the limitations imposed by the laws regarding emigration, immigration and public health of the country, or in regard to undesirable aliens resident in the country.”

Muñoz said that migrants can seek legal protection of their constitutional right by filing requests for injunctions that, if granted, would preclude their arrest by security forces or immigration authorities as they travel through the country.

To that end, he said, migrant advocacy organizations have begun distributing a standardized form that migrants can use to file such requests, copies of which are circulating on social networks.

“Of course, that’s the solution, because the act [of arresting migrants] is unconstitutional. Migrants can be [legally] protected. . .” he said.

Mexico has adopted a tougher approach to dealing with undocumented migrants after reaching an agreement with the United States on June 7 that ended President Trump’s threat to impose escalating tariffs on all Mexican goods.

The government committed to sending 6,000 National Guard troops to the southern border, a deployment that Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said was completed on Friday, and migrants have been arrested in several states in recent days including the southern state of Chiapas.

National Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said Monday that almost 15,000 federal security force members have been deployed to the northern border, where he confirmed that migrants trying to cross illegally into the United States are being detained, although President López Obrador said yesterday that troops have no orders to do so.

“This policy has to change,” Muñoz declared. “Something very serious could happen. I read the newspaper this morning and the army has already arrived in the north and the south. How far will we go?”

The Chamber of Deputies president said that in speaking out against the hardline approach to dealing with migrants his intention is not to tell the government what to do but rather to follow his moral instinct.

“I’m not calling on anyone to rectify [the situation] because I’m not anyone’s teacher and because everyone has their responsibility. As a Mexican, I have the obligation to condemn the acts. I’ve worked too many years on immigration matters to keep quiet today,” Muñoz said.

He also charged that his opposition to the strict migration policy enforcement is in defense of the national interest, stating “politician is spelt today with a P as in patriot.”

Over the last six or seven decades, Muñoz said, Mexico has had a humanitarian immigration policy and has been a country where the persecuted have found asylum.

But the government has now abandoned that time-honored approach at the behest of the United States president, the lawmaker charged.

“. . . Trump is showing that he has Mexico in a little cage . . .”

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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