In Mexico, Worries Over Texas' New 'Sanctuary City' Law

May 08, 2017
Wikimedia photo by Gage Skidmore
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at an even organized the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks in Phoenix. Abbott recently signed a law effectively banning sanctuary cities across in Texas.

Mexican federal officials say they’re concerned about Texas' new law banning sanctuary cities, and what the disproportionate impact it will have on Mexicans.

Officials in Mexico’s 11 consulates across Texas will begin efforts to educate people on the effects of the law and will monitor how it’s implemented, the Mexican Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Under the law, police chiefs and sheriffs could be charged with a misdemeanor — which carries possible jail time — if they fail to honor a detention request from federal immigration agents. The law, which has been compared to Arizona’s immigration crackdown law SB 1070, allows for ask a people their immigration status, even if they’re not under arrest.

“These types of measures further criminalize the migration phenomenon, promote racial discrimination and reduce migrant communities’ collaboration with authorities,” Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry said in its statement.

About 2.5 million Mexico natives live in Texas, making up more than half of the state’s immigration population, according to a 2016 estimate from the Pew Research Center.

The new law may be a deterrent for Mexicans lawfully visiting or working in Texas, said Jose Fernandez Santillan, a political science professor at Monterrey Tec in Mexico City.  

"It will be very difficult for the people of Mexico to have confidence to go to Texas,” Santillan said. “Many middle class and high classes go to San Antonio, for instance, or Houston to go to shopping."