Maricopa County Attorney: Mexico trying to block Arizona law
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In a letter of protest to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, County Attorney Andrew Thomas today accused the government of Mexico of interfering in the internal affairs of Arizona by attempting to void Arizona’s Human Smuggling statute, which was enacted by a bipartisan majority of legislators and signed into law by Governor Janet Napolitano.From the PDF file with the letter:
In an attempt to undermine Arizona law Los Angeles lawyer Peter Schey, at the request of Carlos Flores-Vizcarra, Consul General of Mexico, has filed legal motions intended to thwart the prosecution of a "coyote" and 48 illegal immigrant conspirators arrested by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office on March 2, 2006. If this attempt by the Mexican Government succeeds, Thomas noted, the citizens of the State of Arizona will be deprived of their right to uphold public order and to protect themselves against the Mexican government's systematic, unlawful export of humanity into the state.
Dear Secretary Rice:Unfortunately, nothing in that letter will cause Condi or the Bush administration to do anything. He did copy it to several Congressmen, so perhaps they just might be able to get the State Department to issue some lukewarm statement. Then, of course, they'll go back to in effect helping Mexico with their agenda.
This letter is to request respectfully that the U.S. Department of State lodge a formal protest with the government of Mexico for its covert attempt to dismantle a new law in Arizona designed to combat illegal immigration and, specifically, human smuggling... I am charged with prosecuting those who violate Arizona's new anti-smuggling law or so-called coyote law, A.R.S. § 13-2319. I write because the Mexican government, through allied legal counsel, is seeking to nullify this new law by organizing and possibly underwriting the legal defense efforts of criminal defendants currently under indictment for violation of this statute.
...On March 9, 2006, I received a letter from Carlos Flores-Vizcarra, Consul General of Mexico in Phoenix, questioning these prosecutions. He also requested that I present certain evidence before the Maricopa County grand jury. In a letter dated March 24, 2006, I responded to Mr. Flores-Vizcarra... I noted that his attempt to "instruct this office on how to present evidence before the grand jury is presumptuous and highly troubling," coming as it did from "a foreign government that actively encourages illegal immigration to the United States..."
...On May 4, 2006, in their coverage of my office's prosecutions of smuggling cases, the Arizona Republic and other media sources reported that attorneys at the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, based in Los Angeles, California, had been "brought into the case by the Mexican Consul General’s Office in Phoenix." ...The Arizona Republic article quoted Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law as preparing to mount legal challenges to prosecutions made under the coyote statute.
On May 5, 2006, Mr. Schey and his office filed motions to dismiss the charges brought against illegal immigrants indicted for being co-conspirators. One motion claims that Arizona's coyote statute "amounts to an attempt to regulate immigration, conflicts with federal immigration law, and injects the State into a field fully occupied by federal law." Accordingly, the motion argues that the courts should invalidate the coyote statute...
...I have taken the unusual step of writing to you and asking for your assistance because of the important stakes involved in this dispute, and the circumstances of this challenge to Arizona's laws. Under our constitutional system of government, the people of Arizona have the right to uphold public order and to protect themselves, through the state's criminal justice system, against the Mexican government's systematic, unlawful export of humanity into the state and nation. As it now stands, a foreign government is directly challenging the rights of the people of Arizona as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Admittedly, given the Mexican government's frequent complaints that the United States interferes in the sovereignty of Mexican affairs (often simply because of American attempts to curb illegal immigration from that country), the Mexican government's efforts to nullify duly enacted state laws in this nation are highly ironic. Yet that is the current state of affairs...
Note also that this attempt seems to be in line with the proposals from Schey which can be found at Mexico's website: portal.sre.gob.mx/ime/pdf/IV.8_Anexo.pdf