Posted by Curt on 18 April, 2006 at 5:30 pm. Be the first to comment!

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While thousands of Mexicans take to the street demanding citizenship: (via Michelle Malkin)

This is not just a movement that’s happening in Goleta or Santa Barbara,” he said. “It’s a worldwide uprising of people that are standing up for themselves.”

Mayor Marty Blum told the students that she thinks the city will soon vote to oppose any federal legislation that would make being in this country illegally a felony. “City Hall has already heard your voices,” she said.

Freshman Jonathan Aguiar said he didn’t learn anything from the speakers. “I knew it already.”

The 15-year-old added, “It’s not fair for the immigrants to be told they’re criminals.”

Phillip Kuzmanovski, 15, agreed.

“This state used to be Mexico,” he said. “We can’t make it illegal for them to be here.”

The Mexican authorities go after their own illegal immigrants with brutal efficiency:

Considered felons by the government, these migrants fear detention, rape and robbery. Police and soldiers hunt them down at railroads, bus stations and fleabag hotels. Sometimes they are deported; more often officers simply take their money.

While migrants in the United States have held huge demonstrations in recent weeks, the hundreds of thousands of undocumented Central Americans in Mexico suffer mostly in silence.

And though Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil. The issue simply isn’t on the country’s political agenda, perhaps because migrants make up only 0.5 percent of the population, or about 500,000 people ? compared with 12 percent in the United States.

The level of brutality Central American migrants face in Mexico was apparent Monday, when police conducting a raid for undocumented migrants near a rail yard outside Mexico City shot to death a local man, apparently because his dark skin and work clothes made officers think he was a migrant.

Virginia Sanchez, who lives near the railroad tracks that carry Central Americans north to the U.S. border, said such shootings in Tultitlan are common.

“At night, you hear the gunshots, and it’s the judiciales (state police) chasing the migrants,” she said.

[…]Undocumented Central American migrants complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the U.S. side of the border, where migrants may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail.

“If you’re carrying any money, they take it from you ? federal, state, local police, all of them,” said Carlos Lopez, a 28-year-old farmhand from Guatemala crouching in a field near the tracks in Tultitlan, waiting to climb onto a northbound freight train.

Lopez said he had been shaken down repeatedly in 15 days of traveling through Mexico.

“The soldiers were there as soon as we crossed the river,” he said. “They said, ‘You can’t cross … unless you leave something for us.'”

Jose Ramos, 18, of El Salvador, said the extortion occurs at every stop in Mexico, until migrants are left penniless and begging for food.

Meanwhile the Mexican government prints pamphlets on how to get across our border more easily. Anyone see the hypocrisy here?

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