Immigration Checkpoints Unconstitutional, says Mexico’s Supreme Court

Mexican officials can no longer stop and ask a person’s immigration status.

The Supreme Court’s decision comes from a case about 3 indigenous Mexican siblings who were held for 8 days by Immigration. Officials thought they were Guatemalan migrants based on their looks and poor Spanish. The 18-year-old brother was tortured and forced to sign a document falsely saying he’s from Guatemala.

Calling the stop racist and discriminatory, the Supreme Court said it is unconstitutional to stop people and ask their immigration status.

The U.S has been pressuring Mexico for years about migrants passing through the country on their way to America. After a deal with the Trump government, Mexico created its
National Guard in 2019.

Troops were put on Mexico’s northern and southern borders, and checkpoints were created along bus and train routes. Officials at these checkpoints commonly used racial and ethnic profiling to stop and ask people about their immigration status.

The crackdown on immigration led to human rights abuses and increased violence. Most notable is the massacre of 19 people–many from Guatemala–by Mexican police near the U.S. border in 2021.

Migrants are kept in camps with horrific conditions, including tens of thousands in Tapachula, while hundreds of officials have been fired for corruption, human trafficking, and extorting migrants.

This was mostly because of American pressure and its own failed asylum system. But nobody knows if Mexico’s decision will make things better (or worse) for migrants at the U.S. southern border.

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