With waves of illegal immigrants traveling the length of Mexico from Central America to the U.S. border, many Americans wonder why our neighbor to the south allows this mass illegal migration to proceed unhindered. Furthermore, how do Mexican authorities regard this virtual army of immigrants that continues to cross the border into the United States? Are they merely displaced persons to be sent on their way, or lawbreakers that Mexico should cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities to apprehend and deport back to their country of origin?
A recent statement from a press officer at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. provide an insight into Mexico's view of illegal border crossings to the United States.
During an interview with MRCTV outside the Mexican Embassy on June 12, Ariel Moutsatos, head of the embassy’s Press and Public Affairs office, said that those who cross an international border illegally are not committing a crime: “When a Mexican, or any other citizen, crosses a border, let’s say illegally, they are not committing a crime. They are doing it illegally, but they are not committing a crime."
When demonstrators shouted “It’s a crime,” Moutsatos was visibly irritated and continued in a tone of voice uncharacteristically harsh for a representative of a diplomatic mission: “No, they are not. Check your law.”
The news team was outside the embassy to report on another incident: a group of demonstrators participating in a protest organized by Conservative Victory PAC demanding the release of a former U.S. Marine sergeant, Andrew Tahmooressi, who was arrested after inadvertently crossing the border into Tijuana, Mexico, on March 31 with three registered guns in his truck.
“I accidentally drove into Mexico with 3 guns, a rifle (AR-15), a .45 cal pistol and a 12 gauge pump shotgun with no intentions on being in Mexico or being involved in any criminal activity,” Tahmooressi wrote in a statement to U.S. politicians.
Moutsatos attempted to calm the protesters, who were obviously impassioned about Tahmooressi's plight, by telling them, “This is not a war.”
“Regardless of intentions, Mr. Tahmooressi crossed into Tijuana with weapons. Anyone carrying weapons is committing a crime,” he said. “He crossed into Mexico as a tourist. He was not on active duty, and he has accepted he crossed four times prior to that.”
When MRCTV news reporter Dan Joseph interviewed Moutsatos, Moutsatos diverted the discussion from Tahmooressi to how Mexicans charged with crimes in the United States are treated. Moutsatos asserted that “tens of Mexican citizens who have committed ‘crimes’ — allegedly — [are] in, for example, Texas jails. Those Mexican citizens didn’t receive the benefit of consular assistance. Mr. Tahmooressi did.”
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Photo of illegal immigrants being escorted by Border Patrol agents: AP Images