Friday, June 29, 2007

Mexico's Viiew of the Foreign-Born 

During all the ado about the US Senate's throes attempting to pass a "comprehensive immigration bill," I just happened to notice this interesting article in the San Diego Union Tribune on Thursday.

It seems that Jorge Astiazaran, a candidate for Mayor of Tijuana (the second-largest city on the West Coast of North America) has a bit of a problem. He's a physician, and a son of a prominent Tijuana family. He's active in the city's Red Cross and a member in good standing of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)--in short, a pillar of the community. Unfortunately, he was born in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Under the laws of the State of Baja California, a foreign-born candidate for political office must present a "Certificate of Nationality" attesting to his or her Mexican citizenship at least 10 years (yes, 10 years) before running for public office. His candidacy was challenged by the National Action Party (PAN) and earlier this week an electoral tribunal in Baja annulled Astiazaran's candidacy.

The circumstances of Senor Astiazaran's birth are far from typical, and except for the first week his entire life of 45 years has been centered in Mexico.

Well, it's their country, and the Mexicans certainly have the right to enact and enforce their own citizenship laws.

As do we

I can't help but wonder what the reaction in the press and Democratic Party, not to mention the federal judiciary, would be if the State of California enacted a law like Baja California's requiring certification of nationality no less than 10 years before seeking public office.

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