A day without a Mexican, Part dos
Mexico profiles Arizona as a bad place: When the alert's on the other state
Arizona just got officially dissed by the Mexican government: Today, President Felipe Calerón released a travel alert for Mexicans travelling to Arizona.
(In late July, Arizona will implement a bill signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer making being an illegal immigrant a state crime. The bill has drawn substantial criticism from inside the United States, including opponents smearing refried beans in the shape of swastikas on the state capitol building — and a public denouncement from President Obama).
Now, Mexico is federally frowning upon the measure. In an e-mail statement dispatched this morning, the foreign relations ministry suggests that Mexicans in Arizona carry documentation and "act carefully," adding that, "there is an adverse political environment for migrant communities and all Mexican visitors."
Brewer's bill is a decisive measure to resolve Arizona's substantial illegal immigrant population (officially a federally-regulated issue), but what of the native Mexican geography enthusiasts wishing to explore the Grand Canyon? Or perhaps indulge in a spa day in Sedona?
Apparently in Arizona, tourism and racial profiling go hand in hand.
"My family's house in Mexico is about 13 hours from Arizona," says Michelle Annel Pena, a Mexican citizen living in Houston on a family business visa, "so we would go shopping in Arizona once a month and spend thousands of dollars, and all of our friends did the same.
"Arizona makes so much money off of Mexican tourism. The state is really making a poor decision," adds Annel Pena, who is a University of Houston student and interns at Canal Street Gallery.
Like many Mexicans who enjoyed shopping excursions to Arizona, Annel Pena's family owned a home in Tucson, which is an appealing location because of its proximity to the border, low level of pollution, closeness to ski resorts (in the mountains of Flagstaff) and affordability in comparison to California.
Meanwhile, the United States. is still winning the travel advisory war against Mexico, as Washington frequently issues warnings regarding "violence by criminal elements," "sporadic outbursts of politically motivated violence," while noting that "foreign visitors, including U..S. citizens, have been among victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region."
The tourism timeout is mutual, but that won't prevent college students and devious denizens from indulging in spring break madness and cheap pharmaceuticals.