Narcobloqueos make it dangerous to deport immigrants to Mexico

Snowmaggedon 2011.

Protests and attacks on journalists in Egypt.

These have been the two main headlines capturing our attention with the Snowtormenta stranding some of us at home this week.

But there is news in the rest of the world.

A friend of mine in Guadalajara, Mexico, sent me a link to a story that should be getting more attention.

Narcobloqueo.jpg

Photo from milenio.com

This week in Mexico's second city, where I also lived four years, narcos, or drug traffickers, terrorized the city in a coordinated effort.

They unleashed attacks, or narcobloqueos, on six locations in the city on Tuesday night, including throwing a grenade at a police module, making passengers get off a city bus and then setting it on fire and also setting a trailer truck on fire, according to Milenio.com.

I lived in Guadalajara from 2002 to 2006 and never saw such violence. I actually felt quite safe living there, more so than even in my hometown of Chicago.

But the narco war that has taken the lives of 35,000 people since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006 spreading to areas once thought safe.

Why does this matter to us in the United States?

Well first of all U.S. consumption of drugs is fueling the drug war and U.S. weapons are making their way into Mexico to foment it.

Our citizens and government bear some responsibility for what is happening in Mexico.

As I said in a recent blog post, I believe it is too dangerous to deport undocumented Mexican nationals or students back to Mexico.

It seems that every week there is a story about a "dreamer" an undocumented youth facing deportation. The latest is Deyvid Morales, 19, who wants to become a Christian pastor. He was on his way to Bible college in Louisiana when immigration agents boarded a Greyhound bus to check the immigration status of passengers, according to change.org.

He was brought to the United States at the age of 9 and now faces deportation.

It's a question of human rights. The United States could be putting some people's lives at risk by sending them back o Mexico.

Still Republicans, and even the newly elected conservative Latina governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, want to amp up the deportations.

Martinez lifted an executive order signed by the previous Gov. Bill Richardson that prohibited law enforcement from asking immigrants about their legal status.

Martinez said police won't ask people who are stopped for traffic violations but only those arrested for crimes. I don't believe police will make that distinction. They will question anybody who looks Hispanic. And in New Mexico, which used to be Mexico, that includes families who have lived there hundreds of years.

Just like the now watered-down Arizona immigration law, this law will cast suspicion on anyone who looks foreign or has an accent. Legal immigrants or even U.S. Latinos could be questioned about their immigration status, which I believe is a violation of their civil rights.

It's not up to the states or governors like Martinez to create immigration policy. It's time that President Obama and Congress work towards comprehensive immigration reform and passage of the DREAM Act.

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