Will Mexico challenge Texas over “inhumane” migration law?

A law recently signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott grants local officers the right to arrest suspected migrants.

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Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers a speech as he marks the 5th year of his presidential term, at the Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport, in Tulum, Mexico, December 1, 2023. REUTERS/Quetzalli Nicte-Ha/File Photo

The move was criticised immediately as ‘inhumane’ by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The law grants state law enforcement powers traditionally held by the U.S. government, and Abbott has emphasized a tough stance on illegal immigration, implementing measures like Operation Lone Star.

The Arguments
Raging against Abbott, President Lopez Obrador denounces the law and says that it represents an effort to gain popularity without considering what is at stake in terms of immigration.

He argues that Abbott’s restrictions could have repercussions for relations with the large Mexican and immigrant population in Texas. The Mexican government, expressing its concern for the well-being and rights of migrants affected by this law is already preparing to challenge it.

The Facts
The enactment of the new law in Texas grants local officers greater authority to enforce rules.

Illegal migrants entering the U.S. are already in violation of federal statutes, but Abbott criticizes what he perceives as President Biden’s failure to enforce them.

Under Abbott’s initiative, Operation Lone Star includes deployment of the National Guard, using concertina wire and building barriers along the border.

According to President Lopez Obrador, Abbott prioritises political gain over the welfare of the diverse Mexican and migrant community in Texas.

The Mexican foreign ministry is actively working on changing the law, which could affect relations between the two governments.

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