Mexico Protects Its Interests with a Friend of the Court Brief, and a Friend in Court

By Ronald W. Mortensen on December 29, 2011

Last week, Mexico and 13 other Latin American countries filed a friend of the court brief asserting that Utah's immigration enforcement act (HB497) "threatens the human rights" of their nationals.

According to a press release issued by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "The Mexican Government will continue to make use of all available means and channels in order to firmly and immediately respond to any violation of the fundamental rights of Mexicans, regardless of their migratory status."

A translation of the above goes something like this. "The Mexican government will continue to use the United States courts, the United States Justice Department, religious organizations, elected officials, its consular and diplomatic missions, and assorted American police chiefs to guarantee the right of its citizens to enter the United States at will, to commit multiple felonies (including identity theft) in order to take jobs from Americans and legal residents, and to send billions of dollars back to Mexico."

Just how effective Mexico is can be seen by the attack on Utah's immigration enforcement law. Not only has the government of Mexico filed a friend of the court brief, it has also ensured that it has a friend in court in the person of Utah Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, who is supposedly defending HB497.

When asked to comment on the filing of the friend of the court brief, Shurtleff (who participated in the drafting the Utah law) told the Deseret News that Utah's law was written in a manner that does not pose a threat to Mexico or other Latin American countries.

This means, of course, that Shurtleff and his allies, who did everything possible to prevent the passage of a strong enforcement law in Utah, made sure that the interests of illegal aliens were protected in the enforcement bill that finally passed.

Given this, it is no wonder that the Attorney General's ability to objectively and aggressively defend HB497 has been seriously questioned.

It is likewise not surprising that
Shurtleff went ballistic when he learned that legislators were considering obtaining their own legal counsel at no cost to taxpayers in order to help in defend Utah's enforcement law. After all, how could he defend the interests of Mexico if there was another attorney actually defending the interests of Utah's citizens?

So, Shurtleff quickly stifled the legislators' initiative, arguing that it was politically motivated and that it was not permitted by the Utah Constitution since he is the only one authorized to defend laws passed by the state legislature (and to protect the interests of Mexico).

So not only has Mexico filed a friend of the court brief, it also has a friend in court. Fortunately for Mexico that friend is the Utah Attorney General. Unfortunately for Utah citizens, that friend is ... Utah's Attorney General.