Americans who follow the immigration issue are quite aware of the Mexican government’s constant meddling in U.S. immigration policy.  Amnesty for all Mexican illegal aliens in the United States is high on Mexico’s agenda.

Now Mexico’s neighbors are beginning, tentatively at least, to do a little meddling in Mexico.

Each year hundreds of thousands (between 200,000 and 300,000, according to Mexican authorities) of people emigrate from Central American countries that are poorer than Mexico, entering Mexico illegally with hopes of entering the United States illegally.  They have a tough time of it.  Many are detained and deported by Mexican authorities.  In 2010 the government of Mexico deported 70,000 illegal aliens, 93 percent of them from Central America.

If this were simply a matter of illegal aliens being deported in an orderly fashion, that would be one thing.

However, many illegal aliens were robbed, raped, kidnapped, or killed by criminals, sometimes in collusion with Mexican officials.  Amnesty International released a scathing report on the situation entitled “Invisible Victims: Migrants on the Move in Mexico,” which describes a major humanitarian disaster.  Last August, 72 illegal aliens were massacred at one site, apparently by the Zetas cartel, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

In response to this escalation of violence, Central American countries, especially Guatemala and El Salvador, have become more openly critical of Mexico.  Mexico, in turn, has pledged to protect illegal aliens passing through her territory.  However, since Mexican security forces can’t protect Mexicans in Mexico, why would anyone suppose that they are capable of protecting Central American illegal aliens?

On February 14, Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom announced that he plans to ask the Mexican government to provide documents for Guatemalans traveling north to the United States—“persons that are in the process of migration.”

The phrase “in the process of migration” is a little awkward; what it really means is “engaging in illegal immigration.”

The idea is that Guatemalans who have permission from the government of Mexico to pass through the country on their way to invading the United States won’t be mistreated by criminals, kidnappers, con artists, and human smugglers and traffickers.  Naturally, a government-issued document, by itself, would protect illegal aliens from vicious criminals who don’t obey the law anyway.

The Mexican legislature could take steps toward complying with Álvaro Colom’s wishes, with a view to embarrassing the United States.  In fact, this sort of political grandstanding has already taken place following other minor tweaks to Mexican immigration law.  Some activists have gone so far as to blame the United States for the rape, kidnapping, and murder of Central American migrants by Mexican thugs and cartels, suggesting that the United States is pleased to have Mexicans doing their dirty work.

Nonetheless, the brazen requests of Álvaro Colom highlight the absurdity of the attacks of left-wing activists on conservatives who would prefer to see immigration laws enforced.