Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Arizona Immigration Law Causes Tension with Mexico

"Mexican President Slams New Arizona Immigration Law: 'Opens The Door To Intolerance, Hate'"

"Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday condemned Arizona's tough new immigration law as discriminatory and warned that relations with the U.S. border state will suffer.

The measure, which will make it a crime under state law to be an illegal immigrant, "opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement," Calderon said.

Calderon said he had instructed the Foreign Relations Department to double its efforts to protect the rights of Mexicans living in the United States and seek help from lawyers and immigration experts.

"Nobody can sit around with their arms crossed in the face of decisions that so clearly affect our countrymen," Calderon said in a speech at the Institute for Mexicans Abroad...

The government of the Mexican state of Sonora -- which borders Arizona -- announced it would not attend a cooperation meeting the two states have held annually for four decades. The meeting of the Sonora-Arizona Commission was set for June in Phoenix, Arizona.

"This is not about a breaking of relations with Arizona, but rather a way to protest the approval of the law," the state government said in a statement...

[President] Obama has called the Arizona law misguided and instructed the U.S. Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal.

Supporters of the law say it is necessary to protect Arizonans from a litany of crimes that they contend are committed by illegal immigrants.

The law comes as relations between Mexico and the U.S. had been steadily warming.

Washington is a strong supporter of Calderon's military-led offensive against drug cartels, providing training and equipment under the $1.3 billion Merida Initiative. The Obama administration has earned praise from Mexico for repeatedly acknowledging that U.S. drug consumption is a large part of the problem.

Two weeks ago, Michelle Obama chose Haiti and Mexico for her first solo trip abroad as U.S. first lady. She nurtured a friendship with Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala, a vocal advocate for thousands of Mexican children who immigrate alone to the U.S. in search of their parents and are often deported unaccompanied.

The cooperation in the drug war had largely overshadowed lingering tensions between the two countries over immigration."

Read the complete article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/mexican-president-slams-n_n_553191.html

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