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Mexico protests stiff Arizona immigration measure

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The Mexican government has raised its voice against Arizona’s tough new immigration bill. The controversial measure, awaiting Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature to become law, requires people to carry proof of legal status, and requires police to check for it.

Generally, the governments of Mexico and the United States try not to comment on each other’s internal policies. But every now and then, an issue is too hot to ignore. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano commented the other day that the Mexican army’s presence in violent Ciudad Juarez “hasn’t helped.”

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This time, it was Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan’s turn. In a statement, he said his government views “with great concern” the “potentially grave effects” that Mexican nationals might risk while visiting or working in Arizona.

‘The initiatives that criminalize the migratory phenomenon create space for an undue application of the law that amounts to racial profiling,’ the statement said. The measure could impair commercial, touristic, cultural and friendly ties ‘that have characterized the relationship of Mexico with Arizona,’ the statement said.

The full statement is on the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s website, in Spanish.

-- Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City


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