A tough new immigration law in Arizona has led to a backlash from Mexican president Felipe Calderon. Calderon has advised Mexicans to avoid Arizona, calling the new law a human rights violation.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon criticized on Sunday a tough new immigration law in the U.S. state of Arizona. Calderon advised Mexicans to avoid unnecessary visits to Arizona, which borders Mexico.
Currently attending an international climate conference in Germany, Calderon spoke at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
[Felipe Calderon, Mexican President]: (Spanish)
"It violates the human rights of all people, independent of their migratory status. It has a focus that discriminates on a racial basis and threatens not just the human rights of Mexican migrants in the United States, but of those of any other country even the Mexican-American or Hispanic-American population that live in that country, in that state."
Under the new legislation, state police and local police are required to determine if people are in the country illegally, based on “reasonable suspicion”. This has raised fears that Hispanic immigrants could be racially profiled, reigniting the hot-button political issue of immigration reform in the United States.
The Mexican president says that he will bring up the new law when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama next month during an official visit to Washington.
It is widely believed to be the toughest immigration law in the United States and has triggered a chorus of criticism from leaders of the Democratic party, including President Barack Obama.
The majority of the 11 million people believed to be living illegally in the United States are immigrants from Mexico, which shares a lengthy border with its northern neighbor. Mexico has been pushing for years for a comprehensive U.S. reform to improve immigrant rights.