Mexico issues sharp rebuttal to Arizona immigration law
Citizens and officials in Mexico reacted angrily to the new Arizona immigration law signed Friday, with Mexican President Felipe Calderón saying it hindered collaboration along the border region.
Ana Olivera’s uncles have lived in Arizona for two decades without proper paperwork, working under the radar as bricklayers and at other odd jobs. So she's steaming that the new Arizona immigration law signed Friday by Gov. Jan Brewer could get them suddenly kicked out.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
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“They have the right to be there, they are good workers,” says Ms. Olivera, a secretary in Mexico City, even though she admits her uncles originally crossed illegally. “When Americans come here to work, we treat them with respect. They should do the same with us.”
Ms. Olivera is not the only person here reacting angrily to the new immigration law, dubbed as the toughest on the books in America. Mexican President Felipe Calderón himself issued a strong rebuttal of it over the weekend.
“The criminalization of the migration phenomenon, far from contributing to the cooperation and collaboration between Mexico and the US, represents an obstacle for the solution of common problems in the border region,” the president said, promising to work with Mexicans abroad for the protection of their human rights, regardless of their immigration status.
The law, which has also set off a storm of debate in the US, makes it a crime to be in the state of Arizona illegally and requires people in Arizona suspected of being illegal immigrants to show proof of legal residence when asked by law enforcement. Governor Brewer and advocates of the law say it’s the only way forward, as the border deals with increasing violence while Washington, they say, is doing little to help.
But Analicia Ruiz, a professor of international relations at Anahuac University in Mexico City, says Mexicans are angered by a move they see as politically motivated. “Mexicans have added so much to the North American economy,” she says. “It’s a political message, a radical one. But it does not represent the reality.”