Felipe Calderon calls Arizona immigration law racial profiling
In a speech today to the US Congress, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the new Arizona immigration law amounts to acceptance of racial profiling. He also called for an assault weapons ban.
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During a summit of the 12-member Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Argentina this month, officials from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela issued a joint statement, saying the new law in Arizona would “criminalize” those detained “on racial, ethnic, language, and migratory status” and generated “the latent risk for violence based on racial hatred.”Skip to next paragraph
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On Wednesday, Cuba's lawmakers passed a similar resolution which was reprinted in the Communist Party daily newspaper Granma on Thursday, which says the Arizona law "has a profound racist and xenophobic character, and permits police to use racial profiling."
The lawmakers said the Arizona measure "aims to close the doors on immigrants to territories that were stolen by force from the noble Mexican people." referring to the 1948 sale of Mexican land to Arizona after its defeat in the Mexican-American war. As the Associated Press notes, some may find Cuba's position hypocritical, given that Cuban citizens are required to carry identification with them wherever they go, and can be stopped by police and sent home if they are found in a part of the island where they don't belong.
In Mexico everyone from senators to street vendors have an opinion about the Arizona law (most are overwhelmingly against it). Conferences and meetings scheduled to be held in Arizona have been canceled by Mexican politicians. Mr. Calderon issued a “travel warning” for Mexicans in Arizona after it was passed. Politicians, business leaders, and activists have called for national boycotts against Arizona.
But here in Colombia, many interviewed say they’ve never heard of the law. Still, if the debate is not top of mind in South America, when asked about it, Colombians say they will stand with Mexico. “These are people who are only there to make a better life, or to escape violence. They are needed,” says Katy Carvajal, who works with a school transport system in Medellin. “They should be accepted.”
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