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International Community Decries New Immigration Legislation

Mexican President Felipe Calderón today announced that his government will work to defend the rights of dual nationals adversely affected by the passage last week of the controversial Arizona state law SB1070. His concern was echoed by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the governments of Guatemala and El Salvador, among others.

Calderón described the new law, which directs police to determine the immigration status of people suspected of being unlawfully present in the United States, as “inhumane, unacceptable, discriminatory and unjust.” Critics have raised concerns that SB1070 will likely lead to racial profiling and will inadvertently target Arizona’s legal Latino immigrant community.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza says that the law creates the basis for racial discrimination and that the regulation of immigration should not come at the “cost of not respecting human rights, the rights of the people and by creating stereotypes that do not correspond to reality.”  The dialogue over the Arizona law took place at an OAS conference on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities held in San Salvador. 

Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom added that the law was in total contradiction to the policies of President Obama and his efforts to “humanize” immigration laws in the United States. The chancellor of El Salvador, Hugo Martínez, took the opportunity to reiterate his government’s “concern and discontent” over the signing of SB1070.

President Calderón’s statements support the notion of an organized legal defense of migrant rights by Mexican expatriates abroad and calls on the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores and its consulates abroad to assist in those efforts.

Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Tags: OAS, Mexico, Arizona, immigrants, Calderon, SB 1070, Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, Latinos

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