"Criminalizing immigration, which is a social and economic phenomena, this way opens the door to intolerance, hate, and discrimination," Mexican president Felipe Calderon said yesterday. Calderon added that the law- which permits police to check the immigration status of Arizonans suspected of not having proper papers- “doesn’t adequately guarantee respect for people’s fundamental rights.” Calderon said that he would bring up the law when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington next month.
Aside from Calderon other Mexican officials have played hardball against the new law. Earlier today the Mexican exterior ministry issued a travel warning to “all Mexicans visiting, living, or studying in the state of Arizona.” In addition, the annual Sonora-Arizona Commission meeting scheduled for June was cancelled yesterday by the Mexican border state’s governor as a protest against the new measure.
Meanwhile, some conservative commentators and Republicans have voiced concern over individual liberties in their opposition to the law. Through Sen. John McCain called the law “a good tool” his daughter Meghan blasted it for giving “the state police a license to discriminate, and also, in many ways, violates the civil rights of Arizona residents." Aside from Latino grassroots Republicans, one key Cuban-American GOP legislator spoke out against the measure:
The measure also drew reaction from U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.Update: Cuban-American politico and GOP Senate candidate for Florida Marco Rubio also blasted the Arizona immigration law.
``I strongly disagree with the Arizona immigration law,'' said Diaz-Balart. ``It alters American tradition and long-standing policy making immigration law enforcement a federal matter.
``And it strikes fear in the hearts of many American citizens and legal residents,'' said the congressman, who has long championed comprehensive immigration reform.
Image- Al Jazeera English (“Illegal immigrants regularly cross the border between Arizona and Mexico to seek jobs in the US.”)
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Reuters, BusinessWeek, Voice of America, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, New York Times, CBS News, Miami Herald