Mexico Sends Human Rights Inspectors to Border

Monday, July 26, 2010

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's National Human Rights Commission said Monday it is sending inspectors to U.S. border crossings to monitor deportations that might result if Arizona's new immigration law goes into effect as planned Thursday.

The law is being challenged by the U.S. government in court, but the federal judge hearing the case hasn't indicated whether she might agree to the challenge's request that the measure be put on hold. The government's rights commission said monitors will be stationed at border gates in Tijuana across from California, Nogales next to Arizona and Ciudad Juarez and Reynosa across from hTexas to ensure migrants are treated properly. "The implementation of the Arizona Law SB1070 represents a threat to migrants' full exercise of their human rights," the commission said in a statement. "The law violates the principles of nondiscrimination, equality before the law and freedom from arbitrary arrest." Arizona officials say the law contains safeguards against discriminatory actions in getting tough with illegal immigrants.

The law requires police, while enforcing other laws, to check a person's immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion the person is in the U.S. illegally. It also bans people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on streets and prohibits illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places. Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling and trample on the rights of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in Arizona.

Supporters contend the law is a necessary response to combat a litany of problems they blame on illegal immigration and the federal government's inability to secure the border. Mexico's Interior Department said Interior Secretary Francisco Blake met with U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual on Monday to express his support for the Obama administration's challenge to the law.

On another matter involving migrants, Blake stressed that Mexico wants an adequate investigation of the deaths of two Mexican citizens in incidents involving U.S. Border Patrol officers in May and June. He asked that "cooperation on this issue be strengthened to prevent such incidents in the future," his office said.


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