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Mexico Files Amicus Brief Against Arizona Immigration Law

Mexico filed an amicus brief this week against the new Arizona immigration law that argues the new law may damage US-Mexico relations and lead to discrimination against Mexican citizens. The Phoenix Business Journal reports that Mexico filed a brief in favor of the federal lawsuit which claims the law “unfairly targets Hispanics” and that “immigration is a federal matter.” The new law allows law enforcement officials in Arizona to request proof of legal immigration, residency, or citizenship of anyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant. The legislation also makes it unlawful to seek day-labor on public streets and a misdemeanor to be in Arizona illegally, according to the Washington Examiner. It is currently scheduled to go into effect July 29. According to MSNBC, Mexico’s brief argues that Arizona’s law would create inconsistent state-based US foreign policy and disrupt immigration, trade, and security negotiations. The brief reads: “Each day, approximately 65,000 Mexicans are admitted into Arizona; and each day they spend an average of $7.35 million in its stores, restaurants, and other businesses.” If the law remains in tact, “Mexican citizens will be afraid to visit Arizona for work or pleasure out of concern that they will be subject to unlawful police scrutiny and detention.” Brewer said in a statement (see PDF) this week that she was “very disappointed” in Mexico’s filing. “Arizona’s immigration enforcement laws are both reasonable and constitutional,” she said. Brewer also claimed that Arizona has “taken additional steps…to specifically prevent illegal racial profiling” when the new law is enacted. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court of Arizona, asks for the new law to be declared unconstitutional and to have it blocked from going into effect in July, according to the BBC. The case was filed by a coalition of civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Sources:

Phoenix Business Journal 6/22/10; MSNBC 6/22/10; Washington Examiner 6/22/10; BBC 6/23/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/13/10, 5/18/10; Governor Jan Brewer Press Release 6/22/10

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