Mexico Warns of Retaliation for New Arizona Law

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MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican government warned that it would reconsider its relations with Arizona after the state's governor signed the nation's toughest bill on illegal immigration into law on Friday, reports La Opinión. "The law signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer affects relations between Arizona and Mexico and forces the Mexican government to reconsider the feasibility and utility of cooperation with Arizona," said Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa in a nine-paragraph statement. She did not take any questions from the press.

Espinosa announced that the Mexican government would provide consular protection and legal advice and assistance to Mexicans in Arizona through its five consulates in the state, and would "use all the resources at its disposal to defend the rights and dignity of Mexicans." Espinosa said the Mexican government had already taken "various measures" to convey its concerns to the state of Arizona, but that these were ignored.

On his Twitter feed, Mexican Ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukan called the new law "racial discrimination." Sarukan said he recognized the sovereignty of the state to make its own public policies governing its territory, but that when it came to the violation of human rights, he could not remain indifferent.

"Criminalization is not the way to resolve the phenomenon of immigration," he wrote. "It is imperative to recognize that we face a shared challenge of a transnational nature."

He also criticized the governor of Arizona for not valuing the contributions of immigrants to the economy, society and culture of Arizona and the United States.