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Calderón to Congress: Illegal immigration 'cannot be erased by decree'

Mexican president criticizes SB 1070


Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Mexican President Felipe Calderón explained his opposition to Arizona's SB 1070, saying that illegal immigration "ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree."

In a 40-minute speech, the Mexican leader said that Arizona's law requiring police to question to status of those they suspect are in the U.S. illegally "introduces a terrible idea using racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement."

Arizona Sen. John McCain said it is "unfortunate and disappointing the president of Mexico chose to criticize the state of Arizona by weighing in on a U.S. domestic policy issue during a trip that was meant to reaffirm the unique relationship between our two countries" in a statement.

Mexico is trying to improve its economy, in the hope of reducing the cross-border flow of immigrants seeking jobs, Calderón said.

Calderón focused on the "need to fix a broken and inefficient system ... the time has come to reduce the causes of migration and to turn this phenomenon into a legal, ordered and secure flow of workers and visitors."

The Mexican president discused the challenges to border security presented by the illegal drug trade and the smuggling of weapons into his country.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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