In an address to a joint session of Congress, Mexican President Felipe Calderon described the flow of immigrants from his country into the United States as a shared problem and asked the Congress to consider comprehensive immigration reform.
He thanked members of Congress and President Obama for considering reform, but also strongly criticized Arizona’s new immigration law, which gives police increased power to question people suspected of being in the state illegally.
“I strongly disagree with the recently adopted law in Arizona. It is a law that not only ignores a reality that cannot be erased by decree, but also introduces a terrible idea, using racial profiling as the basis for law enforcement,” Calderon told Congress.
President Obama echoed Calderon during a joint appearance Wednesday with his Mexican counterpart, saying the Arizona law is a “misdirected expression of frustration,” according to the Associated Press. The Justice Department is considering legal action to challenge the law.
In the U.S. Senate, immigration reform has taken a back seat to the debate over how to reform the financial sector. In late April, Democratic Sens. Harry Reid of Nevada, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Chuck Schumer of New York introduced an immigration reform outline that would attempt to better secure the border with Mexico and would create a process for workers in the country illegal to gain legal status.