Outrage continued Friday in Mexico a day after Alabama’s governor signed the toughest law in the United States against illegal immigration.
The law would impose criminal penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, give local police broad powers to arrest anyone they suspect of entering the United States without a visa and compel public schools to check the immigration status of students.
Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement expressing “deep concern” over Alabama law HB 56. The statement said the law could violate the civil rights of Mexicans.
Other provisions of HB 56 make it illegal to knowingly rent housing to illegal immigrants and prohibit businesses from claiming tax deductions on wages they pay employees who lack work permits.
The Mexican government’s hint of legal action is part of a growing activism among Latin American countries against states that crack down on illegal immigration.
On Tuesday, 14 Latin American countries joined in an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief to oppose a Utah law against illegal immigration. They filed the brief in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.
The amicus brief from the Latin American countries argued the law was unconstitutional because it could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics.
The brief was filed on behalf of the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.