MEXICO CITY—A bill that would toughen U.S. immigration enforcement is “wrong,” Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said on Monday, and he called for U.S. groups to lobby against the measure.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, passed the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. It would make undocumented migration, now a civil offense, a federal crime.
“We are trying with great force to avoid” passage of the bill, Derbez told a local radio station, according to a transcript of the interview supplied by his office.
“It appeared to us wrong, because it is a bill that tried to resolve migration issues on a judicial basis with control measures,” Derbez said.
“This type of law that build walls, puts more people on border patrols, or hardens the sanctions against those who hire an undocumented person, don’t lead to adequate solutions,” Derbez said.
Derbez said that during meetings last week with business groups in Chicago, Illinois, he suggested that business, community or church groups oppose the measure.
“Speaking with them (businessmen), speaking with the Catholic church on the social aspect of the issue, the social impact on the communities where they live, we are trying for them to make themselves heard and lobby in the Senate, and the U.S. Congress,” Derbez said.