Mexico To Lobby For Immigration Reform

Julie Watdon, AP, Feb. 20, 1007

Mexico plans to begin an aggressive lobbying effort in the United States to secure an immigration reform agreement, the country’s new ambassador in Washington said Tuesday.

Mexican consulates in the United States will talk with state and federal lawmakers, business chambers, civic organizations and “all actors of U.S. society” who support comprehensive immigration reform, Arturo Sarukhan said.

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The ambassador said Mexico has a brief window to convince Washington to approve immigration reforms before campaigning begins for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

“We are going to put into place the same kind of diplomatic and lobbying effort that we did in the early 1990s when NAFTA was being decided,” said Sarukhan, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico wants Washington to usher in reforms to create a guest worker program, provide a legal path for millions of Mexicans living in the United States and allow for the reunification of families split by immigration laws.

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