Greg Bluestein, Google News, June 17, 2011
Mexico and 10 other countries have joined the legal fight against Georgia’s tough new immigration law, warning that the strict crackdown could jeopardize close ties between the U.S. and its Latin American neighbors.
The nations filed briefs late Wednesday in support of civil liberties groups who asked a federal judge to declare Georgia’s new law unconstitutional and block it from taking effect. The filing marks a new phase in the legal showdown that has pitted Georgia’s attorneys against groups who had threatened to challenge the law even before it was adopted by lawmakers.
Mexico’s move also echoes the legal strategy it pursued to challenge tough new immigration rules enacted by other states. Attorneys representing Mexico filed briefs challenging similar legislation adopted in Arizona and Utah.
The measure, Mexico said, would strain diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Mexico, “interfering with the strategic diplomatic interests of the two countries and encouraging an imminent threat of state-sanctioned bias or discrimination.”
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru also filed briefs Wednesday in support of the plaintiffs.
The filing from Mexico said the country’s top officials were closely watching the debate surrounding the Georgia measure. It said Mexican officials were dismayed when Georgia passed the law, which it said could impact millions of Mexican workers, tourists and students in the U.S., and millions more whose jobs depend on international trade.