June 4, 2010 – Religious leaders in the US and Latin America have denounced Arizona’s controversial new immigration law. The law requires police to question people about their immigration status, if officers suspect the person is in the US illegally, and if they have stopped them for a legitimate reason. Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz, of Tijuana, Mexico, said it was “inhuman”.
Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, head of the US bishops’ committee on migration, warned it could lead to racial profiling and create divisions between the police and immigrant communities.
Archbishop Munoz said the measure would “make it possible to detain someone based on their external appearance”.
The criticism came as President Barack Obama, who says the law is misguided, met Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Mr Obama has made immigration reform a priority, amid pressure from US border states for action to help curb illegal immigration and drug violence.
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