The Mexican Consulate in Phoenix, Arizona, strongly criticized plans for a “virtual fence” on the southern border of that state and warned that such state projects “negatively affect” relations between the two countries and “impede” collaboration on migration matters.
“The government of Mexico is watching the funding and implementation process, while recalling similar efforts that never achieved their established goals,” a communique from the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix said Friday.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law (HB 2462) a measure this week authorizing the state to install high-tech radar and cameras on 300 towers along 600 kilometers (375 miles) of the border with Mexico in order to keep a lookout for people- and drug-smuggling.
The original bill specified a funding of $30 million but the final approved text makes no mention of funds for creating a “virtual fence,” it simply authorizes that one be built.
“The government of Mexico insists that local projects of this nature negatively affect bilateral relations and impede effective collaboration between the two countries by planning to create systems of migration control different from those specified by federal legislation,” the consulate note continues.
“Mexico condemns the construction of any kind of border fence, considering that it does not resolve the migration phenomenon, nor is it consistent with a modern, secure border, and in no way contributes to the development and competitiveness of the region that both countries wish to promote,” it said.
For Mexico, the passing of HB 2462 contrasts with the “current of positive initiatives” passed in other states of the U.S. to promote the integration of immigrants as an acknowledgment of the contribution they make.