Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico, speaks during a conference in Los Angeles. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said an Arizona law to stem illegal immigration is “xenophobic” and unfairly attacks immigrants contributing to the state’s economy.
“I think xenophobic measures taken by Arizona and its government are totally wrong,” Fox said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness.”
“We are partners,” Fox said in the interview from his ranch in Mexico. “Maybe that lady which is governor doesn’t know how many products from Arizona are being exported into Mexico.”
The Arizona statute makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. It requires local police officers who come in contact with someone for a law enforcement reason to check the individual’s immigration status if they suspect the person lacks proper documentation.
A U.S. district judge in Phoenix today barred Arizona from enforcing that provision and other parts of the law.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has said current U.S. policies have resulted in the state being “under attack” from Mexican drug and immigrant-smuggling cartels.
In April, Mexico’s Congress urged President Felipe Calderon to consider breaking commercial ties with Arizona. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said his government will challenge the law in U.S. courts.
Fox said that U.S. drug consumption is “absolutely responsible” for more than 24,000 murders in Mexico since Calderon took office in 2006. He added that Mexico shares responsibility for border violence.
“What is happening is that this huge market of the United States in drug consumption — the largest in the world — is generating the weapons that are sold to cartels, is generating the money that is laundered in the United States,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Charlie Devereux in Caracas at email@example.com