Church Sees Setback in U.S.-Mexican Ties

MEXICO CITY, DEC. 21, 2005 ( Legislative approved by the U.S. House of Representatives to impede illegal immigration have raised a wave of protests, including from the Catholic Church in Mexico.

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Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop primate of Mexico, said that a proposal to build a fence along part of the 3,100-kilometer (1,950-mile) long U.S.-Mexico border to impede illegal crossings marks a setback in relations between the two countries.

The U.S. House approved a legislation which increases immigration and border controls and includes the construction of more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of a fence on the border strip.

The plan still needs Senate approval and President George Bush’s signature. Bush has praised the House for approving the bill.

Cardinal Rivera Carrera said that the legislation represents a setback in bilateral relations and that Bush should build bridges rather than walls between the nations.

The cardinal said that important steps have been taken in U.S.-Mexican relations, but that xenophobic groups are exerting pressure in the United States so that Congress adopts a radical position on the border question.

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