Bishops of Acapulco Urge US-Mexico Cooperation

Say Immigration, Arms Trafficking Affect Both Countries

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ACAPULCO, Mexico, MAY 26, 2010 ( The bishops of Acapulco are urging the governments of Mexico and the United States to work together to solve the problems resulting from migration and arms trafficking that negatively affect both countries.

In a communiqué published Monday, titled «Pending Accounts Between Mexico and the United States,» the Archdiocese of Acapulco described the recent visit of President Felipe Calderón of Mexico to the United States as an «opportunity to put on the table two critical and painful points that represent pending accounts between the two countries: the treatment of Mexican migrants and the violence in Mexico linked to arms trafficking coming from the northern neighbor.»
The communiqué noted that Calderón appealed to the U.S. Congress for two things: to stop arms trafficking from the United States to Mexico, and to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
While before Congress, the Mexican president also criticized an immigration law passed by the state of Arizona, which he described as «violating the human rights of all people.»

These critical points, the bishops stated, «require a true collaboration between the two countries, made urgent by the processes of globalization that make us interdependent. And in our case, the weight of the decisions of the North American authorities about their problems, enormously affect matters in our country, as is the case of the two points indicated.»
In regard to immigration reform, the archdiocese noted that «it is an issue that has been pending for many years, and which has not been on the agenda of the North American government and that, as a consequence, causes grave problems to our fellow countrymen.»

President George Bush pushed in 2007 to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which would have granted amnesty to some 12 million illegal immigrants, create a temporary worker program and tighten up border security. The bill, which was criticized by the U.S. bishops for measures that would have divided families, fell short by only 14 votes.
«There has not been a humanitarian treatment of the subject, as economic and pragmatic criteria have prevailed in the way of addressing the situation of millions of illegal Mexicans and those of other countries who have gone to the United States to seek better opportunities of life,» it added.

The Mexican bishops blamed the United States for its part in contributing to the prevalence of violence in that country: «Liberal legislation prevails in the United States, which allows for their indiscriminate trade with a negative effect on Mexico.
«Organized crime has developed great power based on great sums of money that it manages and on its facility to obtain arms illegally. And it is known that the great majority of arms that are in their hands come from the [United States].»
Given this situation, the archdiocese expects «co-responsibility between the two governments.»
«On the part of the Mexican government, there must be a more ample and integral vision of the struggle against organized crime that goes beyond the repression of criminal groups,» the bishops states. «Preventive measures are needed to reduce the consumption of drugs and the levels of violence. There must also be a change in the economic model that offers more opportunities to Mexicans to reduce the need to migrate.
«And on the part of the North American government, a more solidaristic and responsible attitude is needed. Its power must be felt not in a greater management of international affairs for its own economic or political profit, but a greater sense of humanity and of support for the poorer countries.»

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