WASHINGTON — Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Thursday strongly denounced Arizona’s new law clamping down on illegal immigrants and urged members of Congress to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.”
In the first address to Congress by a foreign national leader this year, Calderon delivered a message that the two countries must cooperate to improve security along the often-violent border and control the flow of immigrants into the United States.
While Republican lawmakers welcomed Calderon’s call for improved relations between the two countries, they jeered his lecture on how to fix the U.S. immigration system and his criticism of Arizona’s new law.
“I think it’s inappropriate for him to come in and criticize our law,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told Fox News. “When we go down to Mexico, we don’t do that to the Mexicans.”
“The Arizona law is not the problem,” he added. “The problem is the growing violence down the border and securing the border and the Obama administration enforcing federal law.”