Mexican President Felipe Calderon has criticized a controversial new immigration law in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, saying it opens the door to intolerance, hate and discrimination.
President Calderon Monday said he has instructed his Foreign Ministry to work with legal experts to defend the rights of Mexicans in the face of the measure, which Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on Friday.
The Mexican leader also said he will bring up the issue when he travels to Washington next month to meet with President Barack Obama and U.S. legislators.
The new law requires immigrants in Arizona to carry registration documents with them at all times, and requires police to question people if there is reason to believe they are illegal immigrants.
Opponents say the law will result in racial profiling, in which police target people because of their race or ethnic background. Supporters say the measure will help combat a wave of crime blamed on illegal immigrants.
The Mexican government has said the measure could have a negative impact on cross-border relations between Mexico and Arizona.
President Obama has described the immigration measure as "misguided" and said it threatens to undermine basic notions of fairness that Americans cherish. Mr. Obama said he has instructed his administration to determine whether the Arizona law is legal.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates there are at least 10 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP.