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Vatican calls US plans for Mexican border fence 'inhumane'

[JURIST] The US decision to build a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexican border [JURIST news archive] is "inhumane," a senior Vatican [official website] official said Tuesday while delivering Pope Benedict XVI's yearly message on migrants [text]. Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican's Council on Migrant and Itinerant People [official website], compared the proposal in the Secure Fence Act of 2006 [PDF text; HR 6061 summary] to the creation of the Berlin Wall, and encouraged the US to instead allow more immigrants to enter the country legally. Martino also expressed his approval for the voiced opposition to the fence by US and Mexican bishops.

President Bush signed [JURIST report] the controversial fence bill in late October. The Mexican government has voiced strong opposition [JURIST report] to the law, saying it will complicate US-Mexican relations [Mexican MFA press release]. Last week, US Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) [official website] said the incoming 110th Congress will review the act [JURIST report] and may scrap the plan after the new Democrat-controlled Congress convenes on January 3, 2007. AP has more.

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