[JURIST] Mexican President Felipe Calderon [official website; BBC profile] denounced US immigration policies during his first state of the union address [text] Sunday, promising to fight for the rights of Mexicans living in the US and protesting the "unilateral measures" taken by the US to make "the persecution and humiliating treatment of undocumented Mexican workers worse." Calderon added that Mexican workers in the US contribute a "great deal" to the US economy, and chided the US government for its "insensitivity" to the "enormous contribution" Mexicans make. Calderon also insisted that Mexico will continue to advocate comprehensive immigration reform [JURIST news archive] that is favorable to Mexico and will continue to "categorically reject construction" of a 700-mile fence [JURIST news archive] on the US-Mexico border.
Calderon delivered his speech Sunday from the National Palace, after leftist opposition legislators refused to allow Calderon to follow tradition and deliver his speech to the Mexican Congress [official website, in Spanish] on Saturday, marking the second year in a row that legislators refused to allow the president to deliver his state of the union address. Last year, former Mexican President Vincente Fox [BBC profile] was prevented from delivering his address [JURIST report] to Congress as opposition legislators accused Fox of aiding Calderon in an alleged fraudulent narrow victory [JURIST report] over leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [BBC profile]. AP has more.