Mexico presses Bush to reject border fence bill

Mexico presses Bush to reject border fence bill

[JURIST] Mexico [JURIST news archive] urged President Bush on Monday to veto the Secure Fence Act of 2006 [text, PDF] authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexico border [JURIST news archive]. A spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox [official website, English version] said the bill "hurts bilateral relations, goes against the spirit of cooperation needed to guarantee security in the common, [and] creates a climate of tension in border communities."

Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website, in English] said last week that it was "deeply worried" about the proposed fence construction [JURIST report]. The US Senate passed the bill [JURIST report] Friday by a vote of 80-19 [roll call], and included a key provision giving the US Department of Homeland Security [official website] "operational control" over US borders within 18 months in an effort to keep illegal substances and illegal immigrants from entering the US. The House of Representatives passed [JURIST report] the measure 283-138 [roll call] on September 15. Reuters has more.