PHOENIX (CN) – Mexico asked a federal judge for permission to file an amicus brief in support of groups challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s immigration law, saying the law is a threat to citizens’ rights and a bad idea for the United States and Mexico.
Mexico filed the brief in support of five lawsuits challenging the law, which goes into effect June 29.
“Mexico has a substantial and compelling interest in ensuring that its bilateral diplomatic relations with the government of the United States of America be transparent, consistent and reliable, and not frustrated by the actions of individual U.S. states,” the brief states.
The law requires that police conducting investigations ask people about their immigration status if there is any suspicion that a person is in the United States illegally. The law also prohibits day-laborers on the streets and makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor.
Mexico said that it is “gravely concerned” that the law could lead to racial profiling, cause citizens to be afraid to visit Arizona and disrupt tourism and trade.
The law also would adversely affect education and both countries’ labor markets, the brief said.
Mexico claimed that the law would interfere with its fight against drug trafficking and violence by straining bilateral collaboration and scaring citizens away from reporting crimes.
Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, said the law “threatens to poison the well from which our two nations have found and should continue to find inspiration for a joint future of prosperity, security, tolerance and justice.”
President Obama has also criticized the law. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hinted at a lawsuit.