PHOENIX — Two more Latin American countries added their own objections Tuesday to Arizona's new immigration law.
In legal papers filed in federal court, Luis Gallegos, the ambassador to the United States from Ecuador, said his country wants to join Mexico in the fight to convince U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton to block the state from enforcing the law.
“Similar to Mexico, Ecuador has a substantial and compelling interest in ensuring that its bilateral diplomatic relations with the government of the United States of America are transparent, consistent and reliable, and not frustrated by the actions of individual U.S. states, in this case, Arizona,” Gallegos wrote. He said SB 1070 “raises substantial challenges” to relations between the two countries.
Gallegos also echoed the fears expressed by Mexico that the Arizona law will affect its citizens.
“Ecuador has a substantial and compelling interest to ensure that its citizens are accorded human and civil rights when present in the United States in accordance with federal immigration law,” he wrote. “Ecuador is gravely concerned that SB 1070 will lead to racial profiling and disparate treatment of its nationals.”
A virtually identical brief was filed Tuesday by Jose Perez Gabilondo, charge d’affairs in Washington for Argentina.
Gov. Jan Brewer said both diplomats are wrong, both on the issue of racial profiling and the question of Arizona interfering with international relations. And she said both objections ignore the issues and problems of illegal immigration.
“The bottom line is America and Arizona live by laws,” she said. Brewer said SB 1070 mirrors federal immigration laws, giving state and local police tools to enforce them.
“We will continue to live by those laws,” she said.
The new legal filings were made in connection with the challenge to the law filed by attorneys for three civil rights organizations.