Colombia’s foreign ministry issued a press release expressing concern over a controversial new law introduced in the U.S. state of Arizona that requires immigrants to carry documents verifying their status.
In the statement, the ministry recognized the U.S.’s sovereignty to decide its public policy but added that “the mutual trust between citizens and authorities should not be damaged by exclusionary measures.”
The ministry said that Colombia’s consulates in the U.S. are prepared to defend Colombians with dual nationality that may confront immigration problems in the North American nation.
The release of the Colombian government’s statement follows comments made by Colombian pop star Shakira. The Barranquilla beauty attended a press conference in Phoenix, Arizona Thursday, to protest the new law, which she says “attacks the human and civil rights of Latinos.”
The law, introduced last Friday by Arizona governor Jan Brewer and expected to take effect in late July or early August, is the first in the U.S. to criminalize immigrants not carrying documentation. Under the law, police officers will be required to question people regarding their status in the country if there is suspicion that they may be illegal.