The Colombian Senate on Wednesday officially condemned the U.S. state of Arizona’s controversial law that requires immigrants to carry documents verifying their immigration status.
According to a press release on the Senate website, “The Senate of the Republic of Colombia categorically rejects this law, because it encourages racial and political discrimination, which is fundamentally prohibited by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 1 and 2) and is ratified in our Constitution.”
The Senate, which called the Arizona law “a grave violation of human rights for Colombians and other Latinos living in that state,” criticized the move for the trend it sets within the U.S., calling it an “indication of danger … other U.S. states have started to express their support for the initiative, as is the case of Tennessee, which on May 24 approved a resolution congratulating Arizona for the law.”
The Senate is not the only Colombian body to have criticized the Arizona law. In April, Colombia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing concern over the law’s impact on Colombians residing in the U.S.
The law, introduced in April by Arizona governor Jan Brewer, is expected to take effect in late July or early August, and is the first in the U.S. to criminalize immigrants who fail to carry documentation. Under the law, police officers will be required to question people regarding their immigration status in the country if there is suspicion that they may be illegal.