Brownfield criticizes Arizona immigration law

U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield spoke out against the controversial Arizona law that makes failure to carry immigration documents into a crime., El Espectador reports on Monday.

According to reports, Brownfield said that it is illogical to reject the presence of immigrants because “the United States is a country of immigrants.”

Brownfield’s comments came during an independence day celebration at his residence in Bogota on July 4. Attending the event, which was capped off with a fireworks show, were top U.S. political officials in Colombia, military officers, and other special guests, such as former FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt, in addition to the three U.S. contractors who were also held in FARC captivity and rescued in the 2008 “Operation Checkmate.”

Brownfield’s rejection of the Arizona immigration law echoes the calls from many Colombian individuals and institutions which have spoken out against it, including the Senate, Foreign Ministry, and pop stars Juanes and Shakira.

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 if there is suspicion that they may be illegal.

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