Mexican opposition legislators on Thursday joined in official rejection of San Diego's declaration of a state of emergency because of an increase in the influx of illegal immigrants into Southern California.
They also criticized the call by California Gov. Pete Wilson for a presidential declaration of emergency in his state because of illegal immigration."We have rejected attitudes of this nature on the part of U.S. authorities because they go against the relationship that Mexico has with the United States," said Elpidio Tovar of Mexico's opposition Party of the Democratic Revolution.
Tovar said the measure was aimed at "stoking up anti-Mexican attitudes in some sectors of the U.S. population," in the search for votes.
Wilson, a Republican, has made the high cost of illegal immigration in California one of his principal platforms in the election race against Democrat Kathleen Brown.
In a letter received Wednesday in Washington, Wilson called for President Clinton to declare an immigration emergency, saying almost half of illegal immigration occurs in California, costing taxpayers $2.4 billion each year in health care, education and prison expenses.
On Tuesday, San Diego County Supervisors declared a state of emergency, noting a 15-percent increase in the number of arrests of illegal immigrants.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry condemned the measure Wednesday, saying "individual short-term interests are recurrently using the phenomenon (of immigration) as a political banner in local cam-paigns."
"Mexico reiterates that this new initiative, inscribed in a growing tendency to blame Mexican immigrants for the problems of U.S. society, not only will not solve the problem, but will make it worse," the statement continued.
The ministry warned the declaration of emergency could obstruct economic and trade relations between Mexico and the state of California.