Mexico on Tuesday asked a federal court in Arizona to declare the state's new immigration law unconstitutional, arguing that the country's own interests and its citizens' rights are at stake.
Lawyers for Mexico on Tuesday submitted a legal brief in support of one of five lawsuits challenging the law. The law will take effect July 29 unless implementation is blocked by a court.
The law generally requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there's a "reasonable suspicion" they're in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state's streets.
Citing "grave concerns," Mexico said its interest in having predictable, consistent relations with the United States shouldn't be frustrated by one U.S. state.
Mexico also said it has a legitimate interest in defending its citizens' rights and that the law would lead to racial profiling, hinder trade and tourism, and strain the countries' work on combatting drug trafficking and related violence.
"Mexican citizens will be afraid to visit Arizona for work or pleasure out of concern that they will be subject to unlawful police scrutiny and detention," the brief said.
It will be to a U.S. District Court judge to decide whether to accept the brief along with similar ones submitted by various U.S. organizations.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law on April 23 and changes to it on April 30, has lawyers defending it in court.