.- The President of the Committee on Human Migration of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Renato Ascencio Leon of Juarez, has called on the governments of Mexico and the United States to work together for “a bi-national policy in order to address the problem of violence” affecting border towns.
Bishop Ascencio explained that despite the political division between the two countries, the border towns often run together and share the same problems. Therefore, he said, the matter ought to be addressed jointly.
Speaking to local reporters, the bishop recalled that emigration is a natural right, but that citizens also have the right to have the basic means necessary to live with dignity in their own countries and not feel forced to leave their homes to move elsewhere.
Bishop Ascencio declined to comment on recent measures by the governors of New Mexico and Arizona, who have both declared a state of emergency in order to deal with the problem of illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Nonetheless, he called the actions by the Minutemen—a group of citizens that is patrolling the borders and rounding up illegal aliens--“fiercely racist”.
“Because of their own tactics they are not going to stop illegal immigration nor violence. These groups want nothing to do with people of other races or nationalities. Therefore we need coordinated action from both governments,” he said.