At OAS, Secretary General Insulza and Countries of the Americas Express Concerns about Arizona’s Immigration Law

WASHINGTON – The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and various member states of the Organization today expressed concerns during a session of the Permanent Council about the legal measures recently adopted by the State of Arizona in the United States.

Following statements of rejection and disagreement by numerous permanent representatives of member countries regarding the law adopted in Arizona, Secretary General Insulza said that “this is an issue of concern to all citizens of the Americas, beginning with the citizens of the United States, a country with a very rich tradition of immigration and respect for immigrants who have come to lead a better life.”

The head of the OAS highlighted that movement of people across its borders represents one of the great challenges for the United States, which receives about 80% of the hemisphere’s migrants, and he warned against the possibility of creating an environment of discrimination in a State with a high population of Hispanic origin. He also added that “the rich tradition we all admire, of recognizing immigrants in the United States has been harmed, undermined.”

The Secretary General recognized the efforts of the U.S. government to legislate on this matter in a constructive way, recognizing the positive contributions of immigrants. “This has been a painful moment, difficult for everyone, and it is why we recognize and salute with energy the way in which the government of President Barack Obama has reacted faced with this fact. For our part, we are going to follow up and always act with greater unity of purpose because I believe that all of us here present share the problems this law creates,” he concluded.

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