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New immigration law approved in Mexico

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New immigration law approved in Mexico

2011-05-01 01:11:24 GMT+7 (ICT)

MEXICO CITY (BNO NEWS) -- Mexico's Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved the creation of a law that ensures the protection of undocumented migrants traveling through the country to the United States, El Universal newspaper reported.

The new reform, which still needs the approval of President Felipe Calderón before going into effect, would combat trafficking, exploitation of migrants, and the use of criminal networks. It also seeks to prevent the illegal entry of weapons, explosives and illegal substances, and would be responsible for prosecuting crimes of human and organ trafficking.

Norma Salazar Vázquez, president of the Commission on Population, Borders and Migration Affairs explained that with the new law, the Mexican government guarantees the rights of migrants, who are in national territory regardless of their immigration status.

The new law would also create four types of visas, including a 180-day visa for undocumented migrants. Lawmakers also approved the creation of a border police, which will have the power to prevent crimes and conduct surveillance operations in ports, airports and border areas.

The Mexican military on Friday rescued 52 Central American migrants who were kidnapped in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Among them, there were 34 Hondurans, 12 Guatemalans, five Salvadorans and one Nicaraguan.

On Monday, 51 people were also rescued, including 15 Guatemalans, 2 Hondurans, 2 Salvadorians, 6 Chinese and 26 Mexicans. Last week, police also rescued 68 people who were allegedly kidnapped by a regional drug cartel.

Mexico's northern areas are marred with organized-crime-related violence due to the heavy presence of drug cartels. Earlier this month, police found 145 bodies in mass graves located in Tamaulipas while investigating reports that passengers from a bus were kidnapped in late March. It is believed that they were people who refused to enlist within the ranks of 'Los Zetas' drug cartel.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-01

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