Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Latin American Leaders React to Passage of Senate Immigration Bill

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Governments across the hemisphere responded to U.S. Senate passage, in a 68 –32 vote, of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744).

The Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs lauded passage on its website, saying that the Senate’s approval of immigration reform “has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Mexicans living in the U.S. today. It creates a more favorable environment for their development and respect for their rights, and enables their significant contributions to the communities where they reside.”

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo posted on his Twitter account, “Thank you, on behalf of Honduran families, for the passage of the immigration reform bill by the U.S. Senate.” He later added, “The entire American continent hopes that the discussion of the bill in the House of Representatives of the United States will be successful.”

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina said the move was, “historical.” A statement from the foreign ministry was also released: “Guatemala considers this a very positive, hopeful step for immigrants in an an irregular situation from Guatemala and other countries.”

Many Republicans have acknowledged the importance of reforming the immigration system as Latinos have become an increasingly important voter bloc in the United States. However, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner claimed yesterday that he won’t consider any new immigration legislation unless it has the support of a majority of his party. Republican House leaders will hold a conference on July 10 to discuss their next steps.

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