Mexican Government
Again Encourages
Mexicans To Sneak Into US
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A senior Mexican official has said the government will not discourage its citizens from trying to enter the United States, despite the deaths of dozens of would-be immigrants trying to cross the border in scorching heat.
``At no time will we take any action that could discourage Mexicans' emigration to the United States,'' Fernando Solis, deputy minister for population and migratory services, was quoted as saying by the government's Notimex news service. ``Because these are people who leave their families and their homes with a legitimate goal,'' he added. Solis spoke to reporters Saturday, expressing concern over recent deaths among undocumented Mexicans trying to enter the United States by crossing scorching deserts along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
The bodies of eight Mexicans, believed abandoned without water by human smugglers known as ``coyotes,'' were found in the desert east of San Diego on Wednesday, dead of apparent heat exhaustion.
In all, 86 Mexicans have died this year trying to cross the border into California, according to the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. There were 85 deaths in all of last year. U.S. border authorities appealed last month to would-be immigrants not to try to make the border crossing in searing summer heat, citing the dangers of heat exhaustion in desert temperatures that have reached 120 degrees F.
Illegal immigration across the border has been a historically thorny issue between the United States and Mexico, with Mexico often portraying the issue in terms of human rights in the face of U.S. efforts to crack down on illegal aliens. In a separate statement, the Mexican foreign ministry said Mexican consulates along the border were holding ``permanent campaigns'' in local and national media to alert would-be immigrants of the dangers that exist in the border's mountainous and desert areas.
It added that the Mexican consulate in Calexico, on California's border with Mexico, was taking actions to support relatives of those who have died in Arizona and California deserts. It did not detail the actions.