- 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
- 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.