Cuba’s parliament has passed a resolution condemning Arizona’s "racist and xenophobic" new immigration law. National Assembly of People’s Power deputies proclaimed their solidarity with "those who are facing the brutal violation of their human rights in the US," according to a report in Thursday’s edition of Communist Party daily Granma.
The Arizona law was signed by Governor Jan Brewer on April 23. It requires police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect that they are in the country illegally. The deputies’ resolution, dated Wednesday, states that the Arizona law "has a profound racist and xenophobic character, and permits police to use racial profiling."
It warns that the legislation effectively criminalises immigrants without documents, thus "creating an atmosphere of persecution against immigrants in general."
The resolution observes that a third of Arizona’s population is made up of Hispanic immigrants – and that over 300,000 undocumented workers, mainly Mexicans, carry out the hardest agricultural labour for "paltry wages."
These super-exploited workers will "from now on will be constantly submitted to arbitrary detentions, searches and humiliation, including deportation to his or her country of origin," it stresses.
Several US cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and Austin, Texas, have passed resolutions against the law or urged outright boycotts.
The Cuban parliamentarians noted the widespread opposition within the US to the law, but said they feared similar measures would be adopted elsewhere, "spreading like a plague across North American territory."
The deputies said that the Arizona law aimed "to close the doors on immigrants to territories that were stolen by force from the noble Mexican people."
Mexico was forced to sell most of the territory that is now Arizona to the United States in 1848 following its defeat in the Mexican-American war.
Arizona became the 48th state admitted to the union in 1912, the final area of the continental United States to attain statehood.
Cuban economic migrants are treated differently from other people seeking a new home in the US.
Under Washington’s notorious "wet foot, dry foot" policy, any Cuban who survives the perilous sea voyage across the Florida straits is automatically granted residency rights and qualifies for expedited "legal permanent resident" status and US citizenship.
Wednesday’s resolution observes that the Cuban Adjustment Act "constitutes a permanent encouragement to disorganised emigration that has caused hundreds of deaths of Cubans through the years."