Mexican Universities Abandon Arizona Exchange Programs

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In response to the highly controversial new Arizona immigration law, two Mexican universities decided to end exchange programs with the University of Arizona. According to an article by Chris Hawley and Anne Ryman in the Arizona Republic:

Two Mexico universities have suspended their student-exchange programs with the University of Arizona because of concerns over Arizona’s new immigration law.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico says it will no longer send students to the UA as part of academic-exchange programs because of fears they will be harassed, said Francisco Marmolejo, the UA’s assistant vice president for western hemisphere programs.

The Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, a state college in eastern Mexico, also has suspended all exchange programs, he said.

So far the University of Arizona has been the only college directly impacted by Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070. The bill, which will take effect at the end of July, increases state enforcement of Federal immigration laws, makes it a misdemeanor for a noncitizen to be physically in Arizona without legal documents in hand, and also enacts severe punishments for people who hire or shelter illegal aliens. Most importantly, the bill also requires police officers to ask about immigration status if they have “any reason” to think someone’s not in the country legally.

The university also has exchange programs with 29 other Mexican universities. None of the other universities are planning to cancel their programs yet. However, UA indicated that six (American) honor students are changing their college plans because of the law and intend to matriculate at schools in other states. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer