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Mexico rights activists pressing president to sign bill easing penalties on illegal migrants

[JURIST] Mexican rights activists are pressing Mexican President Felipe Calderón [official profile, in Spanish] to sign a bill lightening penalties for illegal migrants found in the country after the measure passed the lower house of the Mexican Congress Tuesday. Prison terms of one and a half to six years under current law would be reduced to fines of roughly $745 to $2400 US. Proponents of the legislation see it as providing important protection for migrants, may of whom come in from Central America on their way to the United States, and who are currently subject to harsh treatment and abuse by both criminal elements and law enforcement. Rights activists also see the legislation as potentially sending a positive message to the United States Congress about how Mexico treats its own immigrants as Mexican officials - including Calderon himself [JURIST report] from the outset of his administration last fall - urge better treatment for Mexicans caught illegally coming into the US.

Calderon has not indicated whether he will sign the popular bill. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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