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Mexico won't give US maps to illegal immigrants

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Earlier this week, Mexico announced plans to give US maps to would-be illegal immigrants, detailing where to find water and help in the desert as they attempt to reach the United States. Mexico announced yesterday, however, that it would not go through with the plan.

After the plan drew strong condemnation from the U.S. government, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission said it had suspended the program, which was drawn up to reduce deaths from thirst and exhaustion.

But Miguel Angel Paredes, spokesman for the rights commission, said the plan was suspended not because of U.S. criticism but because human rights officials in border states had expressed concern that the maps would show anti-immigration groups where migrants were likely to gather.

"This would be practically like telling the Minutemen where the migrants are going to be," Paredes said.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff had said Wednesday, "We oppose in the strongest terms the publication of maps to aid those who wish to enter the United States illegally."

Mexico's human rights commission, an official government body with independent powers, had proposed distributing the maps in cooperation with the Tucson-based migrant rights group Humane Borders.