Mexico criticizes US Senate vote on border 'wall'

Mexico's foreign minister on Tuesday criticized measures backed by the US Senate that would tighten security along the US-Mexico border, saying that building more "walls" would not solve the immigration issue.

"Walls don't unite, walls are not a solution to the migration phenomenon and they are not consistent with a modern and secure border," Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade told a news conference in the Mexican government's first reaction to the Senate vote.

The measure "does not contribute to the development of a competitive border that both nations seek to promote," he said.

The border security amendment, which cleared a procedural vote on Monday, is a compromise pushed by Republicans in order to support a broad immigration reform bill championed by US President Barack Obama.

The amendment would bring 20,000 additional agents, a total of 700 miles (1,125 kilometers) of secure fencing and expansion of drone surveillance along what is already the most militarized border in the Americas.

The immigration bill, shepherded through the Senate by its four Republican and four Democratic authors, would create a 13-year-long pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States, many of them Mexicans.