updated 7/18/2008 2:56:21 PM ET 2008-07-18T18:56:21

The Mexican government said Friday it will honor U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy for his defense of immigrant rights.

Mexico will award Kennedy the Aguila Azteca, the highest honor the government can bestow on foreign dignitaries.

Kennedy will be presented with a sash in Washington, according to an announcement published by Mexico's federal registry.

Mexico says the Massachusetts Democrat has denounced injustices against migrants and "highlighted the importance of addressing illegal immigration by looking for an integral solution."

The Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer in May and has been receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

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