April 23, 2010
Contact: Lizette Jenness Olmos, LULAC
(202) 365-4553 mobile
LULAC OUTRAGED OVER ARIZONA GOVERNOR SIGNING UNCONSTITUTIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW
LULAC will partner with sister organizations to develop the most effective legal strategy to fight this discriminatory law in court
Washington, DC - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today signed into law Arizona's discriminatory immigration enforcement bill which requires law enforcement to question individuals about their immigration status during everyday police encounters. LULAC strongly condemns the governor's decision to sign the unconstitutional law and are dismayed by her disregard for the serious damage it could cause to civil liberties and public safety in the state.
“We are horrified," said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “This law opens the doors to racial profiling. It requires police officers, if they form a 'reasonable suspicion' that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person’s immigration status.”
President Barack Obama addressed comprehensive immigration reform at the White House Rose Garden ceremony prior to the Governor’s signing saying, “Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.” The president said that comprehensive immigration legislation, debated for years, is overdue.
The measure has several provisions. Under Arizona state law it does not go into effect until 90 days after Legislature ends. It would:
-- Create a new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document.
-- Allow officers to arrest immigrants unable to show documents proving they're legally in the country.
-- Ban so-called soft immigration policies at local police agencies and allow people to sue if they feel a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws.
-- Prohibit people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners.
-- Make it illegal for people to transport illegal immigrants if the drivers of vehicles know their passengers are in the country illegally and if the transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country, even if they are family members.
LULAC called on the Governor to do what is right and veto this legislation, which poses a significant threat to the general welfare, civil rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Arizona. LULAC will now do what it has successfully done in the past and defend the civil and human rights of Latinos in our courts.
Until Congress passes a fair and just immigration reform bill, states will continue to take matters into their own hands and communities and families will remain terrorized and subject to racial profiling.
With your help, we can make sure this doesn't go any further and remind our Congressional leaders and the people of Arizona that this is not the way it is done in America. LULAC vows to challenge the measure.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.
LULAC National Office, 2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610 Washington DC 20036, (202) 833-6130, (202) 833-6135 FAX