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Signs Anti-Immigrant Bill that Fails to Address State’s Immigration Challenges
Washington, DC – America’s Voice is disappointed and outraged by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to sign into law a highly punitive bill that puts a target on the backs of all Latinos in Arizona and does nothing to solve the state’s, and the nation’s, pressing immigration problem. It will breed chaos on the ground, destroy community policing, cost Arizona taxpayers millions, and fail to restore control and order to the broken immigration system. Today is a sad day for Arizona and the nation. The Governor’s action only points to the urgent need for the federal government to step up and enact comprehensive immigration reform.
“This legislation is not just about immigrants,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice. “It’s now open season on all Latinos and it’s an absolute travesty that Arizona lawmakers would go to this extreme in the year 2010. It might as well be Mississippi in the 1960’s.”
This week Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate reiterated their commitment to immigration reform and promised to move reform legislation in Congress this year. Pres. Obama also restated his support for reform legislation and urged Congressional Republicans to join Democrats in crafting a bi-partisan measure. In his comments today at a naturalization ceremony for immigrant active-duty service members the president made clear that doing nothing is not a solution to the nation’s pressing immigration challenges and, in fact, only aggravates the problem.
“Indeed, our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others,” he said. “And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”
Sharry noted the incongruity of the president attending a ceremony for immigrants who are serving this country— immigrants who were already Americans in their hearts but are now Americans on paper but would still be targeted under the Arizona law.
“This is a perfect illustration of how egregious this law is,” he said. “It will treat Latino military veterans who have served and protected this country honorably in times of war like common criminals. It will allow legal immigrants and U.S. citizens of Latino descent who work hard, play by the rules, and contribute to our society, to be viewed with suspicion and as possible threats to peace and security. It will stigmatize Latino children and make them possible targets of bullying in school. The legislation is a symbol of the worst, most narrowly-minded and bigoted instincts of the past and has no place in government today. Gov. Brewer should be ashamed of her decision.”