tags: Press Releases

U.S. Rep. Grijalva, Immigrant Rights Leaders Denounce Mitt Romney’s Support for SB 1070 and Discuss Impact of Law on November Elections

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Arizona’s Harassment Law Has Alienated Latinos, Asians, and Other Voters from GOP

Washington, D.C. – On a press call today, U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ/7) joined immigrant rights leaders to discuss yesterday’s SB1070 hearing at the U.S, Supreme Court and highlight the dangerous consequences of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s immigration platform of “attrition through enforcement.”  They said that the Arizona law should not be considered a “model” for the nation.

Said U.S. Representative Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-7), “SB 1070 as a ‘model’ for the nation — that goes against our values and against our civil rights protections.  One of the authors of bills like SB 1070, Michael Hethmon, has already said that these laws are intended to provide a ‘balance’ in the demographic shift happening in this country– in other words, there’s too many immigrants and we have to protect what’s ours.  That’s SB 1070’s real agenda, to keep the racial balance of this country where it is.  It’s concerning that Romney has supported this agenda of self-deportation, and SB 1070 as a ‘model’ for the nation.  On the issue of immigration he is the most extreme, hard-line candidate for president this country has ever seen.”

Erika Andiola, DREAM Advocate from Arizona, knows firsthand the devastating impact of policies like SB 1070. “It’s been two years of uncertainty and suffering since the law passed. The consequences of ‘attrition through enforcement’ have been dire. Our communities have seen people flee, businesses close, and families separated. However, yesterday was an important day for us and for the empowerment of our community.  This case isn’t just about immigrants, it’s about racial profiling being tolerated and about the fact that Romney, our GOP presidential candidate, not only supports SB 1070 but also sees it as a ‘model’ for the nation.  Rest assured, Arizona’s Latino community will make our voices heard come voting day.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The passage of SB 1070 has ushered in a dangerous new angle to the immigration debate.  In effect, this law is designed to purge Arizona of all immigrants, an approach welcomed with open arms by the Romney campaign.  If the Supreme Court upholds this law, Arizona will inevitably become a place where if you have brown skin and speak with an accent, you’re going to feel unwelcome—something that will come at a tremendous cost not only for the people of Arizona but for Mitt Romney as voting day draws closer.  It’s hard to build a good reputation and easy to destroy one.  By embracing this law, the GOP is destroying its image with Latino voters nationwide.”

The writing is on the wall for the GOP.  As former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R) put it, “Who in the Republican Party was the genius that said that now that we have identified the fastest-growing demographic in America, let’s go out and alienate it?”

Mitt Romney considers Kris Kobach, the author of SB 1070 and counsel to the legal arm of the radical Federation for American Immigration Reform, an “advisor” to his campaign.  Former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the lead backer of SB1070 in the legislature, has called Mitt Romney’s immigration policy “identical” to his.  (Pearce lost his seat in a historic recall election after Latinos and others turned out to vote him down.)  Clearly, Pearce and Kobach are in the driver’s seat when it comes to fashioning the national GOP platform on immigration.

Said Cesar Vargas, Managing Partner of DRM Capitol Group, “Ever since Romney promised to veto the DREAM Act, the Latino community has said that we will not tolerate and any more attacks on our communities and families.  Right now, we have a President who has stood up against SB 1070 and a candidate who says this policy is a model for the nation.  We’re working hard to register voters and let our community know who’s on the side of Latinos and who’s not.  As it stands, Romney is not on our side and we’ll be sure to make that clear at the polls this November.”

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