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Statements from opponents, proponents of SB 1070

Tucson-based Border Action Network has released a statement opposing SB 1070 becoming law:

Outpour of Opposition Does Not Deter Nation’s Worst Attack on Civil Rights from Being Signed by Arizona Governor

Phoenix, AZ – Community leaders across Arizona condemn Governor Jan Brewer’s signing of SB1070, the farthest-reaching anti-immigrant bill ever passed by a state. The law became a lightning rod nationally due to its mandate to law enforcement to use racial profiling and to give the state a backdoor entry to enforcing federal immigration law.

“Even though we’re not surprised by the Governor’s action, we are still outraged,” said Carlos Garcia, of PUENTE, a Phoenix-based community group.  “Governor Brewer has prioritized gathering votes for her election over her responsibilities as governor to uphold the basic civil rights, our constitution, and the well-being of our state.”

Somos America, Border Action Network, PUENTE and other community, faith, business and law enforcement groups as well as elected officials across the state have ardently opposed this bill.  On-the-ground organizing in Arizona resulted unprecedented outpour of opposition including more than 80,000 petition and postcard signatures and thousands of phone calls and emails flooding the Governor’s office every single day.

The law’s sponsor, Senator Russell Pearce claims that ten other states are interested in similar legislation. However, the law continues to ignite national outcry. This morning, President Obama spoke against the bill, calling it a “misguided effort.” This Sunday, Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez will be in Arizona to condemn the law at a rally and local church. Congressman Grijalva is hosting a rally in his district on Saturday and protests have sprouted up in New York, Colorado, Washington, New Jersey and other states across the country.

“Governor Brewer’s signature on SB1070 will stain her political career and the people won’t forget it,” says Jennifer Allen, Director of Border Action Network, a statewide community organization. “This is an unjust and unconstitutional law that people won’t stand for. The bill may have been signed into law today, but the struggle will only gain momentum after today.”

The law will come into effect early August or 90 days after the adjournment of the state legislature. Somos America, PUENTE, Border Action Network and other groups around the state are launching an intensive community education campaign to respond to the fear and resentment that is emerging. Legal challenges are calling for an immediate injunction against implementation of the law.

“The signing of this immoral, illegal and unjust bill puts Arizona on the wrong side of history,” said Lydia Guzman, President of Somos America.  “But the groundswell of opposition to SB1070 demonstrates that we can and will change the course of history. From the voting polls, to the airwaves, to the courtroom, we will not rest until this law is defeated.”

With President Obama’s condemnation of the law today, groups are also putting pressure on the Administration to block implementation of the law. “This law depends on Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s cooperation. We need to see today’s comments turned into commitment that Washington will not play Arizona’s game,” says Garcia.

Throughout the weekend, events and rallies are expected to turnout out thousands of people across the state.

Statement from ALIPAC in support of Brewer signing SB 1070

ALIPAC Celebrates Political Win for Americans in Arizona

April 23, 2010
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC commends Governor Brewer and the Arizona state assembly for the passage of SB 1070 into law as one of the toughest new tools to fight illegal immigration in America.

“The people of America have spoken and in the case of Arizona and SB 1070 the system is working,” said William Gheen of ALIPAC. “We want to thank all of the American activists working with us, who helped to bring this law into being.”

ALIPAC is a national leader in the effort to pass immigration enforcement legislation on the state level and has helped to pass immigration enforcement oriented legislation in over 30 states!

The group is also credited with helping to defeat state legislation that would offer taxpayer resources and benefits to illegal aliens such as licenses and in-state tuition in about 20 states.

“It is incumbent upon our state’s to protect the jobs, wages, health, taxes, and lives of American citizens, when Presidents fail to honor their oaths of office and Constitutional requirements to enforce the laws of Congress and protect all states from invasion,” said William Gheen. “Bush and now Obama refuse to secure our borders and adequately enforce our existing immigration laws, despite the mass casualties of innocent Americans each year.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC’s supporters called Arizona lawmakers in support of SB 1070 and activists are now moving to encourage state legislators in all remaining states to file and pass similar versions of Arizona’s SB 1070.

“Today we have taken a great step forward to secure Arizona on behalf of the 70 to 80 percent of Americans who want these measures according to the certified polls,” said William Gheen. “Our immigration system is not broken. Our existing Federal laws go unenforced because big business owns our Presidents.”

Statement from Hispanic Leadership Fund:

Tactics allowed by SB 1070 are a “hallmark of authoritarian regimes”

Washington, DC. April 23, 2010 – The Hispanic Leadership Fund today issued a statement from its President Mario H. Lopez commenting on the passage and possible signing of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration bill, which gives police the power to stop anyone based on a simple and poorly defined notion of “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the United States illegally:

“Arizonans, like a majority of Americans, are rightly frustrated by our unworkable immigration system.  However, turning Arizona into a Police State, violating the Constitution, and allowing authorities to stop people based on some irrationally vague notion that someone might be here illegally is clearly not the answer.

“Having to ‘carry your papers’ is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes–not of the Constitutional Republic that our Founding Fathers wisely passed on to us.  Arizonans and all Americans deserve an immigration system that works, not a draconian big government desecration of the Bill of Rights.”

The Hispanic Leadership Fund is a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to promoting common-sense principles of limited government, individual liberty, and free enterprise.

Chicanos Por La Causa statement:

CPLC Vows to Push for Federal Immigration Reform
Organization Outraged Over Governor Brewer Signing SB 1070

April 23, 2010

Phoenix – Arizona’s leading community development is deeply disappointed and outraged over Governor Brewer’s decision today to sign Senate Bill 1070, the most hateful piece of legislation in recent history.

Senate Bill 1070 mandates racial profiling by requiring police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the United States illegally. This law does not have any exemption for children, who would not typically carry identification, making our young people especially vulnerable. This is only one of the several violations of civil rights contained in this bill that concern Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC).

The Governor’s action has reaffirmed CPLC’s commitment to push for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

“Our state’s leadership has let us down tremendously, but they have not broken our spirit of determination. We will now focus our efforts on urging our nationally elected leaders to fix our broken immigration system,” said CPLC President and CEO Edmundo Hidalgo.

CPLC has a 41-year history of empowering citizens around the state of Arizona through programs and services that promote sustainable economic development. The group vows to unite with other leaders in the community to push for comprehensive national immigration reform, the only solution for our nation to move forward.

CPLC will be joining U.S. Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Luis Gutierrez at the State Capital Sunday as they begin a dialogue on how Arizona and the nation will move forward in the face of this new law.

Statement from Arizona chapter of ACLU:

Arizona Immigration Law Threatens Civil Rights And Public Safety, Says ACLU

Law Will Poison Community Policing Efforts

PHOENIX – 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. The law creates new immigration crimes and penalties inconsistent with those in federal law, asserts sweeping authority to detain and transport persons suspected of violating civil immigration laws and prohibits speech and other expressive activity by persons seeking work. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona strongly condemn 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.

“Governor Brewer and the Arizona legislature have set Arizona apart in their willingness to sacrifice our liberties and the economy of this state,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “By signing this bill into law, Brewer has just authorized violating the rights of millions of people living and working here. She has just given every police agency in Arizona a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign, while doing nothing to address the real problems we’re facing.”

The new law, which will not go into effect for more than 90 days, requires police agencies across Arizona to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country unlawfully. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their “papers” at all times. The law also makes it a state crime for immigrants to willfully fail to register with the Department of Homeland Security and carry registration documents. It further curtails the free speech rights of day laborers and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies.

“Forcing local police to demand people’s papers and arrest those who can’t immediately prove their status will do nothing to make us safer,” said Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “What it will do is divert scarce police resources to address false threats and force officers to prioritize immigration enforcement over all other public safety responsibilities. It is a dark day for Arizona when the goal of appeasing one state Senator, Russell Pearce, takes priority over fundamental rights and economic needs of residents.”

Before the governor signed the bill, President Obama criticized it harshly, calling it “misguided” and saying that it threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.” Obama promised to “closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.”

The president’s statement is consistent with his longstanding opposition to anti-immigrant laws that attempt to bypass the federal government. As a senator, he lauded the 2007 legal ruling blocking the anti-immigrant law in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, calling the law “unconstitutional and unworkable.”

Despite the president’s statements, his administration has not taken strong action against state and local anti-immigrant laws, paving the way for extreme laws like the one signed today. Currently, the administration has a prime opportunity to take a stand on the issue, because the solicitor general will soon file a brief explaining the administration’s position on Arizona’s unconstitutional employer sanctions law, passed in 2007, which creates a state-level immigrant employment verification and sanctions regime.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “As the federal government sits on its hands, Arizona’s anti-immigrant brushfires have turned into a firestorm. We call on the administration to file a brief categorically opposing Arizona’s employer sanctions law to demonstrate its commitment to stopping anti-immigrant laws that interfere with federal authority, wreak havoc on businesses and cause discrimination against Latinos.”

Statement from Arizona Hispanic Republicans:

Arizona Hispanic Republicans React To SB 1070 And We View It As An Attack Against Our Civil Rights

Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Hispanic Republicans believe that it is unfortunate for Jan Brewer to support Pearce’s bill.  The greatest leaders in our nation had courage, and we believe that Brewer made her decision in an effort to save her political career.  Jan Brewer’s decision will mark today as the day in which Hispanic Americans will follow the footsteps of the Great Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.   Pearce and Brewer do not see the unintended consequences of their actions, and it appears that they were willing to make decisions that affect us at the cost of trampling on our Constitutional Rights.

We believe this party was founded by Abraham Lincoln, a man who was instrumental in doing away with evils towards people of color.  We must never forget the price Abraham paid with his own life, and for that we at least owe a fight to bring this party back to our true roots.  Later, the Republican Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. picked up Abe’s mantle and helped fight the injustice of racism.  Republicans in that era fought to free blacks from slavery, which gave people of color freedoms and citizenship.

It is unfortunate that our own members of the Republican Party believe that we have to trample on our Constitution in order to “enforce our laws.”  We believe that Pearce is easing the requirements for “probable cause” and his attempt in expanding our government. What Pearce’s bill proves is that he does not have the answer for illegal immigration within the confines of the American Constitution, and in fact he is not solving the problem by creating more problems.

We believe United States Hispanic citizens have a right to be safe in their person from illegal searches and seizures, and we believe Pearce’s efforts are violating that.  SB 1070 is a direct slap in the face to Hispanic Americans who have fought and died for several American wars because this new law can be abused by authorities to pull us over with mere “reasonable suspicion”.

That said, and even though we are taking a stance against Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce’s law, we are ultimately holding President Obama accountable.  Obama promised Hispanics that he would pass immigration reform within 90 days of his Presidency.  Had Obama carried out his promises to Hispanics last year, the Hispanic community would not be experiencing the crisis we are experiencing right now.  There has been recent criticism over our Senator John McCain because John McCain probably feels he cannot win the primary elections due to his previous stances on championing immigration reform and the consistent untrue attacks by Hayworth.  It is understandable on why McCain believes he is in the fight of his life.  For the record, Senator McCain has taken action in the past while Obama has not.  McCain’s valuable experience contributed to Americans winning the Iraq war.  The problem is this:  There are more Latinos registered as Democrats in the State of Arizona that cannot vote for McCain in the primary elections and McCain wants to win.  How can these hypocritical democrat leaders lay blame to the McCain when at the very least McCain has action to back his words?  Why aren’t Democrat leaders holding Obama’s feet to the fire?  Hispanics are more aligned with Republican values because of our social conservative values and our belief in the Creator; and if Hispanics want to make a real change to help change the face of our Party to bring it back to the Party of Abraham Lincoln, then I call upon all Latinos (Democrat and Independent) to register themselves as Republicans in order to bring it back to those roots.

Hispanic families are agonizing over this issue.  Russell Pearce has not articulated a proactive approach to what will happen to American born children and their welfare as they are ripped apart from their parents.  In fact, Russell Pearce believes that children born of illegal immigrants should not be declared as citizens.

Arizona Hispanic Republicans will not vote for Jan Brewer this year because we are holding her accountable for supporting a bill that violates the Constitution and our Civil Rights.  I have sounded the alarm to all Republicans in this state that the passing of this bill is political suicide.

The State of Arizona already has a blemish because we were the last state of the Union to recognize Martin Luther King as an official holiday.  Arizona Hispanic Republicans will write an open letter to our RNC Chair, Michael Steele, as he continues to consider where to hold our next 2011 GOP convention.  We will caution our RNC Chair to consider the consequences of that because then it could be perceived as rewarding the state that implemented strong anti-Hispanic laws that has rattled our community and our Civil Rights.

Statement for Arizona Democratic legislators: Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia, D-27, Democratic Leader, Sen. Richard Miranda, D-13, Latino Caucus Co-Chair, Rep. Ben Miranda, D-16, Latino Caucus Co-Chair

Governor chooses politics over civil rights

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Today, Governor Brewer signed SB 1070 (NOW; safe neighborhoods; immigration; law enforcement). This legislation will criminalize all immigrants, infringe on free speech, encourage racial profiling and lead to enormous costs, into the millions, at a time Arizona cannot afford unfunded mandates.

“Governor Brewer showed the world that she is more willing to put her own reelection bid ahead of vetoing a mean-spirited piece of legislation that targets racial minorities,” said Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia. “It is hypocritical of Brewer to have stood in front of two large Latino functions and say that she would do what she believes was right for Arizona. Eroding our economic recovery and marginalizing communities does the exact opposite of what is right.”

“At a time when the Governor should be uniting Arizonans, instead she is adding to the animosity surrounding the immigration issue,” said Sen. Richard Miranda. “Immigration reform must occur, but it needs to occur starting with the federal level and not at the expense of civil rights of American citizens,” said Sen. Richard Miranda.

“The eyes of the world are on Arizona,” said Rep. Ben Miranda “The costs in human and economic terms will be felt for a generation, if not more. The idea that SB 1070 will secure borders and insure safe neighborhoods is ludicrous and unsupported.”

Friday morning, President Barack Obama stated that this legislation “undermines 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.

We absolutely agree with the President’s statements.

“The Arizona State Legislative Latino Caucus joins all national groups, organizations and elected officials to ask for immediate action from the Obama Administration to negate the impact of SB 1070 and push for comprehensive immigration reform,” stated Rep. Ben Miranda.

Selected provisions in the bill:

  • Requires an officer to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person where reasonable suspicion exists that a person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States. The bill is silent on what constitutes “legitimate contact” or “reasonable suspicion.”
  • Allows any legal resident of this state to sue any official or agency of the state or political subdivision that adopts a policy or practice that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. Permits a civil penalty between $1,000 and $5,000 per day that such a policy exists and allows the court to reward costs and attorney fees to the prevailing side.
  • Specifies that people who transport, attempt to transport, conceal, harbor, or attempt to conceal or harbor a person who enters the United States in violation of the law are guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000.
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