Arizona's Draconian Law Resembles Apartheid Rules

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This unconscionable law harkens back to the darkest days of Nazi Germany, apartheid‐era South Africa and the period of the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

[Opinion]

The members, staff and board of Families for Freedom‐‐a New York‐based immigrant defense network by and for people facing and fighting back against deportation‐‐join the national chorus of immigrants and their allies repudiating Arizona’s SB 1070 law.

As people directly impacted by already unjust, biased and broken immigration laws we strongly condemn Arizona’s racist criminalization of immigrants and their families.

This law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer on Friday, April 23, among other things, makes it a state crime to be undocumented and requires immigrants to have proof of their immigration status. It also requires police officers to "make a reasonable attempt" to determine the immigration status of a person if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that he or she is undocumented.

This unconscionable law harkens back to the darkest days of Nazi Germany, apartheid‐era South Africa and the period of the U.S. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 when “pass laws” terrorized whole communities. Like its historical predecessors, SB 1070 is a clear violation of the most basic civil and human rights and must be immediately rolled back.

As people who must daily wrestle with the devastating realities of having our families and communities divided, we ardently resist the local and national move toward legalized bigotry inherent in SB 1070. We call on all immigrants and their allies, especially those in the White House and Congress, to work to repeal this law and to stop other such proposals. Further, we insist on an end to the aggressive and brutal enforcement of immigration laws that set the stage for SB 1070 to be passed.

While we recognize the urgent need for immigration reform, the current framework for “comprehensive immigration reform” will likely only reinforce and exacerbate the trend of increased enforcement and deportation. We need truly just immigration reform that is grounded in the basic rights of all people and that ensures family unity, equal employment, and due process. We call for just, inclusive and humane policies and demand:

• That President Obama immediately stop the implementation of—and affirmatively strike down—Arizona’s immoral and unconstitutional SB 1070;
• That local law enforcement focus on protecting our communities, not destroying them;
• That President Obama and Immigration and Customs Enforcement I(CE) immediately halt the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities, 287(g), and all other partnerships between ICE and local law enforcement; and
• That President Obama issues a moratorium on detention and deportation until Congress can pass truly meaningful and just immigration reform that puts an end to mandatory deportations.

We are organizing and resisting by calling on all people of conscience to raise their voices by:

(1) Contacting Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with the following message: "I am deeply disappointed that you have signed SB 1070. This law promotes discrimination and profiling by legitimizing suspicion based upon appearance. I ask that this law be rescinded immediately." (602) 542‐4331 or azgov@az.gov.

(2) Joining a May 1st Rally in your community to show our strength in numbers and to send the message that we will not be silent. Find out more: http://www.immigrantsolidarity.org/MayDay2010/

(3) Calling President Obama and asking him to speak out against the climate of hate and SB‐1070. SB‐1070 is misguided and depends on federal immigration policing programs. Ask President Obama to roll‐back federal immigration enforcement programs that allow local police to collaborate on immigration control. The 287(g) and Secure Communities programs are encouraging the kind of hateful activity we are witnessing in Arizona. 202‐456‐1111

(4) Knowing‐Your‐Rights when interacting with local and federal law enforcement. See Families for Freedom’s website for more details: http://familiesforfreedom.org/files/ImmBeware‐english‐May2008.pdf and http://familiesforfreedom.org/files/ImmBeware‐spanish‐May2008doc.pdf


Please post your comments directly or submit them to milton@blackstarnews.com

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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