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Statement of Wade Henderson on Gov. Jan Brewer’s Signing of Arizona Anti-Immigration Bill

Friday, April 23, 2010

  • Organization: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Source: Rollback

For Immediate Release
Contact: Maggie Kao, 202-466-2735, kao@civilrights.org
April 23, 2010

"The civil rights community is deeply disappointed with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's decision today to sign into law Senate Bill 1070, an odious piece of legislation that is poised to do great harm to the state of Arizona and to the fundamental ideals on which our country was founded.

This law will make racial profiling the norm in Arizona by requiring law enforcement to stop, question, detain, and arrest anyone that they have a 'reasonable suspicion' to believe is undocumented – that is, anyone they suspect of being 'foreign,' targeting not only undocumented immigrants but also legal permanent residents and citizens, as well as anyone from any state or nation who travels legally to Arizona for work, leisure, or to visit a family member. To be clear, race and ethnicity have nothing to do with citizenship and legal status.

As studies have consistently shown, racial profiling is an ineffective and counterproductive law enforcement tactic. Contrary to Gov. Brewer's claims, this law will make Arizona less safe – it will divert and drain law enforcement resources and discourage communities from working with law enforcement to report, solve, and prevent serious crimes. That's why many Arizona law enforcement officials, including the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, opposed it.

Institutionalizing racial profiling in the misguided attempt to repair immigration is bound to fail, but not before inflicting collateral damage to the state of Arizona and its residents."

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