Sunday, June 27, 2010

Reactions to the Arizona Immigration Law

By Teresa Mambu-Rasch

On April 23, 2010, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a disturbing and potentially unconstitutional bill into law. In sum, the new law legalizes racial profiling and discrimination within the State of Arizona. It requires police officers to stop anyone whom the officer reasonably suspects may be undocumented. If the person does not have immediate proof that they are a legal citizen or resident, the officer can arrest and detain the person until s/he can offer proof of their “legal” status.

There are four major problems with the law:

1) It codifies racial profiling of Latino and people of color

2) It moves immigration enforcement from the federal level to the local level

3) It requires everyone in Arizona to carry an identification card with them at all times, which conjures up memories of Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa

4) It criminalizes being undocumented within the state of Arizona

In response to this law, many cities and organizations have called for a boycott of the state of Arizona in the form of an ordinance that would ban public employees from traveling to Arizona on official business until the law is repealed.

Amy Stear, 9to5 Wisconsin Director, wrote to each Milwaukee alderman and alderwoman voicing 9to5's support for a similar boycott in Milwaukee. She wrote, "9to5 has a long history of challenging discrimination in the workplace and we find SB 1070 particularly reprehensible as it harms the entire state of Arizona by purposefully undermining the rights of people of color living or traveling through the state."

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