Friday, April 23, 2010

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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