Arizona’s Law May Spark Pro-Immigrant Movement

PHOENIX, Ariz. — After a week of ongoing protests and acts of civil disobedience, Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070, making Arizona the first state in the nation to consider it a crime for a person to be an undocumented immigrant. In a press conference this afternoon, Governor Brewer said the state law “mirrors federal law” and claimed that it would not lead to racial profiling. She issued an executive order to provide training to make sure police are clear as to what “reasonable suspicion” is as they carry out the law.

As she signed SB 1070, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said she would not allow the new law to become an excuse for racial profiling. “People across America are watching Arizona, seeing how we implement this law, ready to jump on even the slightest misstep,” she said. “Some of those people from outside our state have an interest in seeing us fail. They will wait for a single slip-up, one mistake, and then they will work day and night to create headlines and get the face time they so desperately covet. We cannot give them that chance.”

The new law will go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session,

Gov Jane Brewer

which is expected to adjourn in the coming weeks. “I’m disappointed, but not surprised. I believe she’s taken this action for political purposes because she is running for election. It is a poor reason to sign unconstitutional legislation,” said Rep. Kirsten Sinema, D-Phoenix. “The silver lining is that we are going to sue and we are going to win.”

Several legal challenges to keep the legislation from taking effect are in the works by the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).“Arizona would have the same place in history as South Africa,” said Salvador Reza, organizer for the PUENTE movement, which advocates for human rights, comparing the new law to apartheid.

But the passage of the Arizona law may also have ignited the pro-immigration reform movement. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Illinois, is expected to hold a rally in Arizona on Sunday. “We hope President Obama can join us at the rally to announce swift action the federal government will take to protect the civil rights of its residents,” said Pablo Alvarado, the executive director of NDLON.(IM)

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