The measure has drawn vocal criticism from opponents across the country, from civil liberties groups to law enforcement organizations, who argue that it would place additional burdens on police departments, discourage immigrants from cooperating on investigations, and possibly lead to racial profiling.
What now? Here's something that was passed along to me from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Sorry about the cut-and-paste job, but this is important and urgent:
Take Action Against Arizona's Misguided and Harmful Attempt at Immigration Reform
SB 1070 is unconstitutional, will lead to widespread racial profiling, would be a misguided use of law enforcement resources and will hurt the local economy:
- The bill will lead to widespread racial profiling and harassment, and will compromise safety. It requires police agencies to investigate the immigration status of anyone they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe is in the country illegally. As a result, anyone who looks "foreign" is at risk of police harassment and intimidation, including US citizens and other persons lawfully in the country. The bill threatens to undermine law enforcement's relationship with immigrant communities and intimidate crime victims from reaching out to law enforcement, leaving all Arizonans less safe.
- The bill is a misguided use of scarce law enforcement resources. It will overwhelm local law enforcement agencies by requiring them to enforce immigration law, which they are not trained to do, and drain scarce law enforcement resources from serious public safety issues. Further, the bill creates a private right of action for any person to sue a city, town or county for not enforcing immigration laws, which will lead to unreasonable and frivolous litigation by private citizens with an anti-immigrant agenda -- the costs of which will be borne by local taxpayers.
- The bill is unconstitutional. Across the country, similar anti-immigrant ordinances have been struck down as unconstitutional intrusions into the exclusively federal realm of immigration regulation. Immigration enforcement is better left to trained federal officials.
- The bill will hurt the local economy. Following the passage of similar anti-immigrant ordinances, several communities across the United States - such as Prince William County, Virginia and Tulsa, Oklahoma - have seen their economies devastated as immigrant communities are driven away. With their labor force decimated and local businesses reeling, these communities have been forced to revisit their costly enforcement policies.
1) Urge Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill and prevent it from going into effect (the governor has until Saturday to do so):
2) Tell Congress to push for responsible immigration reform now: