Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Border Action Network Condemns Arizona House Vote on the Farthest-Reaching Immigration Bill Enacted by a State

I apologize for not posting regularly. I've had other obligations and less internet access.

Below is a press release from BAN who is working hard to defeat this bill. Please read and share with others.

Border Action Network Condemns Arizona House Vote on the Farthest-Reaching Immigration Bill Enacted by a State

Tucson, Ariz. (Apr. 13, 2010) Earlier this afternoon, the Arizona House of Representatives passed Senator Russell Pearce's (R-18) SB1070, the most extreme immigration enforcement bill ever seen in Arizona or any state of the country.

Border Action Network, a human rights organization in Arizona, condemns the vote. Over the past three months, the organization has facilitated a citizen's response to a bill unprecedented for Arizona: over 15,000 emails have been sent by people across the state to their legislators and Border Action Network has collected and delivered more than 20,000 postcards to Governor Brewer urging her veto of this bill should it arrive on her desk.

"We are very disappointed that legislators don't seem to recognize the massive impact this bill will have on Arizona businesses, tourism, families and our economy," said Jennifer Allen, Border Action's Executive Director. "The consequences would be detrimental to the well-being of our state."

According to Allen, passage of this bill would also be detrimental to the country as a whole, as Arizona has become ground zero for anti-immigrant sentiments and Exhibit A on the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

Sen. Pearce has publicly stated that at least 10 other states will try to pass similar legislation if Arizona's passes. The bill may also affect this year's elections: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose anti-immigrant antics have cost Arizona millions of dollars in litigation costs, is allegedly considering a run for Governor, and his main supporter, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, is now running for State Attorney General. Given these potential candidates, Allen says it is now more important than ever to stop passage of this constitutionally questionable bill.

"Stopping this bill would send a strong message to the state and country that Arizonans do not support tactics and laws that pit residents of the state against each other, and force them to live in fear of authorities," said Allen.

The bill will now have to be reconciled with the House version, HB2632. It will then proceed to Governor's office, who, according to Pearce, has indicated that she will sign it.

Border Action and groups across Arizona have gathered at the capitol in Phoenix every week for the past five weeks, demonstrating opposition to Pearce's bills and urging the Governor's veto. According to Allen, they will continue to do so every week.

"This fight is not over," said Allen "People are speaking up against this bill by the thousands, and we will continue to do so until it is vetoed or stopped, whether through legal battles or voter registration to vote these legislators out of office."

Border Action and groups across Arizona will gather at the State Capitol in Phoenix today, Wednesday, April 14th to urge Governor Brewer's veto of SB1070. They will be at the rear entrance to the Governor's office at 12 PM.

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