Civil Rights and Labor Leaders Urge DHS to End Arizona Immigration Enforcement Program
May 14, 2010 - Posted by Ron Bigler
Arizona’s new anti-immigration law (S.B. 1070) would make the federal government complicit in racial profiling, unless the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rescinds agreements with Arizona law enforcement under an immigration training and enforcement program, according to The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the AFL-CIO.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference, and Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, write that:
… the enforcement of Arizona's law fundamentally depends on the use of federal government resources for the implementation of its racial profiling regime. Unless DHS terminates all 287(g) program agreements in Arizona, the federal government will be complicit in the racial profiling that lies at the heart of the Arizona law.
Under the 287(g) program, DHS provides training and resources to state and local enforcement officials and authorizes them to enforce federal immigration laws.
As Henderson and Trumka argue, "Arizona's SBI070, as amended, repeatedly states that Arizona will rely on these same 'law enforcement officer[ s] ... authorized by the federal government to verify or ascertain an alien's immigration status' to implement the racially-based system of document checks required by the misguided Arizona law."
Signed by Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, many critics believe S.B. 1070 will make racial profiling the norm in Arizona by requiring law enforcement officers to stop, question, detain, and arrest anyone that they have a "reasonable suspicion" to believe is undocumented. The law has been widely denounced by civil and human rights advocates as extreme, unconstitutional, discriminatory, and fundamentally unfair.
The Leadership Conference has joined the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and other organizations around the country in a boycott of the state of Arizona in protest of S.B. 1070.
Read the full letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.