Arizona: A National Disgrace

Statement from JCUA

By Jane Ramsey
Executive Director
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs

A stroke of the pen in Phoenix has led to a national disgrace.

Now that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law last week, JCUA calls upon the president and congress to immediately act upon and pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This legislation will once and for all provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented residents of our country.

The new Arizona law will devastate civil liberties. SB 1070 will lead to racial discrimination through racial profiling and criminalization of immigrants (or anyone who does not pass as white or a U.S. citizen).

(Read the New York Times analysis of the Arizona law.)

As we read in last week’s Torah portion, “You shall have one law for the stranger and the citizens alike” (Leviticus 24:22). Advocating for the rights of immigrant detainees reflects the Jewish mandate to uphold a fair justice system.

As 1070 was signed by Gov. Brewer, President Obama said it threatens to “undermine 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.”

Throughout Jewish history, we have been considered aliens, strangers and outsiders in host communities. We know too well the pain of living in fear.

As much as Arizona SB 1070 furthers the inhumane treatment of immigrants, it also creates an opportunity.

It’s an opportunity for the president and congress to show the nation the type of legislation that will bring our country closer and make the United States of America strong. We need an immigration system that encourages engagement and inclusion into our society, not one that sends hundreds of thousands of people fleeing into the shadows.

More than ever, we need your help today!

Call President Obama and ask him to speak out against the climate of hate and SB 1070. SB 1070 depends on federal immigration policing programs.

Ask President Obama to roll-back the federal immigration enforcement programs that allow local police agencies to collaborate in immigration control. The 287(g) and Secure Communities programs are encouraging the kind of hateful activity we are witnessing in Arizona.

CALL the White House at (202) 456-1111.

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