USA: Must fight anti-immigrant sentiment in nine states

Press Release
July 28, 2010

USA: Must fight anti-immigrant sentiment in nine states

Amnesty International USA Mobilizes Membership to Fight Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Nine States

On Eve of S.B. 1070 Taking Effect in Arizona, AIUSA Calls 'Vigilante Policy making...Dangerous in its Disregard for Human Rights'

July 28, 2010

On the eve of Arizona's immigration enforcement law, S.B. 1070, taking effect, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) is mobilizing its membership in nine states to speak out against efforts in their states to support Arizona's law and adopt similar measures.

AIUSA members in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia are contacting state officials to express their opposition to the states' filing legal briefs siding with Arizona against the federal government's request for an injunction to block S.B. 1070. AIUSA members are also calling on the governors of each state to take a stand against the discriminatory immigration policies contained in S.B. 1070.

"It's bad enough that Arizona's objectionable law will go into effect tomorrow," said Lory Rosenberg, AIUSA's advocacy and policy director for refugee and immigrant rights. "Once it does, the streets of Arizona will never be the same: families will be torn apart and innocent people will surely be detained. Now nine states have voiced their support, loud and clear, in defiance of federal enforcement priorities. This kind of vigilante policy making is dangerous in its disregard of human rights that are protected under international law, regardless of a person's citizenship status."

"Laws like S.B. 1070 don't just threaten human rights and fly in the face of the United States' obligations under international law. They also flagrantly disregard the Constitutional rights of immigrants who have or are eligible for lawful status," said Rosenberg. "What makes this so frightening is that anyone who 'looks like an immigrant' in Arizona, including a U.S. citizen, is likely to be treated as suspicious and will be detained indefinitely while the state conducts a document check."

Amnesty International has long called for safe, thoughtful and humane immigration reform. Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.