Several Black civil rights leaders and elected officials are publicly condemning Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to sign into a law an immigration bill that would require all people living in America to carry proof of citizenship.
Opponents of the bill argue the legislation would promote racial profiling by Arizona law enforcement officials.
In a statement, District Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton said the bill “must not be modeled elsewhere and is so dangerously unconstitutional in recapturing long-discredited discriminatory laws that an injunction should be immediately sought and granted before more harm is done.”
The law would fine anyone without proper documentation $2,500 and could lead to arrest and jail time.
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference, called the law a disappointment. “The civil rights community is deeply disappointed with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision today to sign into law Senate Bill 1070, an odious piece of legislation that is poised to do great harm to the state of Arizona and to the fundamental ideals on which our country was founded,” Henderson said in a statement. “This law will make racial profiling the norm in Arizona by requiring law enforcement to stop, question, detain, and arrest anyone that they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ to believe is undocumented…To be clear, race and ethnicity have nothing to do with citizenship and legal status.”