WASHINGTON, DC –– The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), representing the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses and over 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce nationwide, expressed its grave disappointment at the Arizona state legislature for passing a law that will jeopardize the safety of Arizona communities and result in the racial profiling of Latinos.
If signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, S.B. 1070 – the so-called “Safe Neighborhoods” bill – would require state and local police to pursue every person suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, rather than keeping our communities safe from violent crimes. The legislation was opposed by police chiefs from throughout the state because it would certainly discourage immigrants and their families from reporting crimes or serving as witnesses.
Supporters of the legislation have cited clothing, music or an accent as details that should prompt a criminal investigation. These suggestions alarm not only individuals and organizations representing the Hispanic community, but Americans of every background. From police chiefs and sheriffs throughout the state, to the National Council of La Raza and the American Civil Liberties Union, there is widespread agreement that this law would make for very bad policy and ineffective policing.
“I understand the frustration over a broken immigration system, but this is not the solution. We desperately need comprehensive immigration reform instead to secure the border, ensure a stable labor supply where and when necessary, and normalize the status of millions of hard-working immigrant families that contribute to the prosperity of our nation,” said Javier Palomarez, President of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Clearly, the Governor must veto this misguided legislation that will undermine the safety of all our communities.”
“As a Californian, I remember when Governor Wilson pushed Proposition 187. I sincerely hope that Governor Brewer will learn from history’s mistakes: Attacking the entire Hispanic community in the zeal for enforcing civil immigration laws does not work and has significant political consequences,” said David C. Lizarraga, Chairman of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.