Arizona Republicans Use Rhetoric of Fear to Push Through Draconian Immigration Law

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Drew Courtney or Josh Glasstetter
Phone: 202-467-4999
Email: media@pfaw.org

Arizona Republicans Use Rhetoric of Fear to Push Through Draconian Immigration Law

WASHINGTON - The Arizona Senate yesterday passed one of
the harshest immigration
enforcement laws in the country. The bill, written by right-wing state
senator
Russell Pearce, would allow police to arrest anyone who could not
immediately
prove they are in the country legally. Despite criticism from civil
liberties
and immigrants’ rights groups, the bill is expected to be signed by Gov.
Jan Brewer.

Michael
B. Keegan, President
of People
For the American Way, issued the following statement:

“The Arizona
legislature’s agreement to a
draconian law that essentially amounts to state-sanctioned racial
profiling is
appalling. That its supporters have used rhetoric of fear and division
to push
it through is deplorable, but it’s also not surprising. Opponents of
responsible immigration reform have consistently blocked progress by
pushing
lies and distortions labeling, for example, certain immigrants as
criminals and
invaders. That is exactly what the proponents of this legislation did to
harangue even their moderate colleagues to vote for such an extreme and
unjust
measure.

“This law’s
passage is a
reminder of the power of the right wing’s deceitful rhetoric on
immigration reform, and should be a call for those who are truly
interested in
responsible immigration reform to put aside the language of fear and
discuss
the issues with honesty and respect."

People For
the American Way’s
recent Right Wing Watch In Focus, "(P)reviewing the Right-Wing Playbook on Immigration
Reform
," details the strategies the Right is
expected to use in the effort to defeat comprehensive immigration
reform. The full
report is available here.

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People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

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