For Immediate Release
National Lawyers Guild Disturbed by Trend of Racist Legislation
NEW YORK - Immigration law SB-1070, signed on April 23,
by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, is the latest piece of racist
legislation sweeping across the country. Titled “Support Our Law
and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” the law not only requires local police to
federal immigration law, but also mandates that immigrants carry papers
them at all times.
This reactionary legislation does not stand alone. Two
prominent government programs gaining in popularity—Secure Communities
287(g)—give local law enforcement the power to act as federal
agents, engaging in racial profiling, harassment and ultimately
countless innocent immigrants. At the same time, politicians like Tim
Republican candidate for governor of Alabama, stir paranoia and hatred
airing ads that condemn the state for giving the driver's license exam
languages other than English.
“Free-Trade Agreements have wreaked havoc on Mexico,
allowing transnational corporations to flout borders and ignore national
while simultaneously forcing workers, whose lands and livelihoods are
those same transnationals, to travel to where they might find work at a
wage. The Arizona law will inevitably violate the human rights of
people, including Latino citizens and documented immigrants, living and
in the state who are just trying to support their families,” stated
Gespass, President of the National Lawyers Guild.
Instead of spending millions of dollars to fill our jails
with hard-working people, states like Arizona should be creating
jobs and supporting those who keep the economy afloat. More importantly,
federal government should be acting quickly to shut down any law that
criminalizes groups of people based on their race or nationality.
“Any law that conflates all immigrants with ‘gangs’ is
merely a way to scapegoat communities of color for this country’s
problems. But we remain hopeful that last week’s events will ultimately
galvanizing,” said Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, Co-Chair of the NLG United
National Lawyers Guild opposes SB-1070 and is working with other groups
challenge it. Executive Director Heidi
Boghosian says, “We will provide legal observers at immigration rallies
throughout the nation on May 1, and will continue to oppose any
that violates basic Constitutional guarantees of fair and equal
The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system. Through its members--lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers and legal workers united in chapters and committees--the Guild works locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and social force in the service of the people.