National Lawyers Guild Disturbed by Trend of Racist Legislation

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator,
212-679-5100, ext. 15, communications@nlg.org

National Lawyers Guild Disturbed by Trend of Racist Legislation

NEW YORK - Immigration law SB-1070, signed on April 23,
2010
by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, is the latest piece of racist
anti-immigrant
legislation sweeping across the country. Titled “Support Our Law
Enforcement
and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” the law not only requires local police to
enforce
federal immigration law, but also mandates that immigrants carry papers
with
them at all times.

This reactionary legislation does not stand alone. Two
prominent government programs gaining in popularity—Secure Communities
and
287(g)—give local law enforcement the power to act as federal
immigration
agents, engaging in racial profiling, harassment and ultimately
imprisoning
countless innocent immigrants. At the same time, politicians like Tim
James,
Republican candidate for governor of Alabama, stir paranoia and hatred
by
airing ads that condemn the state for giving the driver's license exam
in
languages other than English.

“Free-Trade Agreements have wreaked havoc on Mexico,
allowing transnational corporations to flout borders and ignore national
laws
while simultaneously forcing workers, whose lands and livelihoods are
stolen by
those same transnationals, to travel to where they might find work at a
living
wage. The Arizona law will inevitably violate the human rights of
millions of
people, including Latino citizens and documented immigrants, living and
working
in the state who are just trying to support their families,” stated
David
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
living-wage
jobs and supporting those who keep the economy afloat. More importantly,
the
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
ongoing
problems. But we remain hopeful that last week’s events will ultimately
prove
galvanizing,” said Marc-Tizoc Gonzalez, Co-Chair of the NLG United
People of
Color Caucus.

The
National Lawyers Guild opposes SB-1070 and is working with other groups
to
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
legislation
that violates basic Constitutional guarantees of fair and equal
treatment under
the law.”

###

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.

Share This Article

More in: