The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Wende Gozan Brown, 212-633-4247,

Amnesty International USA Mobilizes Membership to Fight Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Nine States

On Eve of S.B. 1070 Taking Effect in Arizona, AIUSA Calls ‘Vigilante Policy making…Dangerous in its Disregard for Human Rights’


On the eve of Arizona's
immigration enforcement law, S.B. 1070, taking effect, Amnesty International
USA (AIUSA) is mobilizing its membership in nine states to speak out against
efforts in their states to support Arizona's law and adopt similar measures.

AIUSA members in Alabama, Florida, Michigan,
Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia
are contacting state officials to express their opposition to the states'
filing legal briefs siding with Arizona against the federal government's
request for an injunction to block S.B. 1070. AIUSA members are also
calling on the governors of each state to take a stand against the discriminatory
immigration policies contained in S.B. 1070.

"It's bad enough that Arizona's objectionable
law will go into effect tomorrow," said Lory Rosenberg, AIUSA's advocacy
and policy director for refugee and immigrant rights. "Once it does, the
streets of Arizona will never be the same: families will be torn apart
and innocent people will surely be detained. Now nine states have voiced
their support, loud and clear, in defiance of federal enforcement priorities.
This kind of vigilante policy making is dangerous in its disregard of human
rights that are protected under international law, regardless of a person's
citizenship status."

"Laws like S.B. 1070 don't just threaten
human rights and fly in the face of the United States' obligations under
international law. They also flagrantly disregard the Constitutional
rights of immigrants who have or are eligible for lawful status," said
Rosenberg. "What makes this so frightening is that anyone who 'looks
like an immigrant' in Arizona, including a U.S. citizen, is likely to
be treated as suspicious and will be detained indefinitely while the state
conducts a document check."

Amnesty International has long called for
safe, thoughtful and humane immigration reform. Amnesty International is
a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more
than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for
universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates
and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect
people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

(212) 807-8400