For Immediate Release
Ali Jost, 202-730-7159
Mark McCullough, 202-730-7283
Kawana Lloyd, 202-730-7087
SEIU's Eliseo Medina: "States Do Not Have the Right to Legalize Hate" As U.S. Supreme Court Weighs Arizona Law, Voters Will Have the Final Word
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court must strike down Arizona's racial profiling law, SB 1070, based on Constitutional principles that deny states the right to legalize hate and discrimination, SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina said on Wednesday, as the court weighed the legality of Arizona's heavy-handed law.
In a legal battle that tests the federal government's authority over immigration law and enforcement against attempts by rogue states to expand their enforcement authorities, Medina called on voters to "have the final word" on racial profiling laws. Medina issued the following statement:
"States do not have the right to legalize hate; states do not have the right to discriminate against us; states do not have the right to legitimize xenophobia. State laws that legalize racial profiling, that deny or restrict our right to vote, that attack the rights of workers, are immoral and shameful, and the court must overturn them.
"The Supreme Court will have its say but we will have the final word. It is up to us, the people, to uphold our national values; to protect the rights of workers; to protect our right to vote; to fight discrimination and hate.
"The vote is the great equalizer. In November, we will elect leaders who believe that America was founded on the principle that all men and women are created equal, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, or our station in life.
"When we vote, we can get rid of the nativist politicians who write these laws and we can get rid of the politicians who appoint judges that uphold racist or unjust laws. The power is in our hands and we will make the difference.
"Also, we also are serving notice to the governors and state Legislatures of Arizona, Alabama and any other misguided state that contemplates similar laws: It's time to leave your racist past behind and come into the 21st Century. You can come willingly or you can come kicking and screaming, but you will come into the 21st Century. Because we have come too far to give up now."
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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.