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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Denounces Arizona Immigration Law with Members of Congress

Calling For Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation to Come to the House Floor

(Washington D.C.) – Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke joined her congressional colleagues in denouncing the enactment of the Arizona immigration enforcement law, SB 1070.

“The great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ The enactment of the Arizona immigration enforcement law is indeed a threat to justice, not only in Arizona but across our nation. It’s akin to apartheid, and it tramples on the civil rights and civil liberties of everyone,” stated Rep. Clarke.

“It is clear that this new law could lead to the legalization of racial profiling in the state of Arizona and only serves to create further division within our nation,” added Rep. Clarke. “It is so hypocritical of a nation built by immigrants… for immigrants to turn the clock back now.”

Under the new law, Arizona authorities are required, “under reasonable suspicion” to determine the immigration status of anyone who they suspect are illegal immigrants. Individuals in question would have to provide proper documentation verifying their immigration status. Similarly during Apartheid, blacks in South Africa were required to show documentation to legitimize their status in their nation, essentially creating a legalized form of racial discrimination.

“This new law in Arizona is a step backwards in addressing our broken immigration system. It is the unfortunate response to the federal government’s lack of action on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Rep. Clarke.

“This must be resolved at the federal level. Unfortunately, Arizona has become a great example as to how handling such an issue at the state level can be counterproductive for our nation. Our national security is at stake; our moral standing in the world depends on it; and the American people, many of whom are first and second generation immigrants, demanded it,” said Rep. Clarke. “As a Brooklyn native, whose roots are firmly planted in my Jamaican heritage, and a Representative of one of the largest populations of first and second generation of immigrants, I see firsthand the dire need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

“The truth of the matter is that this is not just a Hispanic issue, it is not just a border security issue, it is an American issue. I urge Congress to take a fresh look at the antiquated policies, bureaucratic backlogs that tear families apart and devastate our communities,” stated Rep. Yvette Clarke.
“Let us never forget, that when we turn our back on those who come to these shores to become Americans to help build our great nation and to embrace the American Dream, we are turning our backs on ourselves,” concluded Rep. Clarke.