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The Detention Watch Network Stands in Solidarity with Immigrant Communities to Condemn Arizona SB 1070

May 28, 2010

May 28th, 2010 (Washington, DC) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Andrea Black, 520-240-3726; ablack@detentionwatchnetwork.org; Silky Shah, 347-243-8743; sshah@detentionwatchnetwork.org

The Detention Watch Network (DWN) joins hundreds of organizations and individuals across the country in condemning Arizona law SB 1070. The new law seeks to criminalize immigrants, unnecessarily sweeps more people into immigration detention at a great cost to taxpayers, adds more burdens on local police, and erodes the civil rights of all in Arizona.

SB 1070 requires police to demand documentation from anyone they stop whom they suspect is in the country illegally. The bill contains no safeguards against racial profiling and increases the likelihood of arbitrary arrest and detention, driving up profits for the private prison industry while creating a climate of fear in the community. It is directly at odds with the United States’ obligations under the U.S. Constitution and international human rights law.

“This radical law puts Arizona completely out of step with American values of fairness and equality,” said Andrea Black, DWN Coordinator. “In a state where U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were interned during World War II, it is deeply troubling that a law that would invite racial profiling of people of color and subject more people to inhumane detention conditions would pass in 2010.”

The Obama Administration must reassert federal control over immigration law. Programs such as the highly criticized 287(g) program, which was recently the subject of a scathing report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG), have created an environment where laws like SB 1070 can flourish making it clear that local police should have no role in enforcing federal immigration law. Further, the Administration must enact immediate reforms to ensure the safety and well-being of those in its custody, including enforceable standards governing detention conditions, with meaningful independent oversight of DHS and the creation of cost-effective community-based alternatives to detention.

On May 29, 2010 people of conscience from throughout the United States and Phoenix will march in the tens of thousands to the Arizona State Capitol to demand justice in the face of legalized discrimination and hate. They will demand that President Obama stand on the right side of history and take immediate and concrete action to stop SB1070. Concerned community members across the country will join in protest by attending local solidarity events. For more information on the Arizona march or a local solidarity event, visit: www.altoarizona.org.

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Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a coalition of community, faith-based, immigrant and human rights service and advocacy organizations and concerned individuals working to reform the immigration detention and deportation system so that all who come to our shores receive fair and humane treatment.

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