By Fidel "Butch" Montoya
It is time that members of the Latino Evangelical leadership call upon Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto SB 1070. This bill is one of the worst anti- immigrant bills recently passed by the Arizona State Legislature. It is a racially targeted bill aimed at anyone in Arizona who looks like an undocumented immigrant.
SB 1070 will criminalize every undocumented immigrant in Arizona as "trespassers" and will legalize racial profiling by police who have a "reasonable suspicion" that someone may be in the state without the proper documentation to provide their legal status.
In other words, the police will have the authority to stop anyone who is "Latino-looking" who they may suspect is an undocumented immigrant. If you are not carrying the proper documentation to prove your citizenship to the USA, or as a legal documented immigrant, you will be subject to being stopped by the police even if you have not violated any laws. The police will be able to stop you merely to perform an "immigration status check."
It is time the Latino Evangelical Church called upon the governor of Arizona to veto this bill which will exacerbate racial profiling. It is the worst bill on racial profiling ever passed in the United States.
The time to voice our opposition to SB 1070 is now! We cannot afford to wait and see what the repercussions may be when this bill is signed. Even if you are not a citizen of Arizona, you must voice your opposition to this vile bill. It is a bill that will discriminate against any person who police may have "reasonable suspicion" to stop you.
If you are visiting or conducting business in Arizona, the police will have the right to stop you even if you have not committed any violation of any law simply to check your immigration status.
It is a bill that Hitler would have loved to sign and see implemented.
SB 1070 will allow the police to do the following:
Criminalize all undocumented immigrants as "trespassers" in the state of Arizona. SB 1070 would subject all undocumented workers and their families to arrest and conviction for misdemeanors and in some cases felony charges for the new crime of "trespass" (reminiscent of HR 4437, the 2005 'Sensenbrenner bill').
Legalize unchecked racial profiling by police of anyone they "suspect" is undocumented.
Give police the authority to enforce federal immigration law and arrest people who cannot produce identification proving their legal residency in the U.S.
Give police the power to investigate and entrap employers for hiring undocumented workers.
Make seeking work illegal for day laborers and force all individuals, regardless of immigration status or citizenship, to carry identification papers or be subjected to detention and even deportation. Public agencies and service providers would have authority to demand identification documents from any person.
It is time to demand Arizona Governor Jan Brewer VETO this bill. The "immigration framework" recently introduced by Senator Schumer and Lindsey Graham last month and supported by President Barack Obama will allow the same kind of immigration enforcement as SB 1070. By calling for the VETO of SB 1070, we can send a strong message to the Congress that we will not accept this type of legislation, state or federal.
We cannot allow the "criminalization of immigrants" to become the law of the land.
The Schumer/Graham framework also "promises to 'fill gaps in apprehension capabilities' that will likely lead to the use of local police nationally to terrorize immigrant communities." By demanding that that SB 1070 be vetoed, we send a message to Senators Graham and Schumer that we do not support their "immigration framework" as well.
The VETO of this bill will let the President understand we will not stand idly by as laws are passed that criminalize immigrants and give the police the right to stop anyone who fits a racial profile of an "undocumented immigrant."
Go to this link http://presente.org/campaigns/arizona_a/org/nnirran and tell Gov. Brewer to VETO SB 1070 . Do it today!
It is time our voices are heard and time the Latino Evangelical Church assumed the leadership for demanding justice and righteousness.
Fidel "Butch" Montoya is Director of H.S. Power and Light Ministries. He was the Vice President/News Director of KUSA Channel 9 News from 1985-1990, and worked at the news station for 24 years. Montoya also served as Deputy Mayor of City and County of Denver from 1995-1999; as the Manager of Public Safety for the City and County of Denver from 1994-2000. Montoya was Licensed to preach in 1972.