Brewer is the Problem, Not the Solution

Contact: Lizette Jenness Olmos, (202) 365-4553 mobile

LULAC participates in spontaneous protest in front of White House

LULAC National Staff

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, demonstrates along with Casa de Maryland, SEIU and other National Hispanic Leadership Agenda organizations in front of the White House today protesting Governor Brewer’s hypocrisy. As President Obama said in the meeting that took place this afternoon, “this is the role of the federal government not the border states to implement immigration laws.”

Governor Brewer and other anti-immigrant politicians like her have consistently blocked immigration reform for decades. Now they are they using the gridlock in Washington that they created as the thinly veiled excuse for usurping powers exclusively reserved for the federal government and passing repressive legislation that persecutes hard working immigrants and Latinos who may happen to look like immigrants.

“The time for comprehensive immigration reform is now. As we have seen time and time again, efforts to overhaul our broken immigration system have taken a back seat to dramatic escalations of border enforcement including placing troops on the U.S. border to serve in a function for which they have not been trained,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “What is shocking is that this escalation is coming at a time when border violence and unauthorized border crossings have declined. If we want to solve the challenge of undocumented immigration, it is clear that enforcement alone will not work.”

The truth is that over the last two decades, the United States has spent billions of dollars on border enforcement. Since 1992, the annual budget of the U.S. Border Patrol has increased by 714 percent. At the same time, the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the southwest border has grown by 390 percent. Interior enforcement has expanded as well, and detentions and deportations are at record levels. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the violent crime rate in Arizona has been declining since it peaked in 1993. It is now lower than it has been since the early 1970s. In the Tucson Border Patrol sector, apprehensions of persons crossing illegally have fallen from 600,000 in 2000 to 241,000 in 2009.

“Governor Brewer is persecuting millions of Arizona families in a desperate gamble to win the Republican primary for Governor,” said LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “If she was serious about solving our immigration problem, she would urge her fellow Republicans in the Senate to sit down at the table and do their job and pass a fair and effective immigration reform bill.”

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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