NHLA Supports Department of Justice's Legal Challenge of Arizona's Discrimiatory Legislation

Legal challenge should serve to deter copycat legislation

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) welcomes today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that it is intervening to block the implementation of Arizona’s racial-profiling law, known as SB 1070. The controversial and divisive piece of legislation has taken center stage over the last few months, calling into question constitutional protections, federal civil rights laws and the role of the federal government to enforce immigration laws.

Since the 1950s, the Department of Justice has played a crucial role in our nation’s civil rights struggles. Whether desegregating schools, protecting women in the workplace or defending the constitutional rights of minority populations, the department has had a profound impact on the lives of every American. The Department of Justice’s actions today continue this proud tradition by working to end racial profiling and discriminatory legislation which form the heart of Arizona’s enforcement legislation.

Today’s announcement should send a clear signal to states and localities that it is time to hit the pause button on any efforts to pass legislation similar to SB 1070. Failure to do so puts America on the wrong side of the law and the wrong side of history. Now is the time to turn to constructive solutions to our nation’s broken immigration system. We need humane and effective immigration reform so that we have an orderly process that is fair to workers, employers, taxpayers, and immigrants who want to strengthen their families and contribute to American society. In Arizona alone, immigrant households contribute over $10 billion to the state’s economy, support over 66,000 jobs and generate over $775 million in tax revenue. It’s time to stop demonizing immigrants and instead recognize their real value to the strength and economic stability of this nation. Today’s action by the Justice Department provides an opportunity for us to close a potentially ugly chapter in our history and turn a corner in the debate.

NHLA looks forward to continuing its work with the Administration and Congress in bringing forth immigration reform legislation that will create a national immigration policy that promotes the economic well being of our nation and grants the respect that hardworking immigrants deserve for their sacrifice and dedication to our nation.

Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.

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