For Immediate Release
July 21, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-746-2099
REACTION: Surge of Racist Rhetoric is Endangering All of US
Los Angeles, CA—In response to today’s Senate Committee on Judiciary hearing, Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) issued the following statement:
“Donald Trump, a birther who believes President Obama himself is an undocumented immigrant, is currently setting the national agenda, and the result is the dangerous surge of racist rhetoric we heard today. After making comments that Mexicans are rapists and murders, Donald Trump recently joined Joe Arpaio for a rally with xenophobes in Arizona. Today, Mr. Trump was joined by the US Senate in what amounted to a pep-rally for the criminalization, dehumanization, and subjugation of immigrants.
“The rush by many to scapegoat immigrants, to blame so-called sanctuary cities, and to exploit tragedy is symptomatic of a white supremacist immigration and criminal justice system that casts all people of color under a cloud of suspicion and deprives us of equal citizenship. Today’s hearing revealed how Latinos and all non-citizens are subject to a particular form of double punishment because federal civil immigration law and local criminal law enforcement have been conflated through unconstitutional programs like Se Communities.
“Moving forward, we must understand that the need for physical safety is a value shared by all people, not just white people who are scared of changing demographics. The simple fact is that the use of deportation as punishment does not advance any public safety interest. To the contrary, policies that criminalize immigrants and convert sheriffs into deportation agents have endangered communities, undermined trust in law enforcement, and resulted in grave civil rights violations.
“Today’s truly despicable hearing reveals why any legislation touching upon immigrants’ lives must include legalization provisions that advance political equality. Any piecemeal legislation that attempts to turn back the clock in support of Arizona’s SB1070 will not be tolerated.”