Day Laborers Respond to Secretary Napolitano’s Immigration Speech
Pablo Alvarado, Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, responded to Secretary Napolitano’s speech today at American University with the following statement:
“We are happy to hear Secretary Napolitano mention S-Comm and ‘termination’ in the same sentence. Despite the political spin and marketing campaign to defend a failed program, S-Comm has proven to be a disastrous policy for our nation and for our communities. It should be ended before it leads to the further Arizonification of the country.
Facts do matter, and the fact remains that New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts have all rejected S-Comm while Alabama, Arizona, and Georgia embrace it wholeheartedly. The program has undermined public safety, imperiled civil rights, and moved the immigration debate in the wrong direction. Rather than bring us closer to immigration reform with legalization for millions of Americans-in-Waiting, S-Comm has been used to defend the false premise that the country needs enforcement quotas to maintain unprecedented rates of deportation. This insidious premise is resulting in the criminalization of an entire generation of our society.
Secretary Napolitano is correct that ‘two opposites cannot simultaneously be true.’ The Administration cannot set its sights on deporting more hardworking individuals than President Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” and at the same time authentically claim it is advancing immigration reform. It cannot criminalize and legalize people at the same time. Deportation rates must decline, S-Comm must be ended, and in places like Maricopa County in Arizona, human rights must be vigorously defended and prioritized by the Administration.
We acknowledge the Administration inherited broken immigration laws and a poisonous political environment, but S-Comm has made matters worse. We will continue to work with a growing chorus of voices calling for its complete termination.”