Press Statement

Arizona Should Know Better Than to Consider Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Latino Legislation

February 18, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC—UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza)—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—today issued the following statement by UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía in response to reports that the Arizona legislature plans to vote on a suite of anti-immigrant bills—SCR 1007, HCR 2036 and HB 2598—ahead of a February 19 campaign rally visit to Phoenix by President Trump. 

“In defiance of history, experience, and common sense, the Arizona legislature is once again set to pass a set of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino bills. Nothing about these bills has changed: they are still unnecessary, they will still result in increased racial profiling and harassment of citizens and noncitizens alike, and they will still do absolutely nothing to make any community safer. In fact, these bills will make Arizonans less safe by undermining police-community relations and impeding local law enforcement from doing their actual jobs by forcing them to act as untrained immigration agents.

What has changed in Arizona is that the state’s government and business sectors took a decade to undo the damage of its last misguided attempt at anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. Arizona took an enormous economic, political, and reputational hit from that law, costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism and other revenue. And what has also changed is that the one in three Arizonans who are Hispanic have become even more important to the state’s future and, energized by the backlash against SB 1070, have become a political force that has permanently changed the Arizona electorate. 

As the scholar George Santayana said nearly a century ago, ‘those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’ Those who paid the price for SB 1070—Arizona’s businesses, the Hispanic community, and so many others—should insist that the state legislature reject this short-sighted and ill-advised political move that will only result in another black eye for Arizona and come at a high economic price for the state.”

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact:
Kristel Mucino
news@unidosus.org