For Immediate Release: January 14, 2010
Hilary Tone, Communications Coordinator
The Governor stated: “Doing the right thing almost always means doing the hard thing.” It appears that the Governor has chosen the easy and wrong way out by succumbing to scapegoating immigrant workers and their families and continually fanning fear about our border.
The Governor labeled the Arizona-Mexico border as out of control, declaring, “Enough is enough” and pledging her commitment to doing what the U.S. government has failed to do. In reality, the US-Mexico border has never been as heavily surveiled as it is today: 15-foot walls extend for hundreds of miles; 24-hour lighting shines along the border; Apache helicopters hover above; 30-foot camera towers and ground sensors dot the desert landscape; and tens of thousands of Border Patrol agents dominate the border region. To label it anything other than “controlled” is a simply playing politics with people’s fears and using the border region as pawns to sound tough.
The Governor promised to work with the Legislature to enact measures that will prevent illegal immigration. Dozens of Arizona legislatures have signed on to Reform Immigration for America, a national campaign bringing together elected officials, business, faith, community and labor groups to ensure a meaningful overhaul of our nation’s failed immigration system. The Governor could demonstrate her commitment to real solutions that will benefit all Arizonans by signing on to the campaign and urging Congress to keep the debate for immigration reform moving forward.
In fact, a recent report by the Immigration Policy Center and Center for American Progress demonstrates that immigration reform would be an economic boon for the nation, equaling $16 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. In addition, the Udall Center for Public Policy has repeatedly demonstrated that immigration has been a net economic win for Arizona.
In the interest of her state and of her constituents, Gov. Brewer should make supporting the federal government’s efforts to create safe, legal and orderly paths to enter the U.S. through Arizona a priority. Repeating hollow sound bytes like “Enough is enough” does not provide or support meaningful, long-term solutions.
Throughout the coming legislative session, Border Action Network will monitor the legislature and the Governor, pushing them to roll up their sleeves, shirk the sound bytes, and support real solutions that can move everyone in Arizona forward, together.
We will push back on anti-immigrant bills and other attempts to undermine the rights and dignity of Arizona families to promote real solutions, including calling for enforcement of wage and hour laws, supporting immigrant integration and naturalization and public safety measures that reach out to immigrant communities.