A former Arizona state senator calls it “the second coming of the civil rights movement.” Arizona’s Pima County Sheriff calls it a “travesty.” And New Mexico’s governor calls it an “unconstitutional human rights-violating law.” They are referring to Arizona’s SB 1070 — a controversial new law that makes the failure to carry immigration documents illegal and gives police the authority to question and detain individuals suspected of being in the United States illegally.
Here’s a round-up of their recent conversations with Tavis.
Former Arizona State Senator Alfredo Gutierrez
“Some of us went directly to support President Obama because frankly we thought that the son of an immigrant, who spoke to us in such clear language, would keep his promise, would understand the courage that it would take for an issue of civil rights to be resolved in America. It only comes about when men of courage, when women of courage forge that consensus, and that’s what’s lacking in this White House. What’s lacking in this administration and this presidency is the courage to forge a consensus.”
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik
“If I woke up the day after this bill was passed and I was Hispanic, I would feel like somebody kicked me right square in the teeth. I would feel like I was now a second-class citizen and that I was going to be stopped any time I left my house. That is a realistic possibility. It just turned them into second-class citizens and it doesn’t make any sense, because it doesn’t accomplish anything.”
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
“This is not just a law that affects Hispanics. It affects Haitians, it affects Central Americans, it affects Europeans. We need to have more family reunification with Irish, with English, with many that want to come here, but our immigration system is broken. They don’t have enough resources. It’s too bureaucratic, so a complete overhaul is what’s needed.”