Phoenix, AZ - In front of the State Capitol, addressing communities and families from across Arizona, including some who have been maintaining a vigil there for 28 straight hours, Arizona and national faith and community leaders gathered to offer prayers, elaborate on the immoral and unworkable nature of SB 1070, and called on the Governor Jan Brewer to make the moral choice and veto SB 1070. In a display of unity and urgency, the delegation delivered approximately 50,000 petitions to Governor Jan Brewer's office.
Reverend Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. of the First Institutional Baptist Church began with an invocation and set the tone for the event. From the business community, Sheridan Bailey, CEO of Ironco spoke of the dire consequences to small and large businesses and the whole economy of Arizona should the bill pass. Bailey stated, "Imagine what will happen, as communities get torn apart, all our businesses start losing sales and customers, and businesses will close or move out of the Arizona. When one business collapses, it affects the entire local economy and industry. When one Arizona industry suffers, the ripple effect expands to impact all of us in Arizona."
Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice-President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) stated, "Should this bill become law, working families across Arizona will suffer from businesses shutting their doors. Opportunities for all workers will begin to dry up across the state, and the ripple effects will affect the entire region and the country." Medina continued, "America should be in the business of protecting communities by protecting working families, not destroying communities and ruining everyone's well being."
Most Reverend Gerald Kicanas, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson spoke about the impact on families and communities, stating, "Our communities are over- burdened and good people, good families are suffering because of a broken system. If this bill becomes law, it will tear apart communities and the very fabric of our Arizona family."
"If Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs SB 1070, she will become the George Wallace of our generation," said National Day Laborer Organizing Director Pablo Alvarado. He continued, "Like we did in 2006, we will take to the streets to defend our civil rights and to stop the scapegoating of Americans in Waiting."
Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Supervisor stated the urgency of this crisis, and led a delegation to hand deliver over 50,000 petitions urging Governor Brewer to veto the bill. Petitions were collected by the following organizations: Border Action Network, National Day Laborer's Organizing Network (NDLON), Presente.org, United Farm Workers (UFW), America's Voice, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), CREDO Action, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIR), Reform Immigration FOR America, and Radio Campesina.
Established in 1999, the Border Action Network is a human rights organization that works with immigrant and border communities in Arizona to ensure our rights are protected and dignity upheld. For more information, visit www.borderaction.org.
For more information on Reform Immigration FOR America:
Contact Martine Apodaca at (202) 731-4601, firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit: www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org
Shu Ohno, Reform Immigration for America, (202) 309-5645, email@example.com
Hilary Tone, Border Action Network, (520) 481-6482, firstname.lastname@example.org