Washington, DC-On the heels of a meeting today between President Barack Obama and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, urged both the president and the governor to move beyond deportation-only strategies to solve the immigration problem.
"No toolbox works with just a hammer. As a country, we've increased the number of border agents by tenfold, tripled the number of yearly deportations, and wasted millions on deportation strategies that are the most expensive, least effective, and most disruptive to us as a country," said Murguía. "And now, Arizona has a law that essentially sanctions racial profiling while the president is sending more National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. When will we realize that enforcement alone is not the answer? When are we going to stop pandering to the bitter angels of our political nature and focus on comprehensive solutions?"
The effects of Arizona's new immigration law (SB 1070) have created a national crisis that is resonating throughout the country. Dozens of other states are considering copycat legislation that will lead to a patchwork of immigration laws that will be difficult to navigate and lead to abuse. Law enforcement officials believe it will create a rift between officers and the communities that they are sworn to protect and could ultimately lead to an increase in crime.
"Governor Brewer can partner with the president and help solve the problem for Arizona and for the nation. She can begin with the two senators in her state, who understand the problem and supported practical, effective solutions in the past before they engaged in political theater. The governor can play a leading role in bringing Republicans to the table to work for solutions instead of resorting to Band-Aid fixes that are both a waste of time and taxpayer money and inconsistent with the values of our country," concluded Murguía.
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