The National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, joins the Arizona chapter of NOW in supporting the public protest against Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, SB 1070, which makes it a state crime for a person to be undocumented. The law, as it stands, will take effect on July 29 unless the courts intervene.
“For years, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arapaio has been terrorizing this community by profiling, arresting and deporting the undocumented. This law codifies Sheriff Arapaio’s vigilante justice and gives a green light to the politics of racial division, fear and discrimination,” says NOW President Terry O’Neill.
“Just as chilling,” O’Neill says, “and equally dire, are the effects of this law on immigrant women. The law will push already vulnerable families past the breaking point. In particular, immigrant women who are victims of violence need a range of services including screening and early access to benefits, assistance in establishing their own independent immigration status, the ability to work legally and protection from detention and deportation. By deterring immigrant women from seeking help, SB 1070 would increase the risk of violence to them and their children, often with tragic consequences. Additionally, when husbands and fathers are deported, many families lose their primary means of support and are left destitute, with no access to social services or public assistance.”
NOW supports the class action lawsuit challenging the law that was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups on May 17.
“We hope that this cruel and unconstitutional law is stayed until the lawsuits are resolved,” O’Neill says. “NOW supports vigorous public protest, grassroots action and a push for a comprehensive immigration solution. We hope that the Obama Administration will move quickly to challenge the law as unconstitutional and antithetical to the principles of equality, fairness and justice for all.”