Racial Profiling Sweeps and Detentions Continue

By Erin Matson, NOW Action Vice President

As former Governor of Arizona, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is no stranger to the barbaric, unjust and blatantly race-profiling tactics of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in arresting and subsequently detaining undocumented immigrants, mostly of Mexican origin, in the Phoenix area.

Last weekend, Arpaio led yet another “sweep” through the “El Gran Mercado” Phoenix swap meet, terrorizing Latino families – many citizens – out to enjoy some shopping, sunshine and live music. 30 undocumented immigrants were arrested on Saturday alone. As in other raids, we can expect they will face cruel detention conditions, for extended periods of time, without rights.

Former NOW Executive Vice President Olga Vives now resides in the Phoenix area, and she wrote these words below. Please share widely:

No matter where one stands on the immigration issue, it is imperative that we stand against the policy of sweeps and cruel detention of immigrants no matter their nationality.

The Obama administration promised comprehensive immigration reform. As of now, there is no move on that arena as other issues have taken priority over immigration. In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security continues to enforce many of the Bush era policies. At the very minimum, there should be a moratorium on the persecution of the undocumented until there is meaningful immigration reform. And the Department of Homeland Security should put a stop to immigration raids conducted by local sheriffs such as what is happening here in Arizona.

We all understand that this is a controversial topic even for feminists. But the inhumanity of these tactics alone should compel us to vigorous protests and demands for an end to the terrorizing of families and individuals whose only crime is to have come to the United States, with documents or without, to make a living for themselves and their families at home.

Please share this call to action with your friends. Any help you can give us in deploring this assault of the lives of immigrants would be greatly appreciated.

In sisterhood,


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