LULAC Puts Immigration Center Stage in Albuquerque

July 14, 2010

Albuquerque, NM - The League of United Latin American Citizens, the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, (LULAC) after a meeting with President Barack Obama last week, is placing immigration reform and related issues at the top of its agenda during its annual national conference taking place this week in Albuquerque.

“We would like to congratulate President Barack Obama for his renewed focus on immigration reform,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “The President reassures us that he is committed to its passage. It is imperative that Congress and the Obama administration once and for all deliver comprehensive immigration reform. Poll after poll has shown that the majority of Americans support its passage. We hope to have a bipartisan approach from both houses of Congress.”

LULAC National Legal Advisor Luis Vera and head counsel on LULAC’s lawsuit filed Friday against the Arizona law said at a press conference today, “SB1070 has brought national attention to the immigration crisis. It shamefully preys on a broken immigration system and throws the door wide open to racial profiling. As a nation, we cannot have each state decide how to implement immigration laws. The Department of Justice is taking an essential step to maintain federal authority over immigration controls and enforcement, and we hope that the courts will make the right call.”

LULAC launched the Unite Arizona Campaign, with over 40 organizations nationwide supporting its efforts, immediately after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law. The proposed law requires state, county, and municipal employees to ascertain the immigration status of a person if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is unlawfully present in the U.S. It also subjects local governments and their personnel to lawsuits by any resident who feels that the new law is not being enforced sufficiently.

LULAC at a meeting today with Linda Chavez-Thompson, Vice Chair of The Democratic National Committee, reiterated its actions to resolve the problem, some of which include:

· Supporting Arizona boycott
· Filing a class action lawsuit that alleges that Arizona’s training materials violate federal law
· Registering voter outreach initiatives in the state of Arizona to offset the under-representation
· Asking President Obama to pass comprehensive immigration reform or to pass a down payment approach with DREAM Act and Ag Jobs now
· A moratorium on deportations and temporary protective status until a bill is passed
“Although states may exercise their police power in a manner that has an incidental or indirect effect on aliens, a state may not establish its own immigration policy or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with the federal immigration laws,” added Vera. “The Constitution and the federal immigration laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country.”

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