Friday, May 21, 2010

Native American Community Weighs In on SB 1070

Friday, 21 May 2010
KSAZ Fox 10

TUCSON - Hispanic people have been at the center of Arizona's immigration law. Some of them fear they will be victims of racial profiling, and now Native Americans are having the same concerns.

They made their voices heard at a rally Friday in downtown Tucson. They say they have felt the sting of racial profiling, and that other people could feel it too due to Arizona's new immigration law.

Over a hundred people prayed and stood united against Senate Bill 1070. They think it will lead to racial profiling, and they don't think it will help secure the border.

"For hundreds of years we've been respecting each others' cultures across and along the border. I think with new laws like this it makes things more complicated and causes conflicts between people," says protester Amy Juan.

The Tohono O'Oodham Reservation, southwest of Tucson, straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. It is the size of the state of Connecticut.

Protesters say drug and human smuggling is a problem on tribal land too, but the new law is not a fair way to deal with it.

"It attempts to redefine who an immigrant. White America has conveniently demonized the most recent immigrants -- the brown skinned," says protester Michael Wilson.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa tribal community east of Scottsdale has also weighed in on SB 1070. They say it doesn't present a favorable image of Arizona to international travelers.

Statement from Tohono O'Oodham Nation

"This law creates a hostile atmosphere for minority groups who will have to carry identification at all times just to prove their right to be here. This misguided and detrimental law must be repealed before it inflicts any further harm on Arizona. For its part, the Tohono Oodham Nation will continue its extensive efforts to assist in protecting the U.S. border on its lands. However, it is imperative that comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level is implemented in order to confront all aspects of this problem."

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