LatinoJustice PRLDEF Issues Statement on SCOTUS SB 1070 Decision

Here is what LatinoJustice PRLDEF had to say about today's Supreme Court decision on Arizona v. United States:


The Court found that the provisions that made it a crime for non-citizens who are unlawfully present in the United States to work in Arizona; criminalized working in Arizona without federal work authorization; and authorized local law enforcement to arrest without a warrant any person they have probable cause to believe committed a deportable offense were all preempted  or “trumped” by federal law.

The provision which required police officers to check the immigration status of any person whom they have reasonable cause to believe is an illegal immigrant was remanded back for further proceedings.

The decision was a major victory for many who had criticized the law. The U.S. Justice Department moved quickly in 2010 to block enforcement of the law by suing Arizona as had number of civil rights organizations.

“The decision sends a clear message to states and cities that there can be no cookie cutter attempts to implement immigration law and to unfairly target Latinos,” said Juan Cartagena, president and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “A decision in the other direction would have been contrary to our nation’s values. To that end we are ready to ensure that any attempts to racially profile Latinos will be met forcefully with additional lawsuits.”

The court wrote poetically, “Immigration policy shapes the destiny of the nation. These naturalization ceremonies bring together men and women of different origins who now share a common destiny.”

“Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”

Arizona’s forceful action engendered four other states to pass copycat laws (Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah) and one state Alabama, to take it to the extreme.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF is already on the ground as part of the team of civil rights attorneys challenging similar laws in Alabama and in South Carolina.  Law enforcement authorities in those states are under court order not to implement their “show me your papers” provisions. The decision in Arizona v. U.S. does not automatically permit its implementation.

“These kinds of laws represent the wrong approach to the challenges America faces at present,” said Cartagena. “It diverts us from our real priorities and sends a message that targeting Latino residents, immigrants and citizens is fair game.” 

LatinoJustice PRLDEF will work with its national partners to ensure that every tool at our disposal will be used to stop the implementation of these discriminatory laws.

By The Time I Get to Arizona… I Will Get Stopped in Connecticut

In 2010 I was racially profiled and it wasn't in Arizona. I was living in Connecticut at the time (yes, the same state where East Haven police officers were arrested for harassing Latinos) and on my way to work with a friend. As we approached the exit, we were stopped by a state police officer. He told us we were driving erratic and speeding, which we weren't, but ok, "just give us the ticket so we can be on our way" we thought. 

After giving the officer proper identification according to Connecticut state law, he then asked us for our social security cards. We were highly upset and surprised but kept our composure and refused, stating our identification cards were sufficient enough and we were unaware of any law requiring us to show social security cards as proof of identification.

Again, this happened in the state of Connecticut. I can only imagine the fear that Latinos in Arizona go through daily because of SB 1070.

Many people feel, because they are American citizens, that they will never go through this type of profiling, but I am here to let you know that your skin color, your political belief or your approval of SB 1070 will not save you. Being Latino in this country has its problems. Still. 

I challenge anyone who believes this law does not profile Latinos to study the police training video for SB-1070 and see how "reasonable subscription" is defined under the Arizona law. 

Click here to see the video.

Mitt Romney’s Anti-Legal Immigration Stance

While everyone is debating over Mitt Romney's millions, issues involving Romney's stance on immigration, legal and illegal, are unfolding rapidly.  For instance, Romney was endorsed by Kris Kobach, the architect behind Arizona's SB 1070 and Alabama's HB 56. This may not be a surprise to many but Kris Kobach is also "part of the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (F.A.I.R.)." Is this proof enough to Romney's hard flip on Immigration and was Newt actually correct when he said Romney is anti-immigration? Arguably so.

“I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.”

Last year, F.A.I.R. created an ad (embedded below) against legal and illegal immigration. I think it's FAIR to say this organization is full of nativists and Romney is their guy  to make all immigration illegal. 

Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, Architect of SB1070, Defeated in Recall Election

In a vote that was clearly a blow to the anti-immigration rhetoric that has turned the state of Arizona into the most Anti-Latino state in the Union, Maricopa County voters decided that state senator Russell Pearce, the architect behind Arizona's controversial SB1070 immigration law, had to go.

Tonight, Pearce, a Republican, lost his seat to Jerry Lewis in a recall vote. It is the first time a legislator in the history of Arizona has been recalled.



With 100% of precincts reporting, unofficial tallies had Lews at 53.4%, Pearce at 45.36% and Olvia Cortes (who withdrew from the race, at 1.24%. Although unofficiall, Pheonix's CBS5 reported that Lewis was the winner.

As CBS5 reported:


Pearce, a 64-year-old conservative Republican from Mesa, outspent his challenger by more than a 3-1 ratio and painted the recall advocates as liberal outsiders who were targeting him because of his immigration stance.

The recall election was forced by a petition drive. Pearce had support from Gov. Jan Brewer and dozens of other elected Republican officeholders, but he was dogged by disclosures that he accepted numerous free trips from the Fiesta Bowl to out-of-state college football trips. He said he took the trips at the bowl's request to help support its economic role in the state.


Compromiso retórico sobre la inmigración exhorta a los líderes a rechazar el lenguaje que exacerba o polariza el debate actual sobre la inmigración en EE.UU., en un momento crítico del proceso electoral


SACRAMENTO, California, 4 de noviembre de 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Un número récord de compromisos se han propuesto durante esta temporada electoral —desde compromisos a favor de la vida hasta compromisos presupuestales— orientados a cuestiones sociales y políticas fiscales.  La reforma inmigratoria continúa siendo un tema candente para debatir, especialmente entre las autoridades electas en todos los niveles,  posicionándola como un asunto primordial para un compromiso.

En la medida en que la reforma inmigratoria permanece sin definir en el ámbito federal y los estados continúan aprobando sus propias leyes de inmigración en forma individual; con el Departamento de Justicia involucrándose en el tema recién en esta semana a través de la presentación de una demanda contra Carolina del Sur por una ley estatal recientemente aprobada, cuyo objetivo es aumentar los esfuerzos para hacer cumplir las leyes contra los inmigrantes indocumentados – un distintivo y puntual Compromiso retórico con la inmigración fue escrito por el Rev. Samuel Rodríguez, Presidente de la Conferencia Nacional de Liderazgo Cristiano Hispano NHCLC, por sus siglas en inglés) y Robert Gittleson, Co-Fundador de Conservadores a favor de una reforma inmigratoria integral.  Este compromiso convoca a todos los candidatos a cargos electivos a nivel local, estatal y nacional, en particular a aquellos que compiten para el cargo de Presidente de Estados Unidos en ambos partidos, a obligarse a cumplir con tres puntos básicos para abordar la cuestión de la reforma inmigratoria que enfrenta Estados Unidos.

El Rev. Samuel Rodríguez, Presidente de la NHCLC, también conocida como la Asociación Evangélica Hispana, la mayor organización de hispanos cristianos, manifestó: "Entiendo que los candidatos presidenciales estén en contra de la inmigración ilegal y de una amnistía. Pero les estoy solicitando que firmen este compromiso que establece claramente que están a favor de la inmigración legal y que quien resulte electo será presidente para los estadounidenses hispanos – apoyando una solución federal práctica para los problemas de inmigración de nuestro país, que reconozca la importancia de la inmigración para el pasado, presente y futuro de Estados Unidos".  Rodríguez y Gittleson planean reunirse personalmente con los candidatos para obtener sus firmas.

Los puntos del "Compromiso" a favor de los estadounidenses hispanos y de la inmigración legal que será presentado a la firma de los candidatos presidenciales de ambos partidos y de las personas que actualmente ocupan cargos electivos, establecen en forma concisa lo siguiente ( No incurriré en una retórica que exacerbe o polarice el debate actual sobre inmigración en nuestro país; abogaré por posiciones que estén a favor de la inmigración legal y de los estadounidenses hispanos.  Esto no implica renunciar a mi compromiso para asegurar nuestras fronteras, pero en cambio denuncia la perniciosa retórica contra la inmigración; apoyaré una solución federal práctica para los problemas de inmigración de nuestro país, que reconozca la importancia de la inmigración para el pasado, presente y futuro de Estados Unidos.

El Co-Fundador de Conservadores a favor de una reforma inmigratoria integral (, Robert Gittleson, manifestó: "Samuel Rodríguez y yo compartimos la preocupación mutua de que la áspera retórica que está siendo propagada por algunos conservadores a través del proceso de debate presidencial tendrá un efecto duradero y negativo no solamente en la elección sino también en la capacidad de las personas imparciales y con principios morales para discutir el tema de la reforma inmigratoria de un modo claro y racional. Es por ello que hemos iniciado este compromiso en un esfuerzo por mitigar el daño potencial que será el subproducto de un lenguaje que exacerba o polariza el debate actual sobre la inmigración en nuestro país".

En una declaración acerca del Compromiso, el Dr. Land, Presidente de la Comisión de Ética y Libertad Religiosa de la Convención Bautista del Sur ( desde 1988, afirmó: "Este Compromiso llama a los líderes de nuestro país a defender la larga y honorable tradición de valorar a todos los individuos como una creación singular de Dios, dignos del mayor respeto y compasión".  Durante su mandato al frente del mayor culto protestante del país, el Dr. Land ha representado a los Bautistas del Sur y a otras congregaciones evangélicas en las salas del Congreso, ante los Presidentes de EE.UU. y en los medios de comunicación.

Mathew D. Staver, Fundador y Presidente del Liberty Counsel (, declaró: "Estados Unidos es una tierra de inmigrantes. Con excepción de los indígenas nativos, todos los ciudadanos estadounidenses pueden rastrear su ascendencia hasta un país extranjero. Valoro la frustración de Alabama con el fallido programa nacional de inmigración.  Pero la respuesta no pasa por dejar de lado la Constitución mediante la usurpación del gobierno federal y la estigmatización de la comunidad latina.  La comunidad latina no debe ser considerada y estigmatizada en su totalidad a causa de los actos de unos pocos.  Debemos trabajar juntos para resolver el tema de la inmigración antes de que separe a Estados Unidos por la mitad.  Debemos asegurar nuestras fronteras, hacer cumplir nuestras leyes y brindar una oportunidad justa para que aquellos que viven en las sombras obtengan un estatus legal".

Los Conservadores a favor de una reforma inmigratoria integral, declaran que como líderes conservadores convocarán al Congreso y a la Administración para que conduzcan al país hacia una solución bipartidaria sobre la inmigración que: respete la dignidad de todas las personas, proteja la unidad de la familia inmediata, respete el estado de derecho, garantice la seguridad de las fronteras nacionales, asegure la ecuanimidad para los contribuyentes y establezca una salida en dirección a un estatus legal y/o ciudadanía para aquellos que califiquen y deseen transformarse en residentes permanentes.

La Conferencia Nacional de Liderazgo Cristiano Hispano es la Asociación Nacional de Evangélicos Hispanos que unifica, sirve y representa a la Comunidad de los Hispanos Vueltos a Nacer a través de 34,200 iglesias miembro y 16 millones de constituyentes, mediante la reconciliación de los aspectos verticales y horizontales del Mensaje Cristiano por intermedio de las 7 Directivas que constituyen la Vida, la Familia, la Evangelización, la Responsabilidad, la Justicia, la Educación y la Juventud.

NOTA A LOS EDITORES: PARA CONCERTAR una ENTREVISTA o un COMPROMISO DE ALOCUCIÓN con el REV. SAMUEL RODRÍGUEZ, comuníquese con Matti Stevenson – 719.360.0586 – [email protected]

FUENTE National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

CONTACTO: MattiMedia Group, [email protected], +1-719-360-0586

In Anti-Immigrant Alabama, Church Leaders Call New Law Un-Christian

Earlier today, I posted the following on my Twitter page:

In this world, we are all humans and part of the same species. No one is legal or illegal. More compassion, less hate.

I wrote this because I was a bit offended by a post I saw on a Facebook page today that had criticized immigrant families and their desire to have children in this country. (BTW, I could have shown you that post on the page, but I and the Rebels have been blocked from that page as well. Sure, America is a free country, but not Facebook.)

Nonetheless, my little Twitter post and the subsequent RTs and shares does connect with many of our readers, and it is clear to me that comprehensive immigration reform is a actually a theme that has bipartisan support (see Marco Rubio and others), but the current Republican movement to put the blame on immigrants in this country has gotten the headlines.

It appears that the tide MIGHT be turning, or at least, the people who believe in a more compassionate and fair immigration policy are starting to speak up more.

Case in point: Alabama, which right now has perhaps the toughest immigration bill in the land. The law, passed in June and signed by Governor Robert Bentley, is crafted as follows:

Relating to illegal immigration; to define terms; to require the Attorney General to attempt to negotiate a Memorandum of Agreement under certain conditions; to require a person to present proof of citizenship and residency before voting; to preclude any state or local government or official from refusing to assist the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration laws; to prohibit an alien unlawfully present in the United States from receiving any state or local public benefits; to prohibit a person not lawfully present from being eligible on the basis of residence for education benefits; to require business entities or employers seeking economic incentives to verify the employment eligibility of their employees and to provide penalties; to require an illegal alien to possess certain documents already required by federal law and to provide penalties; to prohibit an unauthorized alien from seeking employment in this state and to provide penalties; to require the verification of the legal status of persons by law enforcement officers under certain circumstances; to criminalize certain behavior relating to concealing, harboring, shielding, or attempting to conceal, harbor, or shield unauthorized aliens and to provide penalties; to create the crime of dealing in false identification documents and the crime of vital records identity fraud and to provide penalties; to prohibit a business entity, employer, or public employer from knowingly employing an unauthorized alien and to provide penalties; to prohibit certain deductible business expenses; to make it a discriminatory practice for a business entity or employer to fail to hire a legally present job applicant or discharge an employee while retaining an employee who is an unauthorized alien under certain conditions; to require the verification of legal status of every alien charged with a crime for which bail is required; to amend Section 32-6-9 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to driver’s licenses; to require law enforcement to detain any alien whose lawful immigration status cannot be verified under certain conditions; to require notification of the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Alabama Department of Homeland Security when an unlawfully present alien is convicted of state law; to provide for a stay of the provisions of this act when an alien unlawfully present is a victim or critical witness of a crime under certain conditions; to authorize the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to hire state police officers and give the department enforcement power under certain conditions; to provide penalties for solicitation, attempt, or conspiracy to violate this act; to require the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to file a quarterly report with the Legislature under certain conditions; to require the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to establish and maintain an E-Verify employer agent service under certain conditions; to prohibit the enforcement of certain contracts under certain conditions; to require public schools to determine the citizenship and immigration status of students enrolling; to require school districts to compile certain data and submit reports to the State Board of Education; to require the State Board of Education to submit an annual report to the Legislature; to further provide for eligibility and requirements for voter registration; to establish a state election board; to provide duties of the board; to provide that a person may obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate from the Department of Public Health free of charge under certain conditions; to prohibit an alien not lawfully present from entering into a business transaction under certain conditions and provide penalties; to prohibit a landlord from knowingly entering into a rental agreement to harbor an illegal alien and provide penalties; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.

Opposition and support of the bill has been active to say the least, but Alabama is also facing a very organized and public critcism from some of the state's top church leaders. As reported today in The New York Times (unlike my more extreme friends, as a journalist, I like to call it the "paper of record), three bishops sued Alabama (along with the US Justice Department) for imposing a law that they believe goes against the very Christian principles they preach about every Sunday. Here are some excerpts from the Times piece:

“The law,” said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, “attacks our core understanding of what it means to be a church.” 

Andy Heis, the pastor of the new, nondenominational Desperation Church in Cullman, said,"It puts you in a really, really hard place." "I understand legally where they're coming from" he said, pointing out that obeying government laws was a biblical command. "But spiritually, I have to do what God calls me to do."

Nonetheless, even though two Methodist ministers wrote a letter to the law's supporters, which was signed by 150 other ministers, calling out the law's immoral nature, not every minister in Alabama is supporting this. One retired minister, Mac Buttram, a Republican legislator who voted for the law, told the Times the following:

“It’s a Christian issue, it’s a moral issue, but it’s not an issue in which we should be casting judgment,” he said, adding that several Methodist ministers had since called him expressing their support for the law.

The Alabama scenario comes at a time when there are hints of a softening of mainly Republican opposition to hard-line immigration laws. This weekend, Fox News (yes, Fox News) posted a blog about America's favorite anti-immigrant legislator, Russell Pearce of Arizona, that begins to suggest that the opponents of Pearce who are campaigning against him during his upcoming recall election favore tighter border security and immigration reform. We will see, since it is fair to say that anyone who comments on this that supports Arizona's and Alabama's laws are bound to call me a lover of "amnesty for criminals" and that I should probably "go back to Mexico." At least, I will say that it is refreshing to see non-Latinos in this country beginning to question these types of laws and whether they are truly moral.



Arizona has literally become the police state for Latino Americans in the United States and the vast majority of undocumented individuals who struggle each day to achieve the American dream.

With the All-Star Game being played this year in Phoenix, we are urging the Major League Baseball Players Association to send a visual and powerful message to show their opposition to SB1070, an anti-immigrant, anti-Latino law that is dividing Arizona and this country.

Latinos make up for 27% of all the players in MLB today. These players predominantly come from places such as the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, and Central America—the very same places where others risk their lives to achieve their dreams in the United States.


MLB Latino ballplayers are blessed: not only do they play a boy’s game and make millions, they are also not threatened by laws such as SB1070. Or are they? It’s time to TAKE A STAND AND SEND ARIZONA A MESSAGE. Follow the legacy of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente. Stop injustice!



Dear U.S. Government: Build the Northern Fence and Protect Us from Canada’s Hockey-Loving Ways

The time to protect America from very strange (yet supernice) people who would rather skate on a frozen pond than toss a baseball with their fathers has arrived. Join our grassroots movement on Change.Org to demand that the U.S. Government BUILD A NORTHERN FENCE.

If you would like to join the cause, click here for a quick sign-up. THE TIME TO PROTECT AMERICA FROM THE 75,000 ILLEGAL ALIEN CANADIANS FROM OUR WAY OF LIFE HAS ARRIVED!!!!


Daily Show Hires Latino Comedian Al Madrigal: FANTÁSTICO, Although First Segment Was JUST A’RIGHT

So, give it up to THE DAILY SHOW for FINALLY adding a Latino correspondent to its stellar team of political reporters. Yup, comedian Al Madrigal has joined the team and Madrigal did his first segment last night. Al is one funny dude, although we will give him some slack on his first segment. It was a’right. Not stellar, but a good first start.

Our take, we give Madrigal an A for effort but a C for delivery. But we are rooting for Al! Here’s hoping he becomes a comedy superstar. It’s about time!

Here are some segments we would love Al to focus on:

  • The Crazy Latino Haters: Get that exclusive interview with Gator Man Joe Walsh!
  • A bilingual Daily Show episode with subtitles and sexy Latina Univision dancers
  • The Marc Rubio Lovefest Story: Expose his gringoness!
  • Get Calle 13 on the show! Now! Right now!

¡Suerte, Al!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Aliens vs President – Immigration Reform
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¡La Migra!

Like we say, no cop could ever stop a van-load of Latinos.