By Rob Capriccioso
The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona has been one of those leading the charge, sending a letter that urged the legislature and governor not to pass the law.
“We have a range of concerns, including tribal sovereign nations not being recognized as able to define and protect their own borders as they see fit, and the possibility that tribal citizens will be profiled by police,” said John Lewis, director of the organization.
Lewis and other ITCA staffers traveled to Washington after the law passed to educate national policy makers about their concerns. Various Native American groups are calling on tribes and Indians to oppose the measure, hopefully to get it repealed.
“Your action as chief executive of the state of Arizona will, when the law takes effect, give license to abuse by police and citizens, making ever more murky the possibility of working towards a just future for all people in the Americas,” wrote Warrior, director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“S.B. 1070 will have tremendous negative impact on indigenous people on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico, and it ought to go without saying that some of the people most impacted by this invidious law are descended from peoples who lived in the Sonoran Desert centuries before anyone even thought of the United States. Regardless of proximity or descent, though, the new law is morally wrong and panders to the worst currents in U.S. politics.”
Below: "Protesters held signs at a rally at the Arizona Capitol prior to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signing a tough immigration bill–S.B. 1070–into law Friday, April 23, in Phoenix. The sweeping measure would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally, and would require local law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally." (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)