On Friday April 23rd Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law. Funders for LGBTQ Issues immediately decided to pull our January 2011 funders retreat (Seizing the Moment: Advancing an LGBTQ Justice Movement Through Research, Policy, and Community Engagement) from Tucson and relocate to another state.
In significant ways the Arizona bill is merely the logical extension of a racist discourse on immigration that has grown increasingly hostile and dangerous in recent years. It is a deepening of, not a departure from, other policies and practices that encourage, even demand racial profiling and give local law enforcement agents the authority to act as immigration officials. That said, SB 1070 goes still farther than these contemptible practices, making failure to carry papers a crime, broadening police powers, and allowing individual citizens to sue local, county, or state governments or agencies that they believe are not fully enforcing immigration law or are engaged in work that they feel restricts or undermines enforcement in some way.
A core part of our mission is the advancement of racial, gender, and economic equity; a mission we would be compromising if we did not adhere to the boycott. This law jeopardizes our allies and our own communities (if it’s not good for immigrants, it’s not good for LGBTQ immigrants) and so it is both in solidarity and self-interest that Funders for LGBTQ Issues stands with all those working inside and outside Arizona for immigrant justice.