Statement by Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal in Response to Bigoted Arizona Immigration Law

April 29, 2010

“While Arizona may be a classic border state, New York is both the ancestral gateway for immigration in this country and remains a common destination for modern immigrants. For this reason, I feel compelled as a member of the New York State Assembly and as a daughter of immigrants who fled for their lives to America to speak out against the egregious transgression committed by Arizona’s state government.

By requiring an intrusive and degrading invasion of privacy by law enforcement of anyone suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, officials risk transforming Arizona into a less than free society: a society where color of skin or other physical features serve as validation for racial profiling. While this idea may have gained currency as a result of demagoguery, bigotry and short-sighted political calculations, I can state unequivocally that in New York, this idea is dead on arrival.

While New York State has a storied immigrant heritage, the forces behind this law must have surely forgotten the contributions made by immigrants in America throughout our history. New York City was settled and built by immigrants and this diversity remains one of our city and nation’s hallmarks. I call upon Arizona leaders to repeal this law before irrevocable harm is done to the social fabric of our nation.”

Assemblymember Rosenthal (D/WF) represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan and parts of Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.