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PSN calls on state legislators to denounce TX representative's claim that legal immigrants aren't Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2009
CONTACT: Austin Guest, aguest@progressivestates.org, 212-680-3116 x 110

PSN CALLS ON STATE LEGISLATORS TO DENOUNCE TX REPRESENTATIVE’S CLAIM THAT LEGAL IMMIGRANTS AREN’T AMERICAN

Cites Rep. Betty Brown’s assertions that Chinese Americans should change their names as typical of a racially divisive agenda

NEW YORK  -  Today, Progressive States Network (PSN) issued a call for state legislators across the country to denounce Texas State Rep. Betty Brown’s recent assertion that that legal Chinese American immigrants should adopt Anglophone names that are  “easier for Americans to deal with.”

According to PSN policy analyst Caroline Fan, herself a second generation Chinese American immigrant, “Now more than ever, we need to have a rational and respectful dialogue about how to fix our country’s broken immigration system.  Rep. Brown’s comments, which imply that Chinese Americans aren’t Americans, are precisely the kind of racially divisive rhetoric that will keep us from having such a dialogue.”

Rep. Brown is a charter member of the group State Legislators for Legal Immigration, an anti-immigrant special interest group that promotes a range of policies that promote discrimination by rescinding rights of legal American immigrants and separating immigrant families from the communities in which they live.  According to Fan, Rep. Brown’s comments are indicative of a broader agenda of racial divisiveness that reveals

In light of Rep. Brown’s comments and the concerns they raise that SLLI is promoting a discriminatory political agenda, PSN is officially calling on state legislators in the 33 states where SLLI has members to denounce her remarks and threaten to leave SLLI unless it removes Rep. Brown from its membership and issues an official apology for her comments.

Said Fan, “We want state legislators to make it clear where they stand.  If they want to have a constructive rational debate, then they need to stand up and denounce this kind of bigoted speech.  And if they don’t want to have a reasoned debate, then it’s hard to see how they can be credible partners as we try to work together to fix the immigration impasse.”

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