RELEASE: State Electeds Speak Out on SB1070: “There Is a Different Approach”


Wednesday, April 25, 2012
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Director of Communications and New Media, Progressive States Network, (212) 680-3116 x115,

State Electeds Speak Out on SB1070: “There Is a Different Approach”

National Group of State Legislators Urges SCOTUS to Reject ALEC-supported Anti-Immigrant Law, Says States Moving Away From Economically Disastrous Bills In Favor of Common Sense Approaches

New York, NY – Today, as the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the challenge to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070, State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy – a growing national group of 94 state legislators representing constituents in 38 states and counting – issued the following statement:

As responsible state legislators focused on common-sense, practical approaches to state immigration policy, we hope the Supreme Court recognizes the many flaws of Arizona’s SB 1070. Two years after its passage, SB1070 has proven to be not only misguided and in conflict with federal law, but also an economically disastrous approach for any state considering following its path.

SB 1070 not only oversteps boundaries by seeking to enforce federal immigration laws, it does so at dramatic and longstanding cost to the state’s economy: it burdens state and local law enforcement with onerous immigration enforcement responsibilities they are not equipped to fulfill; and does nothing to address our nation’s immigration laws, which are in dire need of an update. As one recent editorial noted, SB 1070 has been “an invitation to abuse and chaos,” an apt description of the devastation the law has already wrought in Arizona by terrifying immigrants and other communities of color, sparking federal Department of Justice investigations into misconduct on the part of the state’s infamous Sheriff Arpaio; and causing untold losses for taxpayers, tourism, and economic development.

It’s also critical to remember how we arrived at this point. Over two years ago, the bill that would become SB1070 was reportedly developed at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as corporate interests including the private prison company the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) sought to collaborate with Arizona’s then-State Senate President Russell Pearce to bolster its profits by dramatically increasing the numbers of immigrants detained and deported. Two years later, the approach instigated in Arizona by ALEC and others has proven disastrous not just for immigrants, but also for small businesses, state economies, and taxpayers alike.

But there is a different approach to immigration policy in the states – one gaining more momentum each and every day. Since well before SB 1070 reared its ugly head in Arizona, we and many of our colleagues in state legislatures across the nation have been advancing common-sense approaches to immigration policy that expand opportunity for all residents, both immigrant and native-born. These proposals -- such as state tuition equity laws, which have already been passed in fourteen states and counting -- honor our values as a nation of immigrants and as a nation that rewards hard work and extends opportunity to those who seek to live lives with dignity on our shores.

As the Supreme Court considers SB 1070 this week, we urge state legislators across the nation to continue to focus on these and other practical, cost-effective proposals that reflect common sense, reward hard work, and expand state economies.


(Note: State legislators from across the nation involved in advancing common-sense immigration policies are available for comment on the Supreme Court hearings. Contact Charles Monaco at, 212-680-3116 x 115 or Suman Raghunathan at 212-680-3116 x 113)




State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy is a diverse group of state legislators, affiliated with Progressive States Network, who are advancing sensible and progressive approaches to immigration at the state level. These leaders, currently representing 38 states, are rejecting alarmist approaches to immigration in favor of one that reflects our core values as a nation of laws and as a nation of immigrants.

Progressive States Network ( is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the advancement of state policies that deliver on the issues that matter to working families: integrating immigrants into our communities, strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.