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Gutierrez Heads to Arizona to Fight Immigration Bill

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) has announced that he will travel to Phoenix to oppose Arizona Senate bill 1070 at a rally at the State Capitol this Sunday.

From a statement he released today:

I am going there to let the people of Arizona know that they are not alone in fighting against bigotry and hatred and thousands will join me this weekend at the State Capitol. [...]

I call on all justice loving Americans to join us in Phoenix. Join us in denouncing this law, join us in calling for its veto, and join us in standing up against hatred when people paint all immigrants and all Latinos as criminals. In so doing, we will be living by a fundamental truth articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We need to take a stand.

While many immigration activists are applauding his stand on Arizona’s bill, critics are saying he should mind his own business. From a Medill Reports article:

Closer to home, Gutierrez’s critics say it’s not his place to intervene in Arizona lawmaking.

“He should mind his own business,” said Rick Biesada, director of the Chicago Minutemen Project. “He should take care of his own constituents in Illinois. Why would he be concerned with Arizona?”

Others have gone further, claiming that the immigration policy Gutierrez advocates undermines U.S. sovereignty and amounts to thinly-veiled amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

“Luis Gutierrez is the poster boy for illegal immigration,” said Dave Gorak, executive director of Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration. “Gutierrez represents the interests of those who stop at nothing to prevent our government from enforcing its own immigration laws.”

Republican Governor Jan Brewer has to decide to sign or veto the bill by tomorrow afternoon — if she does neither, it will become law.

*Update: *Brewer just signed the bill into law.

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