SB 1070 and HB 56: How Do They Differ?

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“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

As it is with Leo Tolstoy’s observation about families, so it is with laws. At first glance, there’s so much that’s unhappy about the anti-immigrant laws of both Arizona (SB 1070) and Alabama (HB 56) that it would be easy to miss what makes each law unique.

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has done us a great service by contrasting the two. Their fact sheet, “Differences Between the Alabama and Arizona Racial Profiling Laws,” is an important read for anyone who takes a stand for welcoming immigrants and refugees.

Next Wednesday,  April 25, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in “United States v. Arizona.” The NILC fact sheet is a good way to get your thoughts in order for that event, which will (we hope) spotlight SB 1070’s unhappy details in the media, and for all Americans.

As you check out the NILC fact sheet, please keep in mind all the things you can do to make a difference in the days leading up to next Wednesday—and beyond:

Learn about SB 1070, which is the front line of this battle. The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) has done a spectacular job of arraying the arguments against SB 1070 in a single document that’s truly worth a look. You can read the brief itself here. The LIRS “mythbusters” guide to U.S . immigration also dispels common misconceptions.

Pray. You and your congregation can keep Arizona’s suffering communities in your prayers.  Host a prayer vigil in your community and visit the online “Vigil for Justice and the American Dream.”

Contact your representatives in Congress through the LIRS Action Center. Our senators and representatives don’t have power over the Supreme Court decision on SB 1070. But it’s critical to ask Congress to pass comprehensive federal-level immigration reform, and it never hurts for them to hear more public dissatisfaction with SB 1070.

Write a letter to your newspaper. Letters to the editor are read carefully by everyone from your neighbors to the staff of your representatives in Congress. Your letter criticizing SB 1070 and calling for comprehensive immigration reform can have a tremendous impact! Click here to learn how to make your letter the most well-informed, powerful, and likely to be published.

Join other people of faith at the Supreme Court for a 48-hour prayer vigil from 10am Monday April 23 – 10am Wednesday April 25. A Jericho Walk will take place the morning of Wednesday, April 25, when the justices will be hearing oral arguments about SB 1070. Click here to learn more about events that day.

Spread the word about the need for comprehensive immigration reform and SB 1070. Your neighbors and members of your church may be unfamiliar with the facts. Join the LIRS Stand for Welcome campaign. Tweet your opposition to SB 1070 using the hashtag #vigil4justice Join the LIRS Stand for Welcome campaign to hear of ways you can get involved in advocacy with refugees and migrants. This blog is a good place to updates on the struggle against SB 1070-style laws — please sign up to have posts delivered to your mailbox!

Thanks for standing for welcome!

Image credit: Julo

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