Interfaith Group Denounces Supreme Court's Decision on SB 1070's "Papers Please" Provision

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For Immediate Release, June 25, 2013

Contact: Cathy Junia
Phone: 773-710-9837

Chicago, IL – Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) joins other community, immigrants’ rights and faith groups in denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the controversial “papers please” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070.

“The Supreme Court’s recent decision to, in effect, sanction policies that lead to racial profiling, is a direct attack on traditional faith values of welcoming the stranger,” said IWJ Executive Director Kim Bobo.

Today's decision struck down three provisions of Arizona's law, but upheld the notorious "papers please" provision, which makes it mandatory for police officers to check on the immigration status of people held in custody if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is undocumented.

“We know that worker rights and immigrant rights are integrally linked, and we are concerned about the potential this decision could have in encouraging other states to mistreat immigrant workers,” Bobo said. “IWJ will continue to oppose any attempt to use fear of immigrants to promote hatred and racism throughout the nation.”

Almost immediately after SB 1070 passed in 2010, IWJ affiliate, Arizona Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice, reported a sharp increase in the number of wage theft cases. Employers believed most employees would be too frightened to defend themselves.

IWJ and other affiliated workers' centers around the country are committed to fighting anti-immigrant laws that undermine the rights of workers, tear up families and exacerbate racism and tolerance.

“As people of faith, we recognize and honor the contributions of immigrant workers, regardless of their immigration status.” Bobo said. “When we allow immigrant workers to be exploited and discriminated against, we lower the standards for all workers.”

 Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) calls upon our religious values in order to educate, organize, and mobilize the religious community in the U.S. on issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for workers, especially low-wage workers.