April 23, 2010

“This isn’t about immigration, it’s about discrimination,” says Center founder Rabbi Hier

The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed disappointment that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that among other things makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local law enforcement to determine an individual's legal status and arrest without warrant a person if there is “reasonable suspicion” that he or she is in the U.S. illegally.

“This isn’t about immigration, it’s about discrimination,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “We should not forget that we’re a nation of immigrants. This law makes no sense-- it guarantees and stigmatizes people of color as second-class citizens and exposes them to intimidation and the use of racial profiling as a weapon of bias,” he concluded.

As part of its Tools for Tolerance® diversity programs, the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles and New York Tolerance Center in Manhattan include training law enforcement professionals across the country to address difficult questions and concerns over racial profiling. Law enforcement agencies across Arizona have participated in this program.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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