(This letter was sent Sunday, April 25 to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer from the NAISA Council. Copy is attached in .pdf formed--should read with signature in Adobe pdf format)
April 24, 2010
The Honorable Jan Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Dear Governor Brewer,
I write on behalf of the officers of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, scheduled to hold our annual meeting in Tucson next month, to join Indigenous leaders throughout the hemisphere and around the globe in expressing in the strongest terms our condemnation of the new immigration bill (SB 1070) you signed into law last week. Your action as chief executive of the state of Arizona will, when the law takes effect, give license to abuse by police and citizens, making ever more murky the possibility of working towards a just future for all people in the Americas.
SB 1070 will have tremendous negative impact on Indigenous people on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico, and it ought to go without saying that some of the people most impacted by this invidious law are descended from peoples who lived in the Sonoran Desert centuries before anyone even thought of the United States. Regardless of proximity or descent, though, the new law is morally wrong and panders to the worst currents in US politics.
You should change your stance and work to repeal this law, but your public statements indicate you have no plans to do so. Please note that we will encourage our association of over 700 members to work vigorously against the injustice you are sponsoring and on behalf of the people your actions have put in harm’s way, including many of our members who live in your state. In fact, in response to your actions the NAISA Council is working toward using our upcoming meeting as a forum for addressing how we as an organization and as individuals of conscience can bear witness against the racial profiling you are now set to unleash.
We as a council are more than willing to discuss these issues, and we know many of our colleagues in NAISA are, as well.
Very truly yours,