WASHINGTON (JTA) — An array of Jewish groups expressed their dismay at the passage of Arizona’s restrictive new immigration enforcement law.
"The Jewish community has long called on our national leaders to reform our immigration laws to ‘welcome the stranger’ and to create an effective federal immigration system characterized by the rule of law and the humane treatment of newcomers," the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society said in a statement after Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law Friday afternoon.
HIAS went on to say that the governor’s signing of the measure "not only threatens the necessary trust between police and their communities, but the decision also betrays the proud history of a nation built by immigrants."
The new law requires that police check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant. Civil liberties groups, including many Jewish groups, say the law effectively mandates racial profiling.
Other Jewish groups registering their protests included the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Rabbis from five Reform congregations in Arizona also joined to write to Brewer.