ADL Gets Firsthand Look At U.S. Border Security And Immigration Issues on Mission to Phoenix, AZ
New York, NY, December 11, 2006 … With the debate over immigration reform continuing to dominate headlines, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held a series of meetings last week with law enforcement officials, community activists, elected leaders and others on the frontlines of American immigration and border security during a fact-finding mission to Phoenix, Arizona.
ADL leaders investigated and assessed the challenges of border security and the legal and moral issues posed by illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border. They met with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Paul Charlton, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, representatives from the Hispanic community, and many others.
"The debate over illegal immigration in America is fraught with legal and moral complexities and we felt that it was impossible to have a complete understanding of all the issues without consulting with and asking questions of those on the frontlines," said Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chair.
"The national discussion over how to effectively deal with illegal immigration has brought out strong opinions on all sides," added Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We need to listen to all sides before forming an opinion, and this is the beginning of a process for ADL to develop a broader policy approach to border security and immigration."
ADL leaders also heard from a cross-section of Hispanic community activists and discussed the need for civil rights groups to speak out against the rising tide of anti-Hispanic rhetoric among extreme anti-immigrant groups and others, including racists who have sought to use immigration as a wedge issue or to foment racism and hatred. The leaders also participated in a daylong tour along the border at Nogales with the U.S. Border Patrol.
Earlier this year, the League issued a report, "Extremists Declare 'Open Season' on Immigrants" showing how neo-Nazis and white supremacists were using confrontational tactics in an effort to exploit the debate as a means to spread hate.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.