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As you read this, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering key elements of Arizona’s SB1070 — one of the most outrageously harsh anti-immigration laws our nation has ever seen. As the Court deliberates, the rampant racial profiling and blatant discrimination encouraged by SB1070 continue to devastate individuals, economies and communities in Arizona. And though a decision may not arrive until June, this we know now: it is immigrant women and their families who stand to lose the most.

We are talking a lot these days about the “war on women.” And rightly so. But this war is not only about reproductive and contraceptive battles we’ve fought before. The escalating “war on women” and the “war on immigrants” are one and the same. They are both part of a sweeping crusade against the fundamental rights of all women living in the United States, documented and otherwise.

Arizona’s SB1070 — along with an alarming number of copycat laws in Georgia, Kansas, Alabama and elsewhere — represent a fundamental attack on immigrant women’s right to raise families without fear. As part of the women’s delegation to Birmingham, Alabama with the We Belong Together campaign, I heard the stories of women whose lives and families have been torn apart by these laws. Many have already been separated by deportation or indefinite detention; other parents and children live in fear of these threats, rarely leaving home at all. These laws force women to choose between the threat of an abusive husband and the threat of deportation if they call the police. They send pregnant mothers to give birth in shackles with federal agents by their side. They coerce parents to give power of attorney over their children to friends, neighbors and employers because the threat of deportation and indefinite detention is just too real. These laws violate essential human rights and basic human decency.

So as the Supreme Court hears this challenge — and regardless of how they rule — we must all work to protect the true American values of diversity and democracy, dignity and respect. It’s time for those of us outraged by women’s human rights violations across borders and oceans to support women’s human rights at home. I’m here to stand up for the rights of all women in the United States. Are you?


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