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ACLU Responds to AZ Gov. Jan Brewer's Ridiculous Comments on U.S. Human Rights Record

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September 7, 2010

You might’ve heard last week that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was shocked — just shocked! — that the State Department mentioned S.B. 1070, Arizona’s new “papers please” racial profiling law, in its first-ever Universal Periodic Review report (PDF) to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Finding the mere mention of her law “downright offensive,” Gov. Brewer fired off a letter (PDF) to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing her “concern and indignation” and asked Secretary Clinton to remove the mention of the law.

This is a ridiculous request. Over the weekend, Chandra Bhatnagar of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program and Alessandra Soler Meetze of the ACLU of Arizona explain why it’s so absurd on CNN.

Chandra and Alessandra also point out why reports like the one submitted last month are so important, not least of all because they show the world that — despite troubling indications to the contrary — the U.S. does not take its international obligations lightly.

They also mention what the U.S. report doesn’t: that S.B. 1070 violates another international treaty the U.S. ratified, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). CERD mandates that federal, state and local governments do not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin. In fact, you might say CERD was designed to prevent laws exactly like S.B. 1070 from being enforced.

So check out the CNN piece, and read the ACLU’s report to the Human Rights Council here (PDF).

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