On June 10th a delegation of women from Arizona traveled to Washington to show the Obama administration the true effects Arizona's SB1070 could have on women and children in immigrant and undocumented communities. The delegation met with representatives from the administration, including members of the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Homeland Security to share their experiences and express their desire for President Obama to address these issues head-on. The group also met with national women's organizations and advocates to plan further collaborations and organizing possibilities, and, as Ai-Jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance reports, "were energized to engage in a real strategy conversation and take action."
The delegation was organized by a coalition including the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Jobs with Justice and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, in support of a women's response to the devastating effects of Arizona’s SB1070. In mid-May the Ms. Foundation provided a rapid response grant to this group. Together with other social justice and women's organizations they are creating a powerful alliance of female-led opposition to the bill, as Ai-Jen Poo, said, "the voices, leadership and power of women's organizing [are] a vital part of the campaign."
The Washington visit concluded with the women sharing testimony in a packed congressional hearing, which was attended by Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ), co-hosted by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL), Rep. Gwen Moore (WI), with Congress members Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Jared Polis (CO), Mike Quigley (IL), Hank Johnson (GA), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Luis Gutierrez (IL) and Judy Chu (CA) as honorary guests, numerous witnesses and media outlets. Ai-Jen Poo reported that the "hearing … packed, beyond standing room -- with people listening in from the halls, sitting on the floors. Eight TV cameras, six members of Congress who stayed for over an hour, and a room full of press and people who were moved to tears again and again. There was a feeling all around that something different was happening, something extraordinary. An extraordinary shift."
Building on this success (see the slide show above), the fight against this legislation will continue. The law's potential to disrupt the lives of women and children, tear apart families, and legalize racial profiling must be countered. Stay up to date on action alerts and breaking news updates by reading our blog, and to help create a national "Women's Campaign to Stop SB1070" visit AZWomenRise. Let's bring an end to this devastating bill.