NEW YORK

Church World Service (CWS), the ecumenical humanitarian agency that includes the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) has joined President Obama in condemning a new Arizona law that instructs police in that state to  seek out and arrest illegal immigrants.

The new legislation, adopted Friday (April 23), has sparked widespread protests in Arizona.

CWS Executive Director John. L. McCullough said in a statement that the enactment of the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" "goes beyond anti-immigrant sentiments and supports racial profiling. This legislation feels reactionary and hateful."

The full text of McCullough’s statement:

"We are deeply concerned about the enactment of SB 1070 as it goes beyond anti-immigrant sentiments and supports racial profiling. This legislation feels reactionary and hateful. It is a clear representation of the politics of division and exclusion. Gov. Brewer has ignored the advice of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and the Mesa Fraternal of Police to veto the bill. By this action, she has actively institutionalized racial profiling and will make Arizona less safe. 

"As a 64-year-old faith-based humanitarian organization working with 34 refugee resettlement affiliates across the United States, Church World Service understands first-hand the impact this legislation will have on communities. We do take heart that President Obama has strongly condemned this legislation, and urge his administration to do everything in its power to prevent its implementation and the consequences it will have for human rights.  

"This legislation is an urgent reminder of the necessity of enacting comprehensive immigration reform. Federal legislation fixing our broken immigration system is the way to heal our communities, reunite families, and create an effective and humane immigration system. We thus urge all members of Congress and President Obama to enact comprehensive immigration reform into law, and to rise above the politics of division and to embrace real solutions."