The SPLC came to Arizona to discuss the state's reputation as the epicenter of anti-immigrant hate and as a site of disturbing extremist activity. In 2010, Arizona passed a vicious anti-immigrant law that has served as a blueprint for similar laws in other states where lawmakers are exploiting the nation's anti-immigrant climate.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, in an open letter to members of the Louisiana House, outlined the fiscal and human dangers of House Bill 850, which would allow the state to accept offers for the private purchase and operation of Avoyelles Correctional Center.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and community members urged county leaders at Florida's Hillsborough County Juvenile Justice Task Force meeting today not to adopt juvenile detention policies similar to those of Polk County, where an SPLC lawsuit has been filed against the sheriff who houses children charged as juveniles in an adult jail.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is part of a coalition of civil rights groups challenging misguided state laws in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Frustration with Congress’ failure to reform the nation’s immigration policy is not sufficient reason for states to create a patchwork of policies that throw lives into disarray and sow fear, bigotry and confusion in communities.
Xenophobia and a desire to find a scapegoat for these hard economic times will spur more anti-immigrant legislation. And there’s no shortage of lawmakers unwilling to hear other viewpoints. But there are still people unwilling to allow their state to be governed by fear.
The Southern Poverty Law Center urged Louisiana lawmakers to oppose a bill that bans state contracts from providing anti-discrimination protections to vulnerable populations that include LGBT people and English language learners – provisions that threaten to stifle economic growth and harm the state’s school children.
The Southern Poverty Law Center commends Sheriff Marlon Gusman’s decision to close the Orleans Parish Prison House of Detention, but the Sheriff’s Department needs to make additional reforms to better protect the community and save taxpayer dollars.
Earlier this year, high school students in Montgomery County, Md., received flyers at school saying that being gay is a choice and that people can change their sexual orientation. The flyer’s message is a popular and harmful piece of propaganda about LGBT people – the claim that gay people can change their sexual orientation through what is commonly known as “ex-gay” or “conversion” therapy. It’s a notion that has been rejected or highly criticized by every mainstream American medical and mental health professional association.
There’s no shortage of tragic stories about the dangers of holding children and teens in adult jails. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently filed a lawsuit in Florida that described horrendous abuse at the Polk County Jail – an adult jail where children as young as 8 years old can be detained.
A federal court has approved the $1.5 million settlement agreement the Southern Poverty Law Center reached on behalf of more than 1,500 guestworkers owed back wages by an Arkansas agricultural company. The settlement is one of the largest agreements ever reached against a single employer of foreign guestworkers.