"The Declaration of Los Angeles" is an initiative of the Latino-Jewish Roundtable, International Affairs Committee and Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League and highlights the need for securing human rights of immigrants.
"At this particularly volatile time in our country's history, we find it of utmost importance to unite against hatred and victimization aimed at many people who migrate to this country. Without negating the need for safe and secure borders, nor aligning ourselves with partisan politics on the issue, the ADL stands strong in the desire to support basic human rights and fair treatment of immigrants," said Amanda Susskind, Director of the ADL Pacific Southwest Region.
"This coalition's work comes not a minute too soon," said Council President Eric Garcetti. "Los Angeles is a truly cosmopolitan city. We have the opportunity to model for the rest of the country how to incorporate hundreds of cultures from across the globe into civic life peacefully and by recognizing the dignity and rights of all."
Included in the Declaration are statements reflecting the importance of protecting civil and human rights of immigrants and condemning xenophobic rhetoric, especially about Latino immigration. The Declaration expresses concerns about vigilante civilian patrol groups creating the potential for violence and an atmosphere of fear and lawlessness.
The Declaration calls upon local, state and federal government officials to: recognize and protect the basic human rights of immigrants, support humane treatment of undocumented persons, publicly denounce xenophobia, monitor and respond to extremists groups that advocate bigotry or racism, hold to the highest standards of human rights and dignity all law enforcement and judicial processes that relate to deportation, detention and immigration status, and recognize the need for a safe and secure United States.
Plans are to take this declaration to the California State Legislature for approval during the 2007 session.
In addition to the Anti-Defamation League, other Los Angeles-area signatories to the declaration are: ACLU of Southern California, American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Gay and Lesbian Center Legal Services Department, Korean American Coalition, LA Center for Law and Justice, League of United Latin American Citizens, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles Section, Progressive Jewish Alliance, Public Counsel Law Center and South Asian Network.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.