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Arizona House Democrats

Arizona House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez released the following statement regarding Republican Senator Sylvia Allen's racially divisive comments reported last week that have put another negative national spotlight on Arizona.

"When Senator Allen gets up in front of a crowd at Republican Party Headquarters to fret and lament that Arizona is becoming more diverse it's impossible not to draw parallels to disgraced former Representative David Stringer.

"It's good that Senator Allen apologized for the pain her words caused, but it was a qualified apology insisting she was just misunderstood. However, like Stringer, her words on tape were clear, direct and in context.

"It's sad that Senator Allen and politicians like her want to take us backwards, because they are not comfortable with the idea of the American Dream working for everyone.

"Our diversity is our strength and our greatest economic advantage as a state. Mexico is our largest trading partner, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border. The fact that we have a young, entrepreneurial and increasingly bi-lingual population — with strong cultural and family ties to Mexico and Central America — is a recipe for long-term economic strength provided we don't nip it in the bud with self-defeating xenophobia.

We're also disappointed but not surprised that Arizona Republicans were largely silent when a member made comments so divisive, hurtful and ignorant. The cues are coming directly from the leader of their party, President Trump, who has spent the better part of the last month launching racist Twitter attacks on women and men of color serving in Congress."

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