Blog of Rights

What’s Next for Arizona’s SB 1070 and Other Copycat Laws

What’s Next for Arizona’s SB 1070 and Other Copycat Laws

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 6:05pm
The Supreme Court handed down a mixed decision Monday for Arizona and the handful of states that have copied its anti-immigrant law, SB 1070. Striking down three of the four provisions at issue in Arizona v. United States, the Justices affirmed the federal government’s exclusive role in enforcing immigration law. On the one hand, the Court delivered a significant rebuke to legislators who tried to make being an undocumented immigrant a crime. But on the other hand, the Court let stand the discriminatory “show me your papers” provision, or Section 2(B). And while it’s true that the Court sent a warning that Section 2(B) could still be ruled unconstitutional based on pending challenges (by the ACLU and other civil rights groups) focused more directly on racial profiling and prolonged detention, it nevertheless has thrown Arizona and other states into chaos by reversing the lower courts’ decision to block the “show me your papers” law. Arizona officials immediately announced that they would begin enforcing Section 2(B), even though the Supreme Court’s ruling does not immediately lift the order blocking. The Court’s decision now sends the case back to the lower district court in Arizona for further proceedings. 
Time to End Impunity for US-Mexico Border Killings

Time to End Impunity for US-Mexico Border Killings

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 1:08pm

Yesterday, the world marked International Migrants Day, providing an opportunity to reflect on global efforts to respect and protect migrants' human rights. It is particularly appropriate for us to call attention to U.S. government failure to protect…

Deadly Force on the Border, Without Transparency or Accountability

Deadly Force on the Border, Without Transparency or Accountability

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 12:05pm

In April 2012, PBS aired a damning documentary about Anastacio Hernández Rojas, a 42-year-old father of five U.S.-born children who had lived in the United States for more than two decades. In May 2010, he was deported. Unable to endure exile from…

Operation Streamline

Operation Streamline

By Kung Li, Campaign for an Accountable, Moral, and Balanced Immigration Overhaul at 2:58pm

To understand Operation Streamline, it helps to visit the Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum, 60 miles north of Del Rio. This corner of Texas needed a local justice of the peace in the 1880s and Roy Bean took the job. Bean deemed his saloon a courthouse and dispensed what the state's tourism department now describes as "his own brand of justice…with strange, but expedient decisions..."

PBS To Highlight Abuses at the Border

PBS To Highlight Abuses at the Border

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico & Krystal Gómez, ACLU of Texas at 5:34pm

A year ago this week, a young woman working with the ACLU of New Mexico arrived at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices at the Ysleta-Zaragoza port of entry in El Paso/Ciudad Juárez. She was there to meet with a New Mexico State Police…

Hindu Man Describes Mistreatment After False-Positive Hand Swab

Hindu Man Describes Mistreatment After False-Positive Hand Swab

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:40pm

When the TSA in 2010 introduced the swabbing of some passengers’ hands to detect for explosive residue, we got a call from CNN asking if we’d tell them on camera what we thought of it from a privacy standpoint. It seemed to us that particle sniffers…

Getting Nothing for Something: (Over)spending at the Border

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 11:20am

If most employers learned that their employees had been falling asleep on the job out of sheer boredom, the last thing they would do is hire more people to do the same work. That, however, is just what U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has…

Criminalizing Immigrants: Unlawful and Harmful to the Public

By Caroline Cincotta, Immigrants' Rights Project at 5:33pm

The ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project has released an issue brief on the criminalization of undocumented immigrants. In recent years, states and localities around the country have increasingly attempted to use state and local laws to impose criminal…

Is Illegal Entry the Crime You’re Most Afraid Of?

Is Illegal Entry the Crime You’re Most Afraid Of?

By Ruthie Epstein, ACLU, Washington Legislative Office at 10:39am

Guess what crime is the most prosecuted at the federal level in the United States? Rape? Murder? Assault? Robbery? Racketeering? Financial fraud?

Actually, no. It's illegal entry and re-entry. And I don't mean people trespassing into your home…

VICTORY! In San Francisco, Immigration Detainees No Longer Shackled

VICTORY! In San Francisco, Immigration Detainees No Longer Shackled

By Jenny Zhao, Liman Public Interest Fellow, ACLU of Northern California at 10:08am

Hard to believe, but until recently, all detained immigrants appearing in the civil immigration court in San Francisco were forced to give critical testimony while restrained by shackles and chains at the wrists, waist, and ankles. The inhumane practice…