Civil Rights Groups Say Substantial Claims about Most-Notorious Section of S.B. 1070 Must Be Resolved
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SAN FRANCISCO – A coalition of civil rights groups has appealed a federal court decision that would allow the most-notorious portion of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law to go into effect.
The appeal, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was filed eight days after U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton denied a request to block the “show-me-your-papers” provision of the Arizona law, S.B. 1070, from going into effect later this month. The coalition today asked the Ninth Circuit to suspend the provision for the duration of its appeal.
The provision requires police to verify the citizenship or immigration status of people arrested, stopped or detained if there is a reasonable suspicion that they are in the country unlawfully. In June, the Supreme Court confirmed that three other key provisions of S.B. 1070 are unconstitutional, but declined to block section 2B, the “show me your papers” provision. Several other parts of SB 1070 are blocked by separate injunctions issued by the district court.
“The plaintiffs in this case have raised substantial claims against section 2B and the courts should not allow the provision to go into effect without even considering those claims, which is what will happen if the court of appeals denies the request we are filing today,” said Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “As the history of this litigation shows, we are determined to fight SB 1070 and continue to work to preserve all Arizonans’ rights to be free from harassment and profiling.”
“Section 2B of SB 1070 threatens fundamental rights of Latinos and other people of color in Arizona,” said Linton Joaquin, general counsel of the National Immigration Law Center. “We are committed to fighting this law until it is permanently stricken. We look forward to finally having our civil rights claims addressed in court.”
"The very high likelihood of irreparable harm from any implementation of a law that effectively mandates improper racial profiling by law enforcement officers, who are required to engage in immigration enforcement for which they are not trained, imperils the taking of all possible steps in court to bar such implementation," said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF.
The coalition includes the ACLU, the ACLU of Arizona, NILC, MALDEF, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian American Justice Center, both members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, as well as the NAACP. The law firms of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Altshuler Berzon LLP, and the Ortega Law Firm are also acting as co-counsel in the case.