MALDEF, ACLU And NILC gear up for future legal challenge to Arizona racial profiling law

PHOENIX, AR – MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Arizona and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) held a news conference today on the House of Representatives Lawn of the Arizona State Capitol Building in Phoenix, Arizona to announce their future legal challenge to Governor Jan Brewer’s recently signed SB1070. In addition, the organizations sought to address misinformation and fears that have been spreading throughout the Latino community across Arizona. MALDEF, ACLU, ACLU of Arizona and NILC leaders were joined by civil rights leaders Dolores Huerta, Richard Chavez and multi-Grammy winning artist and human rights advocate, Linda Ronstadt.

“Today, the three most experienced immigrants’ and civil rights legal organizations nationwide – MALDEF, ACLU and NILC – announce their partnership, together with local Arizona-based counsel, to challenge SB1070 in court,” stated MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz. “The Arizona community can be assured that a vigorous and sophisticated legal challenge will be mounted, in advance of SB1070′s implementation, seeking to prevent this unconstitutional and discriminatory law from ever taking effect.

“This law will only make the rampant racial profiling of Latinos that is already going on in Arizona much worse,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “If this law were implemented, citizens would effectively have to carry ‘their papers’ at all times to avoid arrest. It is a low point in modern America when a state law requires police to demand documents from people on the street.”

Linton Joaquin, General Counsel of NILC, added, “This unconstitutional law sends a strong message to all immigrants to have no contact with any law enforcement officer. The inevitable result is not only to make immigrants more vulnerable to crime and exploitation, but also to make the entire community less safe, by aggressively discouraging witnesses and victims from reporting crimes.”

There are a number of serious constitutional problems with the law, the groups say. It violates the supremacy clause by interfering with federal immigration power and authority. The law also unlawfully invites racial profiling against Latinos and other people of color.

“What we are witnessing today is the blatant targeting of an entire American population, Latinos,” stated civil rights leader Dolores Huerta. “We must not give in one inch in Arizona’s effort to blame our community for all the ills of the state or their efforts to run us out. We have worked this land, built and maintained these buildings and sacrificed as much as any other. We must put an end to SB1070.”

“My family, of both German and Mexican heritage, has a long history in Arizona. It has been our diverse and shared history in this state that unites us and makes us stronger,” stated Linda Ronstadt. “What Governor Brewer signed into law last week is a piece of legislation that threatens the very heart of this great state. We must come together and stop SB1070 from pitting neighbor against neighbor to the detriment of us all.”

  • http://hispanicblog barbara

    I think we should stand together and stop this problem once for all
    we should be like the black leaders like martin luther king did, we have stayed behind to much. here in dallas texas we have very weak leaders ,they do nithing,just talk we need leaders that are strong for our race,we need a change,arizona, farmers branch are all white sumprems,we need petitions for about 100.000 signatures and take it to the president of the united states ,we need to make a stand .
    barabara

  • Francisco Canales

    We Latinos should be loyal to our United States, this country open his arm embrace us and give us the opportunity to be the best we can be.
    We Latinos need to understand that we are responsible for our future our education, our job security and the economy and welfare of our families. The Latinos that play the race card and discrimination should concentrate in being the best they can be at the school, work, and as parents. Communities respect and love people of good character and values. Ask what can you do to better your family and community, what your community can do for you.