Appellate Court Upholds Decision Blocking Arizona’s Extreme Racial Profiling Law

Other States Considering S.B. 1070 “Copycats” Should Heed The Court’s Ruling, Says Civil Rights Coalition FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; PHOENIX – In a major victory for civil rights and civil liberties, a federal appellate court today affirmed the Arizona district court decision to block the most troubling provisions of the state’s racial profiling law, S.B. 1070. After Arizona’s law was passed last April, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the state alleging that S.B. 1070 violated the Supremacy Clause on the grounds that it was preempted by federal law. Along with its complaint, the DOJ filed a motion to block implementation of S.B. 1070 until a final decision was made about the law’s constitutionality. In filing the lawsuit, the federal government sent a clear message that it would not tolerate state laws that invite racial stereotyping and profiling and interfere with federal immigration priorities and policies. The lawsuit brought by the DOJ followed a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups challenging the constitutionality of the law. S.B. 1070 requires police to demand “papers” from people they stop who they suspect are “unlawfully present” in the U.S. According to the coalition, the law would subject massive numbers of people – both citizens and non-citizens – to racial profiling, improper investigations and detention. The coalition’s lawsuit charged the extreme law invited the racial profiling of people of color, violated the First Amendment and interfered with federal law. The civil rights coalition today urged other states considering S.B. 1070 “copycat” laws to heed today’s court ruling and refrain from doing so. The following quotes can be attributed to members of the coalition, as listed below. Omar Jadwat, Staff Attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project: “Today’s decision rightly rejects SB 1070’s assault on the core American values of fairness and equality. Legislators in other states should pay close attention to today’s ringing condemnation of Arizona’s racial profiling law and refrain from going down the same unconstitutional path.“ Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel, MALDEF: “The Ninth Circuit decision stands as a strong warning to any state that is still considering enacting its own unconstitutional regulation of immigration by replicating or expanding upon Arizona’s ill-fated S.B. 1070. Such legislation will only invite costly litigation that will inevitably result in the unconstitutional laws being struck down.” Marielena Hincapi

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