Latino Orgs. go to Court to Stop Implementation of AZ Law

Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law, S.B. 1070, will not only fuel anti-Latino bias, but it will put the Latino community in a state of permanent lock down, said national Latino organizations in a brief filed on June 15.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 15, 2010
CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513

Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law, S.B. 1070, will not only fuel anti-Latino bias within the State, but it will put the Latino community in a state of permanent lock down, said national Latino organizations today in a brief filed on behalf of the National Council of La Raza, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association. The brief was filed by LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

The brief asks the federal courts to stop the law’s implementation and argues that the new law will result in Latino immigrants, regardless of status, being deprived of essential benefits, , impacting their day-to-day lives.It explains that if S.B.1070 is implemented it will create a “Perfect Storm” of harsh and unfair circumstances that will target Latinos regardless of status. Latinos could be deprived of medical, educational, nutritional, and other benefits critical to their survival. They will be victims of an increased level of discrimination and could be subject to intense harassment by one of the several methods created by the statute. It also details how S.B.1070 could have a chilling effect on undocumented immigrants seeking emergency Medicaid assistance, which IS available to them under federal law.

The new law also requires state, county, and municipal employees to ascertain the immigration status of a person if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is unlawfully present in the U.S. It also subjects local governments and their personnel to lawsuits by any citizen who feels that the new law is not being enforced sufficiently. The law will impose a $500 fine and a misdemeanor charge leading to possible deportation for individuals unable to show proof of legal presence.

“If given the opportunity, there are a lot of people who want to drive Latinos out of their neighborhoods and their towns. This new law gives those people the weapons to do just that in Arizona.” Said Cesar Perales, President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “It will turn white against brown. It will get very ugly.”

Last month, a number of civil rights organizations including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Law Center filed a lawsuit challenging S.B. 1070. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have protested in Arizona and throughout the country and the state has lost millions of dollars from canceled events and conventions.

Last month, a number of civil rights organizations including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Law Center filed a lawsuit challenging S.B. 1070. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have protested in Arizona and throughout the country and the state has lost millions of dollars from canceled events and conventions.

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