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Kobe Bryant’s Wife Wears “Do I Look Legal?” Tee to Protest AZ Law As ACLU Files Suit

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 05/18/2010 at 11:00am

Via Hoopnotes.com, Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, took a jab at Coach Phil Jackson, who has refused to denounce Arizona’s “papers-please” law, even after Los Suns made a strong statement earlier this month. Vanessa Bryant, pictured to the right here, is sporting a “Do I look illegal?” tee.

Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, has admitted that she has no clue what an “illegal immigrant looks like,” but she didn’t let that stop her from signing the controversial legislation, SB 1070, into law.

In fact, yesterday a coalition of civil liberties and civil rights organizations, including the ACLU, NAACP, NILC, and MALDEF, filed suit to block the law. According to the ACLU:

It is practically impossible to think of any legitimate way police could develop a suspicion that someone is here unlawfully without racial profiling. Under this law, people who look “foreign” are more likely to be stopped for minor infractions like having a broken taillight, jaywalking or having an overgrown lawn — and then asked for their papers if police believe, just by looking at them, that they could be in the country unlawfully. That means that U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike will be required to carry papers on them at all times.

S.B. 1070 would essentially turn Arizona into a police state, where merely looking “foreign” authorizes the police to treat you as potential criminal suspect. Which is why many top law enforcement officials oppose this law. Time reports:

Chief John Harris of Sahuarita, the current president of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, said he opposed the law before Governor Jan Brewer signed it and still does today. He listed his objections: Immigration has traditionally been a federal issue, and the police already have “manpower and budget issues” that will only get worse under the law. “[…] He’s also concerned that victims may not report crimes to his officers.

Already, state governments across the country are considering laws similar to Arizona’s. It’s our hope that the lawsuit filed today will show that such laws will not pass constitutional muster in court, and passing more laws like it will be futile. S.B. 1070 is un-American and undermines our values of fairness and equality for all people. 

For a rundownon the specific challenges, check out Andrea Nill’s, “The Four Major Legal Challenges The ACLU Has Brought Against Arizona’s Immigration Law.”

ACLU also makes the case in a new video:

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