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NILC, ACLU and MALDEF Want Judge to Block Racial Profiling Provision in Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law, SB1070

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Several opponents of Arizona’s SB 1070, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, went to Court today to stop implementation of the “show me your papers” provision of that law. The groups are “seeking a court order that would prevent authorities from enforcing a rule that requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons.”

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down three of the four provisions in their SB 1070 ruling. Section 2(B)  is viewed as the racial profiling provision because it requires law enforcement to question the immigration status of any person detained. That provision of Arizona’s law was upheld on narrow grounds.  Justice Anthony Kennedy indicated that he expected other constitutional challenges to this section of SB 1070.  Today, one of those challenges was initiated.

From the Associated Press:

The groups are asking U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to block enforcement of the requirement before it takes effect, arguing that Latinos in Arizona would face systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions under the contentious section of the 2010 law.

In their 65-page filing, the coalition claims Arizona’s immigration law “is pre-empted by federal law and violates the Fourth Amendment” and could “undermine trust between the police and community members, for whom a routine encounter with law enforcement will become a lengthy detention.”

They also say that immigration patrols in recent years by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — the Arizona lawman known for his rigid stance against illegal immigration — demonstrate that the law’s requirement will disproportionately affect Latinos. Though the requirement hasn’t taken effect, Arpaio said his officers have inquired about people’s immigration status in the past.

The National Immigration Law Center put together exhibits which include mass emails from now-ousted, former state senator, Russell Pearce. The emails, which date back to 2006, show the irrational fears of Pearce, his colleagues, and his constituents. There’s more to be seen here, but following are a few examples:

  • “How long will it be before we will be just like Mexico? We have already lost our language; everything must be printed in Spanish. We have already lost our history since it is no longer taught in our schools. And we have lost our borders.”
  • “Last week, Denver’s illegal aliens sang our national anthem in Spanish and bastardized the words of OUR country’s most sacred song. Talk about audacious, arrogant and condescending! Tell me if you think they are becoming Americans. Ladies and gentlemen; this is an invasion by a foreign country.”
  • “Mexico’s Vicente Fox is no longer satisfied with the status quo. Battles commence as Mexican nationalists struggle to infuse their men into American government and strengthen control over their strongholds. One look at Los Angles with its Mexican-American mayor shows you Vicente Fox’s general Varigossa commanding an American city.”

And today, Latino Decision released a poll revealing that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, the President has increased in popularity with Latino voters, leaving Mitt Romney — who has clearly shown he stand on the wrong side of the immigration issue — waaaay behind, at Obama’s 70% to Romney’s 22%.

To get updated on the the law’s challenge, follow @ACLU and @NILC_org on twitter.