ACLU Files Class-Action Against Arizona's SB1070 Immigration Law
The American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of immigrant's rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit on Monday challenging Arizona's recently enacted SB1070. The new law allows Arizona authorities to determine the immigration status of a person where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.
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Other provisions of SB1070 allow Arizona authorities to verify a person's immigration status with the federal government and if it is determined that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, authorities can immediately transfer that person to the appropriate federal facility or agency. The law also prohibits any restrictions on sending, receiving, or maintaining information regarding a person's immigration status.
The ACLU calls SB1070 "extreme" and charges that it requires police to demand "papers" from people they stop who they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S.and "invites the racial profiling of people of color, violates the First Amendment and interferes with federal law.
Critics of SB1070 also charge that the law gives police the right to stop anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant, however the law as it's written only applies to those that have been stopped for some other violation or for probable cause such as suspected DUI.
The coalition filing the lawsuit includes the ACLU, MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), ACLU of Arizona, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) – a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.
"Arizona's law is quintessentially un-American: we are not a 'show me your papers' country, nor one that believes in subjecting people to harassment, investigation and arrest simply because others may perceive them as foreign," said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "This law violates the Constitution and interferes with federal law, and we are confident that we will prevent it from ever taking effect."
In spite of an outpouring of protests against Arizona's tough new immigration enforcement law a majority of Americans support SB1070.
According to a recent Rasmussen poll of voters and likely voters, 55 percent of voters favor passage of such a law in their own state while only 33 percent are opposed. Sixty-nine percent of voters believe a police officer should be required to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation or violation of some other law if he suspects the person might be an illegal immigrant.
While 68% of Mainstream voters favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state, 66% of the Political Class are opposed.
Most voters continue to say as they have for years that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers.
Americans also continue to overwhelmingly believe that English should be the official language of the United States and reject by sizable margins the idea that such a move is racist or a violation of free speech.
Eighty percent (80%) of voters believe that those who move to America should adopt American culture.
Proponents of SB1070 along with the law's critics agree on one thing: it is the broadest and strictest immigration measure to come along in generations.