Civil and Human Rights Groups File Lawsuit, Plan March against Arizona's S.B. 1070
May 26, 2010 - Posted by Jheanelle Wilkins
Civil and human rights groups are working on multiple fronts to galvanize support for repealing Arizona's controversial anti-immigration law, S.B. 1070, before it goes into effect on July 28.
On Saturday, May 29, thousands of people will march on the Arizona state capital in Phoenix as part of the "National Day of Action Against S.B. 1070." The march organizers, Puente and National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), are demanding that President Obama issue an executive order nullifying S.B. 1070. They are also calling on Obama to suspend and terminate all partnerships between federal immigration officials and local law enforcement in Arizona.
A coalition of civil rights groups – including NDLON, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the NAACP – filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Phoenix on behalf of labor, domestic violence, day laborer, human services, and social justice organizations challenging S.B. 1070. The lawsuit charges that S.B. 1070 unlawfully interferes with federal authority to regulate immigration and creates opportunity for law enforcement to engage in racial profiling.
"This discriminatory law pushes Arizona into a spiral of fear, increased crime, and costly litigation," said Victor Viramontes, MALDEF Senior National Counsel. "We expect that this misguided law will be enjoined before it takes effect."
S.B. 1070, signed by Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, will make racial profiling the norm in Arizona by requiring law enforcement officers to stop, question, detain, and arrest anyone that they have a "reasonable suspicion" to believe is undocumented. The law has been widely denounced as extreme, unconstitutional, and fundamentally unfair and discriminatory.