ACLU and Civil Rights Groups Ask Court to Block Implementation of Arizona's Racial Profiling Law

For Immediate Release


Maria Archuleta, ACLU, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666;
Jon O'Neill, ACLU of Arizona, (602) 773-6007;
Laura Rodriguez, MALDEF, (310) 956-2425;
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 400-7822;
Karin Wang, APALC, (213) 241-0234 or 999-5640;
Marco Loera, NDLON, (602) 373-3859;
Leila McDowell, NAACP, (202) 463-2940 ext. 1021;

ACLU and Civil Rights Groups Ask Court to Block Implementation of Arizona's Racial Profiling Law

a hearing today in a federal court in Phoenix, the American Civil
Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups argued that
Arizona's discriminatory new law, known as SB 1070, should be blocked
pending a final court ruling on its constitutionality. The law,
scheduled to go into effect on July 29, requires police to demand
"papers" from people they stop who they suspect are "unlawfully present"
in the U.S. According to the coalition, the law would subject massive
numbers of people - both citizens and non-citizens - to racial
profiling, improper investigations and detention.

The U.S. Department of Justice, in a
separate lawsuit, will also ask the court to block SB 1070 in a hearing
later today. The court, in the civil rights coalition's case, will also
hear arguments on the state of Arizona's motion to dismiss the case.
The civil rights coalition includes
the ACLU, MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Asian Pacific
American Legal Center (APALC) - a member of the Asian American Center
for Advancing Justice - ACLU of Arizona, National Day Laborer Organizing
Network (NDLON) and the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP). The law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
is acting as co-counsel in the case.
Omar Jadwat, staff attorney with the
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and Nina Perales, Southwest Regional
Counsel for MALDEF, argued the case on behalf of the civil rights

In May, the coalition filed a lawsuit
challenging the extreme law charging that it invites the racial
profiling of people of color, violates the First Amendment and
interferes with federal law. Friday's filing seeks to halt
implementation of the law while the case is litigated.
The following quotes can be attributed to members of the coalition, as listed below.

Omar Jadwat, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project:

"We are asking the court to block SB
1070 right now because if this discriminatory law went into effect for
even one day, it would be one day too many. Any law that requires law
enforcement to ask people they stop and suspect of being undocumented
for their 'papers' violates the U.S. Constitution and the American
values of fairness and equality. This law is a clear invitation for
racial profiling, and we're confident that the court will understand the
importance of preventing it from ever taking effect."

Linton Joaquin, General Counsel of NILC:

"Judge Bolton heard from lawyers
representing organizations ranging from small non-profit service
providers to the federal government, asking her to block the
implementation of this pernicious law. Inaction on SB 1070 will lead to
widespread fear and threatens the constitutional rights and societal
values of all Arizonans. Unified voices of civil rights leaders, law
enforcement officers and interested citizens are fighting to keep this
unconstitutional law from hurting countless Arizonans and undermining
our nation's values of fair treatment under the law."

Julie Su, Litigation Director of APALC:

"We are here today in Arizona to
ensure that SB 1070 does not take effect next week, as this
fundamentally unconstitutional law opens the door for law enforcement to
discriminate against Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other
people of color who look or sound 'foreign.' We have faith the court
understands that immigration enforcement is solely the responsibility of
the federal government and that it will block this modern-day version
of the Chinese Exclusion Act."
Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona:

"While proponents of SB 1070 would
have us believe that they have a monopoly on the rule of law, the
federal court remains the arbiter of justice in this case. The
courageous plaintiffs who have come forward to challenge this
unconstitutional racial profiling law are optimistic that the judge will
strike down this discriminatory law, which has already resulted in the
harassment of innocent people."

Organizations and attorneys on the case, Friendly House et al. v. Whiting et al., include:

•  ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project: Jadwat, Lucas Guttentag, Cecillia Wang, Tanaz Moghadam and Harini P. Raghupathi;
Perales, Thomas A. Saenz, Cynthia Valenzuela Dixon, Victor Viramontes,
Gladys Limón, Nicholás Espiritu and Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal;
•  NILC: Joaquin, Karen Tumlin, Nora A. Preciado, Melissa S. Keaney, Vivek Mittal and Ghazal Tajmiri;
•  ACLU Foundation of Arizona: Dan Pochoda and Annie Lai;
•  APALC: Su, Ronald Lee, Yungsuhn Park, Connie Choi and Carmina Ocampo;
•  NDLON: Chris Newman;
•  NAACP: Laura Blackburne;
•  Munger Tolles & Olson LLP: Bradley S. Phillips, Paul J. Watford, Joseph J. Ybarra, Susan T. Boyd, Yuval Miller, Elisabeth J. Neubauer and Benjamin Maro;
•  Roush, McCracken, Guerrero, Miller & Ortega: Daniel R. Ortega, Jr.

The motion for a preliminary injunction can be found at:

A new ACLU video about how the SB 1070 invites racial profiling can be found at:
More information about the Arizona law can be found at:


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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