The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 400-7822 or (213) 674-2832;
Rachel Myers, ACLU, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;
Alessandra Soler Meetze, ACLU of Arizona, (602) 418-5499;
Laura Rodriguez, MALDEF, (310) 956-2425;
Karin Wang, APALC, (213) 241-0234;
B. Loewe, NDLON, (773) 791-4668;
Leila McDowell, NAACP, (202) 463-2940

Civil Rights Groups Ask Court To Block Remaining Day Labor Provisions Of Arizona's Racial Profiling Law

Coalition Files To Prevent SB 1070 From Unconstitutionally Curtailing Day Laborers' First Amendment Rights


American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights
organizations today asked a federal court to prohibit Arizona from
enforcing two key sections of its racial profiling law (SB 1070)
targeting day labor, pending a final court ruling on the these
provisions' constitutionality. The law creates new criminal offenses,
ostensibly relating to traffic safety, that apply only to individuals
engaging in or receiving employment solicitation speech. According to
the coalition, these provisions cause irreparable harm to day laborers
and those who seek to employ them by curtailing their First Amendment

The groups filed a lawsuit challenging Arizona's racial profiling law
in May. The coalition includes the ACLU, MALDEF, the National
Immigration Law Center (NILC), the 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 firms of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Altshuler Berzon LLP, and
Roush, McCracken, Guerrero, Miller & Orgtega are acting as
co-counsel in the case.

The following statements can be attributed to members of the coalition, as listed below.

Linton Joaquin, general counsel for the National Immigration Law Center:
"Arizona's attempt to prohibit peaceful efforts to seek day labor
employment throughout the state is not only illegal, but also immoral
during an economic downturn. Because of these unconstitutional
restrictions on free speech, the families and communities that rely on
day laborers' economic contributions suffer enormous and unnecessary

Omar Jadwat, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project: "These
provisions of Arizona's racial profiling law improperly single out and
punish employment solicitation speech in violation of the First
Amendment. The state law's violation of fundamental constitutional
principles in order to express hostility to day laborers and immigrants
is both shortsighted and doomed to legal failure."

Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel:
"Day Laborers have a right to peacefully seek work in order to feed
their families and themselves. The First Amendment guarantees them the
right to express their desire for work without fear of being harassed or

Daniel Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona legal director: "This
provision is an unconstitutional attempt to further the agendas of
anti-immigrant legislators in Arizona. Singling out work solicitation
speech from all other types of speech belies the stated concern with
traffic problems and demonstrates an intent to target Latino day

Julie Su, litigation director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center:
"All workers have a First Amendment right to seek work, particularly in
public areas. The unconstitutional provisions of SB 1070 have severely
violated workers' free speech rights and restricted their ability to
earn a living."

Chris Newman, Legal Director and General Counsel for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network: "Free
speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment are vital to our
democracy, and they belong as much to day laborers as they do to
authors, corporations, and politicians. Other federal judges that have
examined similar anti-day labor laws have found them to be
unconstitutional, and we are confident these sections of SB 1070 will be
enjoined and ultimately struck down as well."

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

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project: Jadwat, Lucas Guttentag, Cecillia Wang and Tanaz Moghadam
MALDEF: Thomas A. Saenz, Nina Perales, Cynthia Valenzuela Dixon,
Viramontes, Gladys Limon, Nicholas Espiritu and Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal
NILC: Joaquin, Karen Tumlin, Nora A. Preciado, Melissa S. Keaney and Vivek Mittal
ACLU of Arizona: Pochoda and Annie Lai
APALC: Su, Yungsuhn Park, Connie Choi and Carmina Ocampo
NDLON: Newman and Lisa Kung
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
Altshuler Berzon LLP: Stephen P. Berzon and Jonathan Weissglass
Roush, McCracken, Guerrero, Miller & Ortega: Daniel R. Ortega, Jr.

The brief in support of the preliminary injunction is available online at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666